Schools in Hong Kong work hard to equip students with knowledge and skills, expose them to global perspectives and open up possibilities on their horizons. With a target-oriented approach, schools sometimes overlook one important element fundamental to young people’s lifelong happiness and future success, and that is their internal peace.
Mindfulness has garnered much attention from the public but also from researchers who are interested in the effectiveness and impact of the practice. There is a growing body of research showing that mindfulness in young people helps to cultivate empathy, foster self-regulation and emotional stability. Students are better able to concentrate and exercise impulse control and it is evidenced that the practice can even mediate negative mental health outcomes.
The Hong Kong Buddhist Association (“HKBA”) was founded in 1945 with the objective of promoting Buddhism and providing charitable social services, education and youth activities to the public. It is the largest Buddhist non-governmental organization in Hong Kong. With 20 primary and secondary schools under its purview, HKBA aims to introduce contemplative practices to secondary school students to cultivate their abilities to handle the pressure and stress life presents.
Recognizing the value of mindfulness practices, the Foundation provides core funding for HKBA’s “Awareness Meditation” program which will be introducing and developing a holistic meditation curriculum for HKBA’s 13 secondary schools. The Foundation is also supporting the enhancement of quality hardware, regular teacher training and improved teaching materials over three years to complement the implementation of the curriculum. The Foundation seeks to set the scene for mindfulness practices to be brought into the wider education and youth sector with the goal of helping students learn the art of staying in touch with their emotions and strengthening their mental capacity to find inner peace.