Monthly Archives: July 2014

Meditation whilst invigilating


Part of my day job involves preparing learners for exams, doing practice papers and finally when all the preparation has been done, helping to invigilate the exams they sit.

At first it may seem ironic – much of this drive towards passing exams may appear to be at odds with many elements I teach on a mindfulness course. All that ‘holding things lightly’ and ‘non-striving’ may seem the very opposite of what I should tell learners preparing to sit exams. But in fact it sits well for learners of all abilities to be encouraged to do the best they can and let go of worrying about results, after all it is only an exam.

Before, when preparing for some earlier exams this year, I encouraged learners to breathe, pause before speaking and sit with feet flat on the floor to encourage confidence. Maybe I got lucky and this of course could be a mere coincidence, but they all passed.

Today was day one of invigilating week, a week that often drags. It used to bore me rigid, the non-activity of it all. This year I decided to meditate, eyes open of course, very much connected to the room and all those in it but when I felt boredom arising I focused on my breath, on my feet, I inhabited the moment and I wished the learners and a rather bossy work colleague well. All in my head of course. Boredom never hung around for long and I had it reaffirmed once more that it is precisely during those times we find difficult when it is beneficial to experiment with your awareness.

Today’s total practice time: 1 hour