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Last Updated: Monday, 30 June, 2003, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Meditation lessons for pupils
Buddhist monk Thubten
Buddhist monk Thubten: 'Stress is the new illness'
School children in Cardiff have been getting to grips with a new kind of lesson - in how to de-stress.

Pupils at three secondary schools in the city have been having lessons in meditation from a visiting monk.

It is part of a project by a new Buddhist charity - Ropka - which has set up in the city.

Cardiff High, Whitchurch and Fitzalan School pupils have all had a visit from a visiting Buddhist monk called Thubten.

He has been introducing a sense of calm in the classroom by getting the children to meditate.

Thubten, a former actor, turned to meditation when he found himself suffering from health problems.

Buddhist monk Thubten  in a classroom
The monk has been helping pupils concentrate on their breathing

"Everyone is stressed - stress is the new illness," he said.

"And so the work that we do through Ropka in Cardiff is to help people find the root of the stress and let people tame the mind."

Pupils at Fitzalan School who have taken part in the meditation lessons have been enthusiastic.

"It was really good, really relaxing," said one pupil.

"We're all stressed - sometimes you have to do something to stop the stress," said another.


Head of RE at the school Phil Williams said some of the Year 7 and 8 pupils who had taken part in the meditation sessions had tried out the techniques for themselves.

"We don't often get a Buddhist visitor to the school - especially not a Buddhist monk," he said.

"The pupils were all very attentive during Thubten's two visits."

Ropka is a Tibetan world meaning help and the charity currently operates in 19 countries around the world.

As well as schools, the charity is hoping to expands its meditation sessions into other areas - including hospitals, prisons and businesses.

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