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Contemplation per Theravada Buddhist-Based mindfulness for schoolteachers in Sri Lanka

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Kongala Paññāloka




Doctor of Buddhist Ministry


Gauthier, Jitsujo
Gabriel, Victor
Woods, Nathan D.


The purpose of this study was to see how contemplation in the context of Theravada Buddhist teachings benefit schoolteachers to reduce burnout and improve well-being in their daily lives. Research on schoolteachers’ burnout in Sri Lanka has been carried out for different purposes. No research has attempted to investigate Theravada contemplation to address burnout and stress in Sri Lankan school instructors’ daily lives. This study explored the utility of contemplation per Theravada teachings to see whether it can help schoolteachers to reduce their burnout. It examined how often school instructors were able to use mindfulness in their daily activities.

This research was conducted online through meditation sessions, conversations, questionnaires, and participant observation. This research recruited twenty-four schoolteachers from two districts in Sri Lanka. Participants practiced contemplative listening, walking, body scan, and sitting during the eight-week online meditation sessions. In every session, a 15-minute guided meditation was offered with instructions on how to stay mindful on the object of meditation. This was followed by a 15-minute silent meditation and 10-minute Grounding Exercise. Participants’ anxiety, stress, mindfulness levels, and well-being were assessed using validated psychological scales before and after the test period. The WSPT Teacher Stress Scale, the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, and the Beck Anxiety Inventory were used in the research. Meanings associated with "contemplation" and "mindfulness" in Theravada Buddhist meditation were explained in reference to the Theravada canonical texts.

Results showed a notable decrease in stress and an increase in mindfulness among the participants after the eight-week meditation. Schoolteachers learned how to improve positive qualities to regulate their daily behavior. Participants benefited from using this as a form of relaxation to help them stay calmer and alert in everyday situations. This study helped schoolteachers to increase their awareness in daily actions. This research might benefit school children and parents even if they did not participate in the study. This research was helpful in filling the gaps by incorporating contemplation as a form of Theravada Buddhist-based mindfulness to address stress and burnout among Sri Lankan school instructors.

Degree Granter

University of the West



Library Holding

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