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- Young people are naturally able to meditate.
- They have a yearning to experience the spirit within.
- Build up their self-esteem by affirmation respecting them and their contributions.
- Listen carefully to them
- Be patient with their journey
- Meet the children where they are.
- Be aware of development stages, psychological, social and spiritual.
- Remember the learning is effortless: ‘caught not taught’
- I suggest creating the following for your children:
- Importance of creating a ‘sacred space’ with icon, candle and nature treasures as focus and explain significance.
- If possible meet in a dedicated area, which will distinguish it from everything else.
- Sitting in a circle
- Quiet music playing upon entering.
- Importance of clear ways of starting and finishing the session.
- Singing Bowl as start and finish of silent period.
Use preparation as aid to becoming focussed:
There are various possibilities to be chosen according to age group and context:
- chanting (simple Taize chants) – explain difference from singing.
- awareness of breath: watching the breath, coming in cool at the nostrils and going out warm.
- relaxation exercises (See ‘The Centering Book’)
- walking meditation.
- Use stories with values, which relate to them and are appropriate to their age.
- Be aware of development age in selecting stories to meet them where they are.
- Stress that this is a slow process: regular practice is needed, as with sport and music.
Approach to the discipline:
Explain importance of paying attention.
Emphasize silence and stillness: ‘in the stillness we can just be’
Explain link of meditation with their usual way of prayer, talking and asking.
Stress meditation is ‘listening’ prayer.
Stress no thoughts, images or daydreams
. Start with 5 minutes only, then add over time one minute for each year of age.
Use ‘maranatha’ as mantra right from the beginning.
Explain the importance of being patient with themselves.
Be patient with them.
Short time for questions coming from children
No other follow-up
Simply and Fun Guided Meditation
Let's go on an adventure!
But, instead of rushing out the front door, let's go on an adventure within, to a beautiful place inside, in our thoughts ...
Lying on the bed, floor, carpet, or the lawn or beach in warm weather, stretch out on your back, arms and legs resting easily. Close your eyes, let your body go limp as a rag doll, while counting to 10 in your mind.
Lying so still and relaxed, keeping your eyes closed, walk through the inner doorway in your mind onto the beach, on a warm sunny day.
In your mind, just feel yourself standing still for a moment looking around, seeing the waves wash against the shoreline in their regular rhythms, over and over again.
While watching the regular pattern of the waves, just breathe in and out, evenly in and out, over and over again.
Watch the waves, while breathing evenly in and out.
Enjoy the relaxed feeling in your own body that is lying so limply on the bed or carpet. Feel whole and comfortable in your resting body and mind.
When enough time has passed, begin to come back to your everyday active self. Stretch out those limp arms and legs, take a deep breath, sit up.
Do you feel your new energy, all set and ready to go again!
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