To introduce children to sitting meditation you are going to be the model to emulate.This is a wonderful way to empower children. Also, it's been shown that meditation helps with ADD and ADHD so this is one more tool for helping children with attention problems.
Everyone sit in a circle with you on a carpet or blanket, facing in to the center, with legs crossed in; hands clasped resting in their lap.
Next, ask the children to copy your special breathing. First explain what you are going to do such as: "We are going to breathe in and out evenly like a little puppy does while taking a nap. On the first count we breathe in (model the in breath), and on the second count we breathe out (model the out breath). Let's all try the even breathing now (let everyone try 3 sets of evenly spaced in and out breathing)."
Try to gear your explanations of the benefit of even breathing to the age group.
If your children are at least school age explain that even breathing like this calms them down when they are stressed or angry. And, that it is a good practice to use that no one else will even know they are doing - it is like their own first aid kit for regaining calm and control of themselves.
If you are working with preschoolers explain that even breathing, like a little puppy resting, also gives them a rest and time to feel better when they have been upset or crying.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Children and meditation
I'm often asked about teaching meditation to children. This morning I found an interesting article about just that. It's called "How to Teach Kids Sitting Meditation" and here's an excerpt: