Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Spirituality and children

The Spirituality and Practice website has a list of eight ways to nuture the spirituality of children. Here are three of them:
• Give thanks before you eat, not just for the food, but also for everything that contributed to your having this meal--the earth, the rain, the sun, the farmer, the store, the cook, even the cooking equipment. Gratitude is an essential spiritual practice.

• When watching television or a video, choose a favorite or interesting character and “step into the story” to see how you would act in his or her place. This exercise uses
imagination and supports compassion for others and hospitality toward the media.

• Experiment with
silence by lying on the ground for 15 minutes without saying anything. Pay attention to what you are thinking about. Then notice the reports of your senses of sight and smell. This is the practice of wonder.
I think the third practice I've listed here - the one about silence - is the most important. Children are bombarded with noise pollution most of their day. I'm so grateful for the large periods of silence that I experienced as a child. I'm sure that at least partly accounts for why I have continued to have an interest in the spiritual life.

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