Meditation

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If you have ever participated in any sort of mindfulness training, chances are you have had some exposure to meditation. In the mainstream, meditating seems to have become more Westernized, tied more so to health than to religious or spiritual practice. Meditation is the practice of focusing one’s mind for a period; stepping back from the mind to place oneself in the now, clearing thoughts of the past and future, and relieving the mind of all thought. Meditation is most commonly practiced in a quiet, relaxed setting while seated or lying down. It is commonly used to relieve stress and to refocus the mind on goals or tasks. For children, this a bit of a complex subject—not based on the results meditation can offer a child, but more regarding its practicality, as being still for long periods of time is not something that most young children are comfortable doing.

 

For adults, clearing the mind poses a great challenge as we struggle to release thoughts of responsibilities, To-Do Lists, and anything else that causes us stress. This is not usually the case for a child; their minds are constantly traveling between the world of experience, the world of imagination, and the world of the now. Their ability to gaze through the eye of wonder helps them to be completely open to each moment without attempting to divine what might be coming next. They are present and learn with each new experience. Therefore, children are naturally capable of reaching a meditative state without the need for stillness or silence. So, while I welcome the idea of their sitting in Lotus position and closing their eyes, I also support the idea that there is no one way for children to meditate.

There are many practices that are not widely viewed as forms of meditation, yet have been used as such for many, many years. Tai Chi, for example, is performed while in a meditative state, yet it’s considered a martial art and used to promote healing. Yoga is also a form of moving meditation that is often simply viewed as exercise. The concept of moving meditation is certainly not new.

So, when deciding how best to encourage your child’s meditative practices, trusting your child’s intuition is a great place to start. You can explain what allowing your mind to drift into the now feels like and let them organically develop a practice that works best for them. This will help them enjoy the process versus feeling forced into it. As they grow and become able to connect to their bodies more efficiently, incorporating different forms of meditations can be helpful to them in developing their preferred techniques and helping them to achieve balance.

https://www.headspace.com/meditation/kids

Meditating For Kids

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