Daily Schedule

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Growing Our Mindfulness Practice

This morning, the children wondered why a big basket of stuffed animals was in our room. Some immediately gravitated toward it. I stopped the students, and asked them to wait for a bit - and a stuffed animal may come to them.

Then I had everyone lie comfortably on their backs, as I took them through a short guided meditation. As I was talking, I placed a stuffed toy on their bellies, and invited the children to notice the rise and fall of their breath - how they could make the toys go up and down with each gentle inhale and exhale. They seemed to really love having a softie to hold or pet while listening and thinking.

We then did our first "metta" meditation. This is sometimes called a "loving kindness" practice. We sent good wishes to ourselves, including happiness, helpfulness, strength, and fun. We did this by silently wishing these things while holding a picture of ourselves in our minds. Then we spread these wishes outward to include someone we loved - a parent, perhaps, or our best friend. After several moments, we tried to bring someone into our minds that irritated us - someone we had complicated feelings about, or who did not always treat us well. We imagined these same good wishes to that person, too (this was harder, I think - but so powerful). Then we wished the whole world to have health, and happiness, and PEACE.

There is a different version of this that you can practice at home, perhaps during the Winter break. You can access it by clicking http://www.wellbeankidsyoga.com/blog/when-there-is-suffering-a-loving-kindness-practice-for-children.

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