No longer viewed as a discipline purely for hippies and religious types, meditation has gone mainstream.
As one of my primary self-care passions – I’m quietly excited that my children are now choosing to join me for regular meditation.
Many of you have asked how I got them into meditation practice to begin with and if I would share the process.
It all began with simple curiosity….
Meditation for kids
My daughters have been persistently interrupting my morning meditation practice for the past year.
Wondering why I was always sitting on the floor with my eyes closed they soon
insisted asked, if they could join me.
Focus on the simple art of breathing
We began by regularly spending time focused on our breathing. (Something that 90 percent of us are apparently doing wrong).
Sitting down and concentrating on your breathing is a simple way to begin meditation and something that can be easily mastered by all!
Guided meditations for short periods of time
The first few times we had a go at formal meditation – there was a lot of giggling, eye squinting and poking each other.
I set the scene by laying down a blanket on the floor and lighting some candles. For whatever reason, they soon settled into taking things more seriously.
We always do guided meditations – lead by myself, or with the help of youtube.
A quick search under ‘meditation for kids’ or ‘5 minute meditations for kids’ will yield a plethora of results.
Ground rules and expectations
The only rule we have for practicing meditation, is that participation is voluntary.
No one is required to join in, but if they choose to- they agree to sit still for the duration of our time together.
The first few weeks, we started with just two minutes. These days, we meditate for five minutes (sometimes twice daily), along with the occasional 10 minute session.
Encouraging their use of imagination and creativity
Our most enjoyable sessions involve imagining the sun on our faces, or that we are part of the sun, the stars or the sky.
Visualising bubbles is also a favourite – counting them, popping them or focusing on the way it might feel to be a bubble floating on the breeze.
We also take imaginary trips – to the beach, a park, or a favourite ‘secret spot’.
We have taken some thrilling adventures together via meditation and what never fails to impress – is how beautifully curious and creative kids can be.
Feedback and encouragement
At the end of our practice, I ask my girls individually, if they would like to share, how the experience was for them.
Sometimes they report that nothing happened. Other times they tell me a story about how they imagined they were a giant bubble or a mermaid swimming in the ocean.
Often, they remark that they don’t know what happened, other than ‘it felt good’!
White space and ritual
I hope that one day, my girls will be able to draw on some of these skills when they are alone and in need of a little extra peace.
For now, meditation is fast becoming another one of our favourite rituals.
A time for them to sit still, relax and focus on themselves.
A precious opportunity for us to be together – without an agenda.