In a world of competitive schooling, family and internal pressures, kids need meditation as much as adults. Meditation helps kids develop focus, regulate their own emotions and learn how to pay attention inside and out. It gives them a sense of center and, therefore, resilience. The real essence of meditation can be attained when one is attuned to the childlike spirit in consciousness. To create a higher consciousness, we must invest in the souls of our kids today. Introducing children to meditation and spirituality is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. It can set their future on a nourishing and creative road-map. Meditation is a process that enhances the growth of the body-mind of the child, nurtures the development of each child’s own unique personality, and supports creativity and expression. His Holiness The Dalai Lama puts it beautifully, “”If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”
Here are few kid meditation exercises to help them create calm, focus and build higher-awareness:
1. The power of sound – Invite kids to sit in a cross legged posture and let their eyes close. Ring a soft bell or singing bowl, and ask kids to use their sense of hearing to explore the sound. Ask them to listen very carefully. Without making any effort, tell kids to simply relax the senses and practice deep breathing. Let them simply ‘be’ in the aura of sound. This exercise will build the calming power in kids.
2. The essence of mantra – Mantra is a powerful syllable attuned to give oneself a higher experience of awareness. Young kids can start with the sacred Gayatri mantra chanting for 10 minutes a day. One can follow the affirmations or the sacred words from any religion they practice. The key is to get kids start the practice of connecting with the divine self. Mantra can be chosen by a qualified spiritual guide and must be instructed as per the kids’ visionary aura.
3. The Universe of breathing – Breathing is the most significant element of our consciousness. Your breath is always with you. Learning to check in to it from an early age is a major tool. Try “take 5 breath” where you inhale for five, and exhale for five. Use your fingers to count as you breathe. Slowing your breath will slow down your mind. Practicing conscious breathing will help your child grow into a soul of awareness.
4. The Art of witnessing – Sitting quietly, pay attention to your inhale and exhale. When thoughts or feelings come up, think of them like clouds passing through your mind, which is like the sky. You can watch the clouds come and go just like you can watch clouds in the sky move and shift in their shapes. Kids may not sit too long, but just introducing this concept is a great preparation for adult meditation. And the awareness that things are always changing and things do pass is important to share and practice observing with kids.
Above all, YOU must meditate before teaching the kids. Kids don’t do what parents teach. Kids do what parents do. Hence, the best practice is the setting of an example by devoting time to your meditation on a daily basis. Kids will simply follow you after they see you meditating everyday. By having your kids to meditate, you are contributing to the global consciousness!