Guided Meditation for Children

moon bear

Written by Jasmine

Webmistress The Majickal Garden

 

When my daughter was young she had difficulties settling down to sleep. There was a routine we followed nightly that needed to be followed in order, for her to settle down. After teeth brushing and landing in her pajamas, the right “buddy” stuffed animal needed to be chosen as well as the story book she wanted read. Certain things in her room needed to be in their place. The door needed to be open just so to allow the proper amount of light in her room from the hall light. I know there were a few more items on her comfort list but time has removed them from my memory! If an interruption caused enough time delay or enough time passed where she could not sleep, sometimes we had to start all over again. As a busy mother of 2 sometimes this seemed to take “forever” in light of the chores I still had in front of me before I could sleep myself but I realized how important this routine was to her comfort and peace of mind.

At the time I was learning  meditation for myself and the thought occurred to me that perhaps it could help her. I found a guided meditation book for children. She was around 4 or 5 years old at the time and I explained to her how this would help her relax and feel secure on her inside. After the usual routine I had her lie on her back with the covers all tucked in around her with the buddy of her choice. With her eyes closed I talked soothingly to her in explaining to focus on her breathing slowly and to “listen” to it. Then I would read the guided meditation from the book.

At first it was funny to her and we had some giggle time to get thru but after a few times she began to settle into it. We did this nightly for quite a while then the time came where we were able to let it go until it became an option for the occasion when she would feel the need to ask for it. The need for her security list began to lessen to a few basics.

After some months of the meditation time with her I had to be away for a whole week. I knew that she would have a problem with my absence for that length of time so I made a tape of some of the meditations from the book and gave her a cassette player so she could use it at night while I was away.  Her dad was there for her while she played it. It was a success and made a difference for her.

There are many meditation age appropriate books for children available with different flavors depending on where your own beliefs lie as well as websites that offer free online streaming of recorded meditations. Choosing to purchase your own tapes is an option as well. Whatever you choose make sure they are intended for young children and that you are accompanying them while they use it.

The world can be a scary place for our precious children who are influenced by the media in its many forms along with their need for feeling loved and safe. Teaching them at an early age that they have control over their own level of comfort and feeling of security in knowing they are loved and supported is a valuable gift to offer them.

 

 

How Can I Begin Meditation?

Beginning Breathing Meditation

Written by Jasmine

Webmistress The Majickal Garden

 

When I talk to most people about meditation the first thing they say is “My mind is so busy I can’t stop thinking!” This is very normal for all of us starting out. Thinking is a natural state. It is by no means a reason to not try meditation.  All it takes is 5 minutes and a desire to try it. If you find all you can handle when you start out is a few minutes; it is a beginning not a failure! It is a practice that the more you do it the easier it gets to understand how to control your thoughts and discover a place where you can visit when you choose to relax your body, rest your mind and feed your soul. Understand there is no right or wrong and you can’t fail. Your desire to do this will carry you through the early stages along with some suggestions to help you find what works the best for you. For as long as I have been practicing there are times when a few minutes is all I can manage however I always feel better for the time I spent doing it! I will share with you what worked for me when I started.

Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for the 5 minutes. Anywhere really. I found my car a great option when I had a busy house full of active children when I first began.  I also popped into our camping trailer sometimes to find moments of peace before I was discovered.  Then I got smart and let them know that if mom was in this place, I was to be left alone unless someone was bleeding.  ; )

Sit comfortably, either in a chair or cross legged on the floor, back against an easy chair on the floor or lie down…whatever feels the most comfortable. If you can’t sit cross legged then find a position comfortable for you.  If sitting, sit up with spine straight, shoulders back and lowered naturally. If you are sitting rest your hands with palms upright comfortably in your lap. Close your eyes and begin by taking a few slow breaths inhaling/exhaling about 7 counts. Focus your mind on your breathing and be aware how your body feels as you do so. Become aware of the gentle rise and fall of your belly without altering your breathing. Notice the coolness on your nostrils as you inhale and warm as you exhale. Feel your body begin to relax.  After about 3 breaths in and out, allow you’re breathing to settle naturally. Don’t alter it – just observe it in awareness.

Thoughts will come to your mind. This is normal. Try not to respond to them as they do; as in engaging in a dialog in your head. Acknowledge the thought and try to let it pass. When I started out and a thought seemed important enough to distract me with concern I might forget it, I would keep a paper and pen beside me to jot it down briefly and let it go – returning to my meditative posture.  A suggestion for me that helped was when a nagging thought popped in my mind I would picture it as a curtain that I visualized being drawn gently to the right and let it go.   Observe without commenting with dialog in your mind and let it go. If you hear a noise as in a car passing, an airplane, or dog barking…do the same. Categorize your nagging thoughts. Can you do anything about it at that moment? No? Let them go.

Another thing that worked in the beginning, when my mind continued to wander, was as I observed my breathing I thought the words “in” and “out” with each breath. This helps focus as the mind cannot think two things at once. I noticed the more I practiced this, the calmer my mind got and as time passed I used this method less and less. Depending on my state of mind I revert back to my beginning methods to help me center myself in meditation state.

The goal here is to try for 5 minutes. If after a short time of willful intent and your mind continues to be active…give yourself a break and try another time. Know that this is your time to give your body and mind a much needed rest and refueling. There is no loss in your effort and continuing on a regular basis will only reward you with your own progress. At the very least you might notice your body has become more relaxed during these practices and this is the beginning!

Try meditating for a few minutes when you leave your job, sitting in your vehicle. Focus on leaving your workday behind, relaxing your mind. Breathe in and out slowly. Be fully aware in that moment that for those few minutes they are all yours. Allow it for yourself. You can take a few minutes as you have settled in your bed at night to practice this. Try it as soon as you awaken in the morning. This might sound odd but if you are seated on the toilet, take a few minutes for yourself to close your eyes and breathe in and out relaxation in clearing your mind! My point with that one is there is really no excuse to not find this time for you on a daily basis! With any practice where you find benefits, the continuation of practicing will become a healthy pleasant refueling need for your mind, body and spirit!

The Untethered Soul is #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List Again


Oakland, CA (PRWEB) August 26, 2013

At the beginning of 2012, a New York Times bestseller was a distant dream for New Harbinger Publications. Midway through the year, it became a reality, due to The Untethered Soul: A Journey Beyond Yourself. The book, originally published in 2007, surged after it and its author, Michael Singer, was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)s hit show, Super Soul Sunday. Since that airing, it has been on the Best Sellers list for 30 weeks and counting. When Oprah featured the book on her Good Morning America episode in October 2012, the book catapulted to #1 for the Paperback Advice and Miscellaneous category. Almost a year later, after the Super Soul Sunday episode featuring Michael Singer re-aired, The Untethered Soul has once again shot up to #1 for the week of September 1, 2013.

About The Untethered Soul

In The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, author Michael Singer explores the question of who we are and arrives at the conclusion that our identity is to be found in our consciousness the ability to observe ourselves and the world around us. The Untethered Soul taps into meditation and mindfulness traditions and shows how developing consciousness can enable all of us to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization.







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