(Originally published in 2017 on www.sfk.org)
I want my kids to love meditation, just like I do.
My heart knows the importance of guiding them to become aware of their secret, magical, True Voice inside yet when I have tried conventional meditation techniques with them, like “close your eyes and focus on your breath” it just hasn’t worked. In truth it becomes a challenging fight, to get them to sit still and meditate.
But I just couldn’t give up!
So I had 2 thoughts:
1. Since scientific research shows us that from the age of 6-12, normal children’s brainwaves naturally accelerate to a state called ALPHA (Alpha is the same state that an adult can achieve through meditation & daydreaming), do we need to actually “get” them to meditate if they are already in alpha?
2. What if I could help them to focus in and use the meditative tools of visualization that I loved, and still had fun with them at the same time? Could I invent “games” that helped them naturally tap into their awareness?
I was eager to try it out and create games to play with them. I brainstormed, thinking about safe spaces for them to play, relax and gently become aware and try out meditative tools. So together we formed “Meditation Games” to share with you.
Our first “game” started with the running water of their bath, as we turned it on, for a few precious moments we closed our eyes and tried to focus our attention on the sounds, and how they made us feel. After a long silence my son who is 8, announced that he heard waterfalls and began to describe why waterfalls were created so all the animals living in the forests could “survive and stuff”. Then, my 6 year old began to rhythmically sing the beautiful sounds he heard that his bath water was sharing with him. And me, well I slowly watched those cleansing waters pour from the faucet but all I could hear was my children.
It was as if through the sounds of their bath running, I heard their shining souls sharing and connecting.
Next, I brought in the second game, it was time to turn the lights off and…. Light a candle!
I stood up and flipped the switch off. As the room went dark I stumbled a bit, we shared a giggle, and I struck a small match, which magically lit up a slim, white candle and I asked my children to describe the colors they saw.
As I listened and learned, their conversation sounded something like this:
“I see blue. Blue!”
“I see a little bit of pink!”
“Yea, me too, at the bottom, of the bottom.”
“I see a little bit of yellow.”
“There is obviously yellow, and there is a great amount of white if you look closely”
“Like a flashing light, it’s like one of those things that is green and spinning around and around it’s green.”
“I’m trying to blow it out”
“It’s going like this, but it’s actually going like this, like a police siren”
“I see colors too, do you Mom?”
As I write this, remembering back to experience the scene, I relive my excitement to hear them, to hold onto every word they shared, to listen to them. I discovered through them all that I desired to learn about how to experience meditation with kids, and how to share this experience with others who are interested to slowly try to incorporate this priceless gift into their families as well.
Looking back I am realizing that as I was playing the “meditation games” with them, I was invited into their sacred world and for a few priceless minutes, I got lost there.
Share you meditation games experiences in the comments..