Guest Post: The One and Only Zen Gift to Give your Children

This week’s guest post is by Carole Fogarty, author of www.thehealthylivinglounge.com!

If you had to choose just one gift, one piece of wisdom to leave with your children what would it be?

Over the years I have reflected on this question many, many times. Asking what is the one observation in life that I know for sure will offer a helpful guiding path through any confusing, unsure or turbulent times to my children and carry them through to adulthood.

It needs to be something simple and something my intuition screams yes that’s it.
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It was only after a brief encounter lying in a hospital bed for around 5 hours ( I think it was the fear and illness around me that triggered the answer) that I wrote pages and pages of clear concise notes on the necessity to teach my children the lost art of stillness.

My gift to my children will be to teach them how to rest in stillness. If my children are able to tap into their own well of stillness then all solutions, comfort, reassurance and guidance will be offered. Untainted truth lies in stillness.

Why stillness?

* Stillness is the quiet place inside where the mind doesn’t interfere or confuse you.
* You can tap into it anywhere, anytime any place
* No resources or money are needed just the intention
* Stillness offers a clear connection to your intuition
* Stillness allows big problems all of a sudden seem small
* Stillness creates the space so you can disconnect from the chaos around you
* Stillness releases any stress and agitation
* Simple solutions often arrive easily when resting in stillness
* You feel connected to something greater than yourself when experiencing stillness
* You know that you are never alone
* You nurture yourself and offer your body, mind and soul deep peaceful rest
* You learn the valuable skill of letting go and moving forward by resting in stillness
* You will see a situation that is bothering you far more clearly when resting in stillness
* Most importantly you feel comfortable being alone with yourself for a while

How to introduce stillness to children in a simple yet fun way:

Zen practice allows deep relaxation and tranquility to be experienced. It teaches you to strip away the mental padding of negativity and over thinking.

For children a simple guided meditation that they can relate too in a fun way and totally absorb their imagination into allows for all other things to fall away. They find themselves resting in stillness focused on the theme of the guided mediation. It may be I am calm, I am rested, I am patient, I sleep beautifully or I am safe.

It’s through my research of wanting meditation taught at my children’s local school that I found a mentor for teaching children meditation; the awesome Amy Hamilton. Amy has a Diploma of teaching, Bachelor of Education and Post graduate diploma of health promotion, Diploma of healing arts, an accredited children’s meditation facilitator and trains teachers and adults on how to teach children to meditate. She is also trained in reiki, crystal therapy and as an angel intuitive by Doreen Virtue.

I’ve been using her book on guided meditations for my two younger boys (aged 9 and 11) with great success.

I recently spoke with Amy and here is what she has to say about introducing guided meditation to your children or students:

Be patient and don’t set your expectations too high (thinking that you will have your children sitting or lying perfectly still) like any new skill, meditation takes practice.

1. Don’t expect too much at the start
2. Be relaxed and calm yourself
3. Keep your language and instructions simple
4. Let them participate voluntarily
5. Make it fun and enjoyable
6. Explain to your children how good it is for them-they love hearing that it improves memory, helps them to concentrate etc
7. I always tell children it is like exercising their brain

Make it fun and short:

Following is a brief version of a great meditation that Amy has created which is an absolute winner with my nine year old. He thinks the magic pyramid is a very cool meditation. It normally takes no more than 3-5 minutes and I always allow my son plenty of time to linger in the meditation.

You imagine yourself sitting inside a pyramid. The air inside is warm you feel very calm and relaxed and there is no sound. You breathe in and out and feel the quiet in your body. Feel the quiet spread with each breathe until it fills the whole pyramid. It is serene and still. You say in my mind I am quiet ……. I am quiet………I am quiet.

Include all learning styles in each mediation:

Some children are visual learners. This means they will relate better to the meditation if there is a good description of what the pyramid looks like in their minds eye.

Some children are kinesthetic learners which means they would need to know what it feels like inside the pyramid.

Some children are auditory learners which means they respond well to words and sounds. A guided meditation is perfect for them.

What I notice with all Amy’s 49 guided meditations is that they cater for all learning styles. This makes it very easy for the meditation to speak to your child in their special way.

Choose a meditation that appeals to their imagination:

An important ingredient, I believe, is to choose only those meditations which you know will capture your child’s imagination. What works for one child may not work for another. It is for this reason that Amy has offered 49 different meditation stories to appeal to all.

Some of the meditations are:

Sleeping cloak: Affirmation box: Bubble bath: Circle of light: Clouds: Crystal bed: Snow city: Shining star: Super hero: Tree house: Secret cave: Wizards Potion:

Get started now:

Perhaps the easiest way to start introducing stillness and meditation to your children is to include it as part of their bed time ritual. If you need help creating your own guided meditation then there is no better place to start than Amy Hamilton’s Indigo Dreaming – Meditations for Children book or audio CD. There are links below if you are thinking of buying the book or CD.
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Indigo Dreaming: A Book of Meditations for Children

Indigo Dreaming: Meditations for Children

Thank you Carole! Be sure to check out her awesome blog:
www.thehealthylivinglounge.com

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