A Lesson On How To Effectively Introduce Meditation To Children and Youth.
What They Think…
Young minds LOVE to participate in experiments! They also love water and colours. Making predictions is fun for kids too. Combine all of these features and your little ones will be engaged in learning about their minds, thoughts, emotions and feelings and how to effectively manage them within minutes.
What You Know…
While psychology may pass over the heads of children and youth, this experiment will allow these young minds to comprehend the connection between their minds, thoughts, emotions, and feelings. The jar and the sand are a great metaphor for how busy our minds can become and how easily we can work towards settling them again.
This activity is the perfect introduction to Meditations For Young Minds. In fact, it is the exact experiment that I use in my own classroom, at the beginning of each school year, to teach this beautiful lifelong skill. Children and youth need a foundation for the practice of meditation. They need to understand why they are doing it and how it benefits them. We can’t just ask kids to take our word for it. Kids often crave the purpose behind an activity; this activity will surely give students a detailed purpose for learning meditation.
TRY IT! Then Tell Me If You Wish Your Teacher Had Taught It!
* Mason Jar or clear jar with a lid
* A few tablespooons of sand (I prefer sand that is coloured – creates a better effect!)
* A spoon
* Half a cup of water
1. Fill the Mason Jar about halfway with water and hold it up for the intended audience to see.
2. Explain that this jar of water represents the mind. Ask students to offer adjectives to describe the appearance of the mind. They will often respond with words like: clear, still, transparent, calm, peaceful, clean etc.
3. Now take a handful or tablespoon(s) of coloured sand and equate this sand to ones thoughts. Each grain of sand is representitive of an emotion, thought, projection, or feeling (these could be joyful and these could be worrisome).
4. Sprinkle the sand (emotions, thoughts, projections and feelings) into the jar of water (the mind). Shake the mason jar until it looks rather chaotic – almost like a hurricane inside the jar.
5. Repeat Step 2, asking the audience to make a new list of adjectives that describe what the ‘mind’ now looks like. They will often respond with words like: messy, busy, unstill, chaotic, blurry, swirly, fast etc.
6. Take time now to discuss how our minds might get this way in daily life. Explain that all of our thoughts, emotions, projections and feelings get stored inside the mind and often end up floating around, in a chaotic manner, unless we find a strategy for organizing them in a peaceful way.
7. At this point, I usually love to play a meditation track. I ask kids to settle into a quiet and comfortable spot and to close their eyes. I leave the jar resting on a flat ledge while we meditate. If you are need of a suitable meditation for this activity, please follow this link: http://www.newageteacher.com/buy-cd/
8. Once the meditation has come to an end, students open their eyes and we resume our conversation together. Over the course of the meditation, the coloured sand will have settled onto the bottom of the jar. Again, ask your audience to offer adjectives. We should now arrive at the conclusion that our thoughts, feelings, projections and emotions have quietly settled. We can explain that this is what meditation accomplishes.
9. As an extension to this lesson, students/children/youth may be given the opportunity to create their own meditation jar. They will require the same materials as above. This jar may be used during each of their own meditations, as a reminder of what they have accomplished in their minds during that period of quiet and calm.