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Guided Meditation for Children
By Ven. S.MSujano

Meditation is our time. It is for us. Inspire children to practice at least few minutes every day or on the table before eating or before going to bed. Free from any electronic devices and finding or creating a special place for meditation. 

Guide children to speak with parents and not to disturb while meditating. Parents on the other hand should encourage children to practice almost every day and promise of non-distraction.

Meditation will help their concentration and understand their own behaviours, emotions, and feelings. It will also help children to extend their love and compassion to oneself and with other.

In here, meditation for children includes in four steps;
1. Relaxing the body
2. Deep breathing
3. Productive activity 
4. Concentration of the mind



1. Relaxing the body

These are some of the practices that one can guide children to follow. You can add any detail as you wish to let them engage with the practice.

a. Practicing some stretching, or yoga exercises will be recommended. 
b. Let the children stretch the body part, to right and left, lean back, and bend forward, and let the body finds relax posture. 
c. Stretching leg one at a time and stretching toes as far as one can and bending toes in before relaxing legs. 
d. Sound meditation also can be introduced. Basically, having a gong or a bell. As you hid a bell, let children close their eyes and follow the sound of the bell until it fades. Repeat it no more than 3 times.



2. Deep Breathing

Breathing practice is the best way to keep children engaged and there are loads of technique available. Some of the techniques are here for guiding children to build habit of meditation up. 
Let the children set straight (cross legged on the floor is ideal, it helps children free from other objects contact). 
Keep the body straight and imagining a string pulling from the roof. Leave right hand on to the left.

Let the children close their eyes and be respectful to oneself and to others and practice deep breathing for few moments. 

First practice:

a. Take a breath in up to belly full. hold the breath and count up to three before releasing breath out.
b. As you breath out, let children breathing all air out from belly completely and let remained empty and count up to three before taking a breath in.

Second practice: 

This practice is to deal with emotions and feelings, which helps children to connect with positive feelings and avoid negative emotions. 
First part will be practicing with positive feelings. Take a long breathing in and imagine a fresh energy and spreading throughout the body.

a. Imagine a Love of mother along with breathing in and spreading that love throughout the body.
b. Imagine a joy and peace (can add any positive thoughts) along with breathing in and spreading that love throughout the body.

B. As you breath out imagine unhappiness coming out through your nose and leaving your body and disappearing in the air completely. 
a. Imagine any negative feelings and emotions, such as sadness, boredom, anger etc. along with breathing out letting them out from body and disappearing in the air completely. 


3. Productive activity

Children likes to imagine and play with it along with their practice. As a parent or coach, guide meditation through imagination.

1.    Imagine tree leaf moving when you take breath in through nose. Feel the smile of tree. Breath out through mouth blowing the tree to feel your connecting.
2.    Imagine see wave coming closer to you as you breath in through nose. Feel the ocean is embressing you. Breath out through mouth and let the wave back to ocean.
3.    Imagine your pet/dog/cat sitting next to you and feel their breath coming in and out together with your breath slowly. 
4.    Breath in pulling flower from your garden, notice resistance from flower playfully and blow out through mouth shaking the flower.
5.    Imagine you are sitting with your mother/father/brother/sister/granddad/mum and taking fresh air from the sky along with them.


4. Concentration of the mind

Pay attention to the tips of nose and noticing air touching your nose. Where do you feel air touching ? How do you feel? 
When you take a breath in notice air touching your nose. 

a.    Along with breathing in and out, let children feel sensation in their body, Sensation of heat, cold or tightness and let them experience and work with those sensations. 
b.    Embrace the body with loving-heart. As one embraces the body through the heart let them observe a love and caring for oneself. Going through main body parts and embracing with love and compassion. 


Sunset Flower

End with Loving Kindness Meditation

First part of the practice to dedicate to themselves. 
Let them touch different parts of the body and appreciate of it, such as touch a head and say, thank you my head for letting me think etc. 
Second part is for other, which begin by thinking of father and mother and thanking for their care. 

May all being be happy.

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