Bella & I have started to do a short mindfulness meditation with pebbles or shells every night before bed, it helps Bella make sense of the stresses and conflicts that she sometimes faces at home/school/in her mind and it helps me to believe that I am capable of meeting my responsibilities with love.
We first discovered this meditation from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, the modern day Apostle of peace and nonviolence, sometimes we practice using a video with one of his monks and sometimes we make it up as we go along creating our own version.
This meditation helps us to remember that we are part of the earth and we are made of many elements, emotions and moods. The meditation also helps us both to take responsibility for the way we are being in the world, allowing us to wipe the slate clean every night and enter the new day fresh like a flower, strong like a mountain, clear like water and full of space. This moment together also helps us to bond and love one another unconditionally.
What do you need?
4 pebbles, shells, stones, crystals - something that holds the energy of the earth within it.
1. Sit comfortably and try not to worry about your little one(s) fidgeting, just make sure you feel grounded and calm and that will have a soothing effect on them.
2. Ask the children to bring their hands into prayer position and repeat the magic yoga word together 'namaste'. If you feel comfortable, children love to chant OM 3 times and SHANTI 3 times, it is OK to laugh and have fun with this.
3. Explain that you are going to do a special meditation and that as human beings we have lots and lots of layers just like onions do; while sometimes we may feel very happy, other times we may feel very sad and this meditation will help us to know that every feeling is OK and natural.
4. Close your eyes and smile and listen to the silence.
5. Take the first pebble in your hand and imagine this pebble is a flower.
Suggested words- Sometimes throughout our day we get very busy and tired, sometimes we may feel dry but it is important for us to remember we are FRESH, just like a flower. Please repeat - I am fresh, I am a flower.
6. Smile and enjoy the silence.
7. Take the second pebble in your hand and imagine this pebble is a mountain.
Suggested words - Just like a strong and stable mountain we remember that we are strong and we are stable. We are strong for our families, our friends and so that we can do all our jobs well with love. Please repeat - I am strong, I am stable, I am a mountain.
8. Smile and enjoy the silence.
9. Take the third pebble in your hand and imagine this pebble is water.
Suggested words- Just like water we understand that sometimes the waves in the ocean can be big and busy but underneath the waves, there is always an eternal ocean of calm. Please repeat - I am an ocean of calm, I am water.
10. Smile and enjoy the silence.
11. Take the fourth pebble in your hand and imagine this pebble is space.
Suggested words- We all need space, our families need space, we need space, space helps us to remember who we are. Please repeat - I am space I feel space, space.
12. Smile and enjoy the silence.
13. It is really nice to end the meditation by saying a big thank you to the children for meditating with you and to tell them that they are loved unconditionally. Namaste.