By Susan (Shuchi) Helene Kramer
Here are some ways kids can benefit from learning meditation techniques:
1. Learning even, regular breathing gives instant stress relief on a moment’s notice. The regular even breathing is a bridge that ties body to mind; when breathing is made regular it calms the physical body.
2. Following the sequence within a meditation develops memory and the ability to concentrate, which carries over into school work.
3. Longer meditations give the body and mind time to deeply relax and center.
4. I found in teaching, that active or hyperactive kids moving in rhythm with the group, such as in walking meditation, derive a calming effect.
5. Meditation is non-competitive, and each can participate within the limits of their own ability, with adaptations if needed, or by working with a partner.
6. Meditation can be done individually or in a group setting and it does not need a special place to practice.
7. Beginning meditation practice in childhood sets up a lifetime habit for a way to handle stress, and as the child matures spiritual qualities can be added to meditate upon, such as kindness, loving, honesty, compassion.
8. Developing the discipline to sit still for meditation carries over into learning how to sit and concentrate to work out a problem or do school work.
9. Meditation practice develops strength of character, as the child learns about virtuous living by thinking over the qualities of each virtue.
10. Meditation can help a child learn to think for themselves, and determine a best course of action by reflecting on possible solutions.
11. If the child is being raised in a particular religion, the quiet time of meditation is a chance to reflect on the spiritual lesson for the day.
12. Meditation is a positive activity that can be an example to a child’s friends of a way to handle stress and work out problems.
13. Meditation feels good because a calm mind and relaxed body generate feelings of harmony.
14. As kids grow up and meditation deepens feelings of joy awaken within, and can be shared in daily living through caring actions, making meditation a win-win activity.
Susan Helene Kramer (Shuchi) has been a devotee of Sri Gurudev Swami Satchidananda and a Yoga practitioner since 1976. She is the mother of 5 and writes on practical spirituality, dance, family and social issues. Her books are listed at her web site: Susankramer.com