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Can Children Meditate? And what is the best way to introduce children to Meditation? By Catherine Thomlinson

Can children meditate? And what is the best way to introduce children to meditation?

Young children are generally present, connected and ‘in the moment’. However, as modern technology, not a bad thing in itself, becomes more and more influential in children’s lives and the pressure of our modern day living exerts itself, it is evident that children are also feeling more overwhelmed, disconnected, and anxious. 
There are of course many factors to this, and I’m not suggesting that meditation is a sweeping panacea, but I have experienced how it can be a powerful, lifelong skill. Something that children relate to easily. 
A very light touch is essential…it isn’t appropriate for young children to sit for a long time and there should be absolutely no pressure. Children learn best by example and there are lots of ideas we can share with them to introduce the practice of meditation.
Simply connecting with their breathing for a few minutes, feeling their feet on the ground as they walk to school, and listening to the chime of a bell right to the very end are some good ways to start. And exploring different ways to access stillness is key. You never know what will work best at any one time. 
Recently, I was working with a small group of children who were learning about meditation with their parents. We’d had fun doing belly breathing, practising some hand yoga, and listening to all the sounds we could hear. Then I introduced a Tibetan hand bowl. Well, the impact of listening to this sound until it faded away was nothing short of miraculous. 
I felt like the Pied Piper! Until that point, the children had engaged with all the activities very enthusiastically but now they gathered quietly and closely around me, almost on my lap. It was like magic. Their attention was completely focused, and they became extremely still. I think they’ll remember that moment and that bowl for the rest of their lives! I certainly will.

Catherine Thomlinson.


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