"Indigo Dreaming: Meditations for Children" Sample
Written by Amy Hamilton
Author’s Note 9
I have found that the term “meditation” can cause an array of interesting responses and is associated with many pre-conceived ideas and misconceptions. This may be due to lack of knowledge or fear of the unknown. Meditation is not exclusive to any one philosophy or religion. It is not just for the “New Age”, nor is it confined to Buddhist monks sitting on a mountain in complete silence.
Meditation is fun. It is enjoyable, relaxing and anyone can do it. I believe meditation is a powerful tool for children to learn. This book is intended to be a simple introductory guide to meditation and relaxation using visualisation. Visualisation is a technique that is very suited to young children and helps to stimulate the imagination and supports expression and creativity. It is intended that children have experiences and adventures that have no boundaries or denomination. The worlds of myth, fantasy, tradition and imagination are all explored in a fun way.
There have been many books written on meditation, and many suggestions on how to define and teach it to children. How it is taught and defined relies on what you, as a parent or teacher, feel comfortable with. The definitions and explanations in this book are basic as they relate to children and a guide only. I have taught children and practised meditation for over a decade. I have seen the reactions and responses. This book is based on the successful experiences I have had teaching children and being a student of meditation myself.
Meditation and the use of affirmations have played a huge part in my life and I now teach it to my three children. They continue to amaze me every day with their growth and insight.
I hope you and your children enjoy the adventures.
As a young child, I would create imaginary worlds in my grandparents’ garden. I would create tropical hideaways, dress up in old clothing and go on amazing adventures on my beach towel. I would spend hours exploring the bush near my house and spend hot nights lying at the beach staring at the stars and enjoying the cool ocean.
Unfortunately, many children are not able to experience childhoods as in the past. Our world has changed dramatically and it is not as safe as the one in which I spent my childhood. Today’s world is defined by stress and overwhelming external stimulation. Children are exposed to disturbing images, negative concepts and manufactured characters in the multi-media. Mobile phones, the internet, television and computer games are standard in our society. Communication has become less personal with text messages and email. The news constantly reports increases in childhood obesity and, more and more, children are being diagnosed with depression, ADHD, and learning disorders.
Children are precious, they are the adults of tomorrow and can make a huge difference in the way society behaves and reacts. Children have very receptive minds and, if we can teach children how to meditate from a young age, we are providing them will a tool they can use throughout their lives. Meditation allows children to enjoy magical experiences and go on breathtaking adventures. It teaches children the skills to relax their mind and body. Meditation allows them to safely go places and do things that may not be possible in everyday life. It allows children to be creative and use their minds without external stimulation.
Imagine a child who can problem-solve by visualising the outcome, or a child who takes a deep breath and calms down before responding to a situation. The meditations in this book aim to teach young children the skills to quiet their mind, focus their attention and to visualise so that when they are ready, they can successfully meditate on their own.
Why is Meditation Important for Children?
Who can use this Book?
Parents, grandparents, guardians, caregivers, teachers and health professionals such as counsellors and nurses can use this book. It is easy to read and simple to use. It can be used in a class setting, at home or in one-on-one counselling sessions. Whilst the book is predominantly aimed at 5-12 year-olds, I have seen younger children, teenagers and adults all enjoy the meditations.
For ease of reading, I have referred to Parent/Teacher or Child/Children throughout the text. Italics are used for all spoken parts to alert the reader and to enable the meditation to flow.
Benefits for Parents/Caregivers:
Benefits for Teachers/Health Professionals:
How to use this Book: Introduction to Meditation
Before starting meditation for the first time, it is a good idea to run through some of the following activities with your child.
Breathing is a very important part of the relaxation and focusing process. Ask the child to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth. You can practise with them until they get used to it. Make them take long, slow deep breaths. You can count in, two, three, four and out, two, three, four. Let the child watch their stomach rise and fall and listen to the breath. They can even place an object or their hands on their stomach to feel the breath. You can ask the child to count 10 breaths as a warm-up. Breath awareness helps to focus the childs attention within themself.
To read more, please buy Indigo Dreaming: Meditations for Children