Meditation for kids- Doron Lavie offers simple guidance
I asked Doron Lavie, T’ai Chi trainer and practitioner and teacher of Zen meditation, how he would introduce meditation to school children in the seventh grade. Without hesitation he outlined a simple meditation that can be done in 10 minutes, accessible to all. Here’s what he said.
Judih: Doron, How would you suggest teaching meditation to pupils in the seventh grade? Each session is to be about 10 minutes.
Doron: Work very systematically and very simply.
Harmony of the body
Harmony of the breath
Harmony of the mind
We work to harmonize each one separately and at the end they harmonize together as a whole
And when we’re in that place it’s hard to explain the experience to someone else but from within, we see the difference
We start with the physical
First, we work on the body
We begin with where we are. We feel ourselves sitting on the chair and gradually travel down the body with our imagination. We relax our face, muscles, shoulders. Working very orderly, harmonize your body. When it is all ordered and relaxed, we move on
Harmonize the breath. In a way that is very systematic. We blow out the air in the body – do a sustained “Phew” . We use the sound in a long exhalation, until it’s impossible – there’s no air left. Then we let go. And air enters by itself. We do this a few times and we enter a rhythm. When we understand the idea, we don’t push it, but just continue easy. Harmonize your breathing
Body is ordered. Breath is ordered
The next thing: We go to harmonize your mind. We cannot stop thinking. It’s very hard for us. Our mind is always actively taking us away to many things. But we can focus on one thing – that’s the closest we’ll get to ‘zero’. So the best thing to do is to count our breaths. To stay only with the breaths
The exhale is ‘ehhh‘ and the inhale is ‘one‘. (Exhaling, I think ‘ehhh‘ and inhaling, I count: one, and repeat, two, three) We will naturally lose the count, we’ll think of something we need at the store, or of a teacher, remembering something, it doesn’t matter, simply start again
This simple procedure: Harmonize body, breath and mind is very immediate, very accessible for the person to work with himself: body, breath and mind
An image to share is to think of the head as a balloon, the breath as the cord and the mind as the hand that holds onto the cord. This image helps them remember the sensations of the experience
Judih: Could I stop the meditation with a gong?
Doron: Yes, it’s possible.
Judih: I’d like to offer a suggestion that the meditation can be repeated during the day and everyday
Doron: When you do it several times, and see how simple it is, it’s very possible to do it in every situation, whenever. You got angry, frustrated, hurt. This is the time to harmonize your body, harmonize your breathing. It’s always useful
When you practice it, it immediately takes you to a better place and also offers a better place from which to act, in a more productive way
Judih: thank you, Doron