Everyday Meditation – for Children as well
Across the planet, meditation has been practised for thousands of years, often as a part of a
spiritual or religious tradition. Leaving out this fact (with all due respect), meditation is simply a peaceful introverted way of practising attention.
Research has documented that the effects of meditation show up only after a short period of practising. People who meditate live longer and experience
- A better overview of everyday life
- More energy
- Greater freedom from expectations
- Deeper compassion
People who practice meditation often cannot stop doing it, simply because it makes them feel so well.
Thoughts and feelings are extraordinary events, unavoidable and fundamental to our lives. At the same time they can be annoying. A simple explanation of the positive effects of meditation may be that this peaceful and resting state reduces the pressure on mind and body, and thereby facilitates the self-healing physiological processes in the mind and body. Meditation also reinforces the production of ‘wellness drugs’ in the body and mind.
People who practise meditation intensively are able to control autonomic body reactions (blood pressure, heart rate and so on) in situations of severe stress. Many top athletes use meditation/mental training.
Mindfulness is a modern kind of everyday meditation that has become quite widespread. Mindfulness is valuable in prevention and treatment of stress. Meditation can also help people who are caught in addiction. A drug addict who had learned to meditate said: “This is a better fix than heroin”.
Several elements of the Resilience Programme can be experienced as everyday meditation without religion. For instance playing with the house of thoughts, the story of a mind-train, mind-games, the attention – spotlight of the brain and breathing.
Learn and read
If you want to go deeper into learning meditation, you can of course look for a course or read books. For example Professor David Fontana’s straightforward book ‘Learn to meditate’ and Stephan Bodian’s book ‘Meditation for Dummies’. David Fontana has also written a book, together with psychologist Ingrid Slack, on meditation for children. It is a fine introduction to the subject and very useful for adults as well. The Institute of Noetic Sciences has published a very comprehensive source of research knowledge on meditation. Many good books on the topic of meditation and mindfulness exist and a variety of courses are offered in many countries.
Be aware that books as well as teachers may be part of a more or less defined ‘school’, in which the practice of meditation is mixed with beliefs and rituals from the cultural foundation of the specific ‘school’. It is essential that you find a form of meditation that feels right for you, your temperament and your outlook on life.
Some people find it useful to meditate in company, while others are more comfortable practising meditation on their own. Neither of these choices is more right or wrong than the other. It’s beneficial to practice meditation in more or less the same way every day – like a ritual. In the same way as teeth brushing is a daily hygiene ritual, meditation can be seen as a mental cleaning ritual for your mind.
Once an old teacher of meditation was asked: “How do I learn to meditate?”. He answered: “Begin – and keep on doing it”.