Monday, January 18, 2010

Thank you Dr. King

The kids and I did this meditation today to reach out to the people (and for my kids, the children specifically) of Haiti. Even if meditation feels a little hokey to you, I would recommend trying it. Here's how we do it:

I have my kids bring a favorite pillow and get comfortable anywhere in the room (it's an audio meditation, so you only need to be able to listen). Then I give them a little coaching about how to pray (we pray, you could "send love" "send compassion" "send hope" etc.) if the meditation gets boring. This is usually something as simple as, "Please help the children in Haiti not be hungry..." or "Thank you for all the doctors and nurses in Haiti, please help them do their jobs..."

Then I start the meditation (it's less than 10 minutes long). When it's finished, I sit quietly until someone talks...then a minute or two of talking takes place - not too much - and we return to our regularly scheduled day. My kids have said they feel peaceful, that they think of more people than just people from Haiti, that they think about Jesse James, that they imagine the yellow light is a star, that they're bored, that they feel warmth...the whole gamut. I don't define it or expand on it - they just say what they will.

When I think of Dr. King, I always imagine him engaged - fully engaged. That's why I picked the picture above - there's no crowd, he's not preaching, but you can tell he's connected, he's reaching. And this is what I think this meditation can do for our kids - it can teach them the importance of staying engaged, even when they may feel completely powerless to a situation in their community, or a devastation thousands of miles away.

It can help teach them empathy, it might lead to daydreams about how to make the world better, it might empower them, and in too-many-to-mention ways, it just may help them walk in the world as people who desire to make a difference. xo

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