Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
A Soothing Blanket of Sleep
Guided imagery has been an especially effective tool in alleviating many kinds of sleep disturbances. When children and adolescents have difficulty sleeping at night, imagery can offer a soothing and comforting way to drift off into dreams. Children discover their own solutions by using tools such as meeting a wise 'animal' friend for advice or receiving a special gift to help fall asleep.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Mallika's Chopra's post on www.Intent.com about the TM movement and children's meditation touched my heart and reminded me how I've been quietly helping children meditate for the past 25 years, not calling it "meditation." At least not till recently. Because when I started in the inner city schools in Los Angeles, it was not possible to mention the word meditate. Knowing the positive power of the breath, and following my own Eastern practice, instead I taught the "balloon breath," which of course is a basic form of meditation. "It's the way in" one young child informed me. The way in to the vast inner world that awaits each of us when we slow down and connect to our core wisdom.
Here's a sample script from my forthcoming book, The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success (Perigee/Penguin NY, August 4, 2009). I find that a child as young as four can learn this. I often start with three balloon breaths eyes opened, followed by three balloon breaths eyes closed. Slowly work your way up to a minute, then add another minute every two weeks till you reach five minutes. And if you find you're wanting more, lots of variations will be found in the book - or perhaps in another post.
“Imagine blowing up a balloon. Then picture letting the air out slowly, until the balloon goes flat. Can you see it? In a minute, we’re going to pretend your stomach is a balloon. You’re going to take a deep breath in, all the way down to your lower belly, hold it for a few seconds, then let it go gently.
“Get ready by putting your hands on your belly, about two inches below your bellybutton. Good.
“Now, take a few minutes to think about your breathing. Take a slow deep breath. Feel it going in and out… in and out. That’s right. Breathe slowly so your belly and your hands rise and fall. Good.
“Let’s breathe in even slower – to the count of one…two…three.
“Now breathe out just as slowly…one…two…three.
“Take a few minutes to practice…
“When you’re ready, pay attention to your hands and your feet. Where are they? What are they touching?
“Now open your eyes slowly.”