there's little argument that meditating produces some pretty
spectacular results, the
problem has always been to explain exactly why it works.
Some recent research has found that meditation
helps open blood vessels, which in turn reduces blood pressure.
And that reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Other studies have-found that meditators are
able to control certain brain waves that help brain cells
communicate with each other and make it easier to concentrate.
But does it really matter why it works? Bottom line is that it's
not going to hurt to give it a shot, and it could very well help
OK, now that you know that meditation isn't as
kooky as you'd thought, let's talk about how to make it part of
your child's life.
Start by making it a part of your life too.
Young children learn by imitating and if you're doing it,
they'll want to join. The steps below will work just as well for
you as for your child.
1. Don't get bogged down by the name. There
are all sorts of meditation styles: Transcendental, Zen,
Mindfulness, to name just a few.
2. Block out some time, 15-20 minutes at a
stretch is good for adults. For kids, 5-10 minutes is plenty,
especially when you're just starting.
3. Find a quiet place. The fewer outside
distractions (TV, radio, conversations, etc), the better.
4. Get comfortable. You don't have to be
twisted into some painful pretzel-like pose or levitate a foot
off the ground. You can meditate sitting in a comfortable chair,
lying down, walking or even swimming.
5. Focus on something. That could be a
"mantra" (a word or phrase) or an object. But my suggestion is
that you start with the simplest thing of all your breath.
Slowly count "one" for the first inhale, hold
for two seconds, then exhale, then "two" for the next set, and
so on. I'm betting you won't get to "three" before your mind
starts heading off in 127 different directions at the same time.
When that happens, resist the urge to
criticize yourself for losing focus. Everyone does, so just
observe that your mind has wandered and gently bring yourself
back to your breathing and start counting again.