Each Monday, our classroom comes together at the end of the morning for a peace circle. Lights are dimmed, a candle is lit, songs are sung and lessons about peace are discussed. Recently, the children have been learning about meditation. For our first lesson, three vases of varying size filled with water were placed in front of the group. Soft music was playing in the background as the children were encouraged to relax their bodies as they focused on the music and the vases in front of them. As the music played, a teacher began to slowly drip food coloring into each vase, creating rainbow swirls throughout the water. The children watched in rapt silence, bodies calm and peaceful. Afterwards, the children were asked how they felt during the meditation: “so peaceful”, “quiet”, “sleepy” and “happy” were some of the offerings from the group.
The following Monday, we tried a guided meditation using the book Quiet by Peter Parnall. The children were asked to close their eyes and pretend that they were the child in the story as it was read aloud. In the tale, a child lays on the grass so quietly that animals come to visit him, lured by the bird seed and other treats he has scattered about his body. Smiles washed over faces with closed eyes as the group imagined squirrels and birds tiptoeing around them, tickling their skin.
Our world is filled with stress and hectic schedules. Children, like the little sponges that they are, soak up our adult anxieties day after day. How nice it is, then, to encourage our youngest humans to take a moment of silence and embrace the idea of quiet.
“The child passes little by little from the unconscious to the conscious treading always in the paths of joy and love”