Today was the last Morning Mindfulness Workshop For Kids this year. I can’t tell you how much we’ve enjoyed these classes. It’s been deeply gratifying for both Catharine and me. Over the past year, we’ve seen the general atmosphere in the classrooms become more balanced and some classes even slowed down. I wish I recorded the first meditation we ever did vs. the one we did yesterday – total stillness! Today’s meditation was so still, so quiet. I was so proud of these kids. I attribute some of that improvement to the kids’ growing awareness of their breath, their five senses, and learning to block out the distractions around them.
I’ve seen them use the breath to slow down when they’re overexcited, or become frustrated when they don’t know the outcome of the activity that we were doing. One of the phrases that took off this year was, “catch yourself“. Everyone can be impulsive, but if you can “catch yourself” before you act on that impulse, I consider that to be a huge success.
It’s pretty cool to see the kids do this first hand. More and more of the kids are now able to bring that reflective quality to their attention and actions. Once they learn to stabilize their attention, they can start to shift their awareness on watching how they feel – through meditation. To help get this going, we meditated on the breath for five minutes each class. We also taught the students to ask themselves three questions before they make the choice to speak and/or act in a negative way – Is it true? Is it nice? Is it necessary?
Teaching students HOW to pay attention, through total awareness, is still new, but I’m certain that it has the potential to make a positive impact in our community. It was amazing to have had such wonderful support this season. We are very grateful and proud to say that we were able to teach close to 400 students (from Glover, Collicot, and Milton Academy) to meditate this year! Have a great summer.
Looking forward to watching these kids grow!
– Catharine & Andy Kelley