A couple of months ago, Dylan started telling Jeremy and me that he was spending his short recess time at school each day “meditating.” He described the wall where he liked to sit, and the “three trees of peace” which he loved, and which unfortunately became unavailable to him when some physical boundaries were changed.
We don’t talk about meditating at home, though I personally view it as something of great benefit, particularly as it relates to the wider pursuit of “mindfulness.” We encourage our kids to build quiet time into their lives, to not fill every nook and cranny of life with activity and busy-ness, but we’ve never encouraged them to actually meditate. We do encourage them to pray, however, and I view meditation as one form of prayer.
I’ve written a blog post about this previously, but learning to quiet one’s body and mind is physically, emotionally and spiritually important. I view meditation as a time to stop and listen, to allow God to work through my body to do what it’s meant to do and to speak to me without any expectations or activity on my part.
Last year, the social worker at Dylan’s school, Armatage Montessori, took it upon herself to teach “Yoga Calm” in various classrooms. She shared with the children how to calm their bodies through various simple poses and through sitting quietly. She even photographed the children in these poses and sent them home with a little booklet at the end of the year. I thought this was outstanding; I wish that I had learned some of these important tools at a much earlier age.
So, a few weeks ago, I asked Dylan’s teacher Miss Jean what she thought of this “meditation practice” Dylan was choosing to do, instead of running and jumping and climbing in the playground. (If you don’t know Dylan, he is an extremely active child so this was truly unexpected.)
Miss Jean said that not only was Dylan sitting on the wall himself every day at recess, he had all of the boys in the class joining him. And she showed me these photos:
I asked her what Dylan was doing to convince everyone to join him. She didn’t know. But it appears that he has a quiet influence. Amazing.
Dylan is the 5th child, from front to back (he’s looking up to see Jean take the photo…)