What is mindfulness ? Put simply, mindfulness is awareness. It’s noticing our thoughts, feelings, and being aware of outside stimuli.
There is an emerging body of research that indicates mindfulness can help children improve their abilities to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset and to make better decisions. Practicing mindfulness helps with emotional regulation and cognitive focus. “The purpose of teaching mindfulness to our children is to give them skills to develop their awareness of their inner and outer experiences, to recognize their thoughts as “just thoughts,” to understand how emotions manifest in their bodies, to recognize when their attention has wandered, and to provide tools for impulse control”. ( http://leftbrainbuddha.com/)
I introduced the idea with a sweet picture book, Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean. The kids enjoyed the book and are very eager to find a quiet space when I announce that it’s time for some peaceful meditation. We have just started our practice and are working on building our stamina during our meditation practice. We are working our way up to 5 minutes. As you know, sitting calmly still for 5 minutes when you are between the ages of 6-8 is quite an accomplishment.