Early in 2005 I was asked to be part of a group that was to introduce Christian Meditation to children. While I was excited to be part of such a wonderful initiative I was unsure of what ‘Christian Meditation’ was all about.
Through my schooling years I had experiences of guided meditation and had thoroughly enjoyed the feelings and emotions that these experiences had evoked. I had carried this into my teaching career.
After the initial meeting with Ernie, Joan and the other members of the group I was feeling more than over whelmed and questioned my desire to be part of such an initiative. I thought I would take my ‘homework’ with me, give it a go and then make my mind up.
After listening to Fr Laurence’s CD and reading our Christian Meditation book I came to understand more about what I was entering into.
Along with this understanding came a great sense of excitement at the prospect of being a part of something that not only had never been done before but would personally benefit me and allow my children to participate in a prayerful experience.
Although excited about being involved with such a powerful initiative I was also facing many personal challenges.
These challenges included becoming a ‘Christian’ meditator myself and this was daunting as I struggled to become a regular practitioner. This is an area I am still working on!
Spending 2 days at the House of Prayer with Ruth Fowler enabled me to gain an insight into the theological side of this practice.
Ruth compared Christian Meditation to a kettle on a stove. Meditation is like the heat on the water. It causes bubbles which lifts the lid and allows God in. I found this comparison an easy way of understanding what the process was all about.
I introduced my children to Christian Meditation by telling them that they had been chosen to be part of something very special.
The process was undertaken slowly to ensure that the children were ready at each step along the way.
After a period of guided meditations and quieting exercises we progressed to sitting around a sacred space (prayer mats, prayer bear, candles). Here we focused on the candle, discussing that it is a symbol of God being present among us.
We worked on being still and silent with someone being next to them for periods of 3-5 minutes. From here we moved to the whole class reciting the mantra, Maranatha. We did a lot of work on this word and its meaning. As we became more proficient I recited the mantra aloud while the children said it internally.
The children responded really well to meditation and many tried extremely hard to ‘do’ it properly. One little boy who fidgets began sitting on his hands. When I asked him about this, his response was that he didn’t want God to see his hands moving. Many of the children began meditating at home as well.
I have found that Christian Meditation has been a very positive experience, not only for me personally but for the children as well.
Beginning 2006, I was very eager to start meditating with my children. Since the process I used for implementing Christian Meditation worked so well during 2005 I followed the same method.
The children have again embraced Christian Meditation with open arms. They have enjoyed the challenge of sitting still. One little boy who finds this extremely difficult has really risen to the challenge and now is one of the best at this skill.
The children are always excited when it is meditation time and have told me how peaceful and relaxed it makes them feel.