Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day Seven {Meditation Challenge}: Our Nature

Mama Cottonwood at Little Beach (one of our favorite trees!)
Like the outside world, our inner-world moves in cycles rising and falling, growing and fading, always transforming and becoming.  When we take time to connect with each turning season, we begin to notice our inner-seasons... and we begin to see that everything is connected.  

For this mindfulness practice, you'll need to pack some paper, colored pencils or some crayons.  Then take a walk with your kids.  Invite them select a tree -- one that speaks to them... one with distinct characteristics that they find appealing.  

Sit beneath this special tree and take a few deep breaths.  Invite your child to notice the different qualities of the tree.  Are they like this tree in any ways?  Stay here and enjoy breathing together (with the tree!) for a few moments.  Consider using this time to discuss how trees create our oxygen.  

Next, ask your child to turn so they can't see the tree and then draw it including as many details as they can remember.  Ask older children to write one or two sentences about what they like about this tree.  An example might be, "I like this tree because it's strong and proud."

Now, have the younger children turn around and discover new things on their tree that they omitted in their drawing.  Invite older kids to re-write their sentences substituting their own name.  So, "I like this tree because it's strong and proud" becomes, "I like Amelie because she is strong and proud." 

By seeing ourselves in nature, we realize that we are connected to all living things -- we see that, by nature, we belong to one another.  If you try this practice with your kids, be sure to come back and tell us about it here.  Much peace to all.
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