Meditating together at Kaleidoscope
Children respond very naturally to the opportunity to learn stillness and experience quiet. At Kaleidoscope, our afternoons begin with a special ‘Gathering Circle’ in which a sense of welcome and belonging is created. Each child makes a special ‘Candle Mat’ using fabric, candles, pebbles and other natural items. This becomes a focal point for our time in the circle. In the Gathering Circle we acknowledge Country, greet one another, share a story and talk about the theme for the afternoon. Children take turns sharing a comment.
When settled in, we get ready for our meditation time. We do this by first having a stretch and then resettling our bodies into a comfortable position of stillness. We practise a moment of silence by listening to the rhythm of our breathing. We remember the calm images nature offers us such as trees and waves. We recall the importance of the simplicity of meditation – that we can use a special word and the rhythm of our breath to be calm and still at any place, any time.
At Kaleidoscope, the special word or mantra that we repeat throughout meditation is Shalom. This ancient word means complete calm and wholeness, true wellbeing and harmony, deep tranquillity and peace. We also remind ourselves that meditating is a place in which we are by ourselves but not alone – that Someone comes to meet us and that Someone is God. At Kaleidoscope we are gathered together into a space that is safe and loving. In such a place, we have several minutes of silent meditation together, with the gong to lead us in and out of this time.
At their first visit to Kaleidoscope, children are given a small bag with items for creating a candle mat at home. It has been beautiful to hear of the many children who have set up their candle mat, collecting natural items to add and asking for their candles to be lit. This willingness to find ways of having stillness in their day and openness to learning about mediation is heart-warming to hear about. The capacity to seek silence in their spirit is a rich resource for children now and into their futures.