Young students keep calm
Eleven-year-old Matilda made her mark at meditation last term – as the youngest participant in a Meditation for Beginners Course.
She came by chance when her mother was unable to attend a session and she accompanied her 16-year-old sister. Then she stayed to finish the series.
“I wanted to learn to relax, and to stop and think (clearly). I enjoyed lying down in relaxation and doing the different meditations, especially the eating ones,” she says.
There was another interesting aspect to the series – it comprised mothers and daughters. Donna shared meditation with Matisse, aged 14, and Ann came with Matilda and her older daughter (who prefers anonymity).
“I didn’t want Matisse learning meditation through an App. I wanted someone to talk to her,” says Donna, a workplace trainer.
“I have seen dramatic changes – Matisse has learnt great strategies to calm her mind.”
Sharing meditation with children and teenagers is always delightful. They bring a sparkling energy and eagerly explore new ideas to create change.
On the flip side, with the pressure of studying and the drive to succeed, students need to take time to nourish their physical, emotional and mental health. Being calm and balanced enables them to feel confident and focused even during challenging times.
Research highlights how meditation increases the grey matter in the brain, leading to improved memory, empathy and decision-making. Other benefits include creating the ability to understand and manage emotions, becoming more creative and positive, feeling healthier and sleeping better.
“The course gave me many strategies for staying calm. I tell my brain how I want to feel and my body listens,” says Matisse, who is in year 9. She uses short ‘stress busters’, affirmations and the concept of still points to create feelings of calmness during the day.
“I learnt how to let go and become more connected with myself. I don’t worry as much and I can calm myself down,” says Ann’s older daughter.
Ann and Donna remarked how everyone looked forward to the weekly meditation session and they liked the awareness and changes they were creating for themselves in their daily life.
“Eileen made mindfulness and meditation very simple to follow and practice,” says Ann. “I liked the ideas of ‘being kind to myself’ and of letting go of what I cannot change.”
The next Meditation for Beginners courses begin in early May. The focus is on discovering and experiencing mindfulness and meditation, enabling you to easily incorporate practices into everyday life.
I look forward to sharing the delightful meditation journey with you.