Discover more from The Daily Meditator
September 2019 TDM
Meditating for the Children issue
Welcome to the fifth issue of The Daily Meditator ✌🏾This is your monthly resource for fun, quirky, interesting, and noteworthy happenings in and around the worldwide meditation community—created by Bliss More author and daily meditator Light Watkins. Guest edited by Kristen Vandivier.
Our intention is simple: to broaden the horizon of what a daily meditator looks like while providing you with more inspiration for committing to your daily practice.
In this issue: it’s all about kids–we explore how kids themselves are spearheading a meditation movement by bringing meditation to classrooms to prevent school violence, creating and starring in TV shows about meditation and collaborating with tech companies to produce guided meditations geared just for their peers. Enjoy, and if you feel charmed, please share with your circle. As always, sending you a big "Namaste," "Sat Nam," or "Jai Guru Deva" wherever you are in the world.
[ MEDITATION & NEWS ]
School shooting inspires meditation initiative from survivor
The day started off like any other day. High school student Kai Koerber was going to class, hanging with friends, and the next thing he knew, gunfire broke out and he was texting his parents what could've been his last words.
Koerber was at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL when the February 2018 school shooting occurred, leaving 17 of his classmates dead and 17 others injured. That horrific experience inspired the creation of the Societal Reform Corporation, a non-profit that aims to improve the mental health curriculum in schools across the country using meditation.
Koerber felt that the conventional solution of increasing the police presence in schools could pose a high risk to black students like himself, and wanted to do something more immediate and tangible to help his classmates deal with trauma and mental health challenges that could lead to similar catastrophes.
"Meditation helps you put things in perspective," Koerber says. "Essentially, you get to take a breather and put aside the stresses of your day and the worries of your day. You get to resettle into your own being." Support Kai's initiative or get more info here.
Bottom line: This is definitely something amazing to come out of a very bad situation.
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
Meditating for the children
Less than 2% of children in the U.S. meditate. Yet studies suggest that the kids who do meditate experience increased self-control, better attentiveness in class, and more empathy and respect for others. In addition, meditation has been shown to help children manage challenging conditions such as stress, depression, ADHD and hyperactivity. The few studies that have been conducted on kids meditating report that "they have a more natural feel for the practice than adults, mainly because they aren’t burdened by as many biases, barriers or preconceptions," which gives them a greater ability to cultivate the non-judgmental awareness that makes meditation feel more seamless. The catch: it’s best not to impose meditation on your children. Instead, you should model it for them. (research cited from mindworks.prg)
Bottom Line: Your kids will probably take to meditation like a fish to water, and the best way to inspire them to give it a try is for you to go first.
[ MEDITATION & POP CULTURE ]
New Pixar film Gets Under the Skin
Anyone up for a little animated "Soul" search? Ever wonder where your passion, your dreams, and your interests come from? What is it that makes you...YOU? In 2020, Pixar Animation Studios (the folks behind Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., WALL·E, and Up) will take us on a journey from the streets of New York City to the cosmic realms to discover the answers to life’s most important questions. We hear the movie, which stars Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, will be bringing mindfulness themes to the big screen as well. Can't wait to go on a soul journey next Summer.
Bottom line: We hope this movie will change the conversation on what it means to listen to and follow your heart.
[ MEDITATION & LIFESTYLE ]
A kid creates a meditating dog to teach other kids meditation
Unleashing meditation to the kids. As Adam Avin discovered, the idea of meditation is much more palatable with kids when they are shown how to do it by a dog—that is, by him wearing his giant dog costume. 13-year-old Adam began teaching kids yoga and meditation on the show he created for that purpose, called, “Wuf Shanti," while dressed as the show's canine main character. The show is featured on The Children’s Television Network (the in-house station at children’s hospitals across the country), who noted that the kids preferred being taught by someone closer to their age. But you don't have to be in the hospital to see catch an episode of Wuf Shanti. It now streams internationally via Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV stick, Samsung smart televisions, among others. (Hey, where were meditating dog gurus when we were little?)
Bottom line: We're not too surprised that the most effective teacher for a kid happens to be... another kid.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNOLOGY ]
10-year old "trolls" meditation with new app
Kids know what they like, even with meditation. An eleven-year-old girl, Willow Bailey, had the idea to use movie characters to draw more kids into meditation, which has resulted in the release of a guided meditation session on the Smiling Mind app featuring the Cloud Guy character from the Dreamworks film, Trolls. While most parents would smile and ignore their kids’ ideas, Willow’s mother took her child’s inspiration seriously, and together they approached the CEO of the not-for-profit organization, Smiling Mind who loved the concept. Kids coming up with tech ideas for meditation? We love it. Parents supporting their kids to manifest their ideas? Even better. Tech companies taking suggestions from kids to encourage other kids to meditate? Yeses all around.
Bottom line: Want more ideas on how to get kids to meditate? Ask a kid.
[ REALITY CHECK ]
Parenting: It's less about the children and more about us
How do you get your kids excited about sitting and doing nothing? Nowadays, kids have access to every kind of digital game, robotic toy and 4D cartoon in the world. And hundreds of books and apps on mindfulness and meditation techniques for children are now available as parents are becoming desperate to find a way to help their kids cope with stress.
But all the guided meditations in the world won’t have the influence on your children that seeing you take time to meditate will. Kids learn by example, not by what you say—and seeing you sit once or twice a day and witnessing how it changes your behavior will have a powerful and lasting influence on them.
They will naturally become curious about what it is you’re doing every day that magically makes you nicer to them, and will probably even remind you to meditate when you’re being crabby. Whenever they’re ready, they’ll ask you about it thinking it was their idea to become a meditator. (You don’t have to tell them it was the plan all along).
Bottom line: The quickest way to get your kids to meditate is for you to sit down on the regular and close your eyes.
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
For the kids and the parents
Read: Just Breathe
Geared for stressed-out tweens, Mallika Chopra’s Just Breathe is a toolkit of simple-to-follow meditations and yoga exercises to handle the demands of school, family and life in general. Read now
Watch: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Imagine being able to manipulate fire, control water, raise the earth or bend air. Avatar: The Last Airbender is a series about a young monk named Aang who must master all the elements to restore balance to the four nations of a magical Asiatic-like world. Watch now
Listen: Joyful courage
Former teacher, positive discipline expert and mother of two teens, Casey O’Roarty is keeping it real on her podcast which explores in a candid and humorous way how to be a present and mindful parent. Listen now
[ REPORT FROM THE FIELD ]
What have you gotten from meditation?
Well, now that I learned how to meditate it’s sort of easier about when I get yelled at, so when you meditate, it makes you like more calmer. And, it makes me less yell-y so it’s easier for me to control my body when I meditate. So I don’t yell at Delphine (5 year old sister). It’s like a sensation, it makes me more happy when I’m done meditating, it makes me want to play because I have more energy.
Strangest meditation moment
I feel a goddess giving me a present. Cause every time I meditate, I meditate a little bit longer, and it gives me a reward. I don’t see anything, I feel it, because you can’t see a goddess. The present is like a special gift that is the energy I get, it’s like a special energy gem.
Most unexpected benefit of meditation
It makes me happy and joyful. I expect it to make me calm, but it makes me feel good and calm and happy, like if I was a color it would be dark yellow with a little light red.
[ WHO TO FOLLOW ]
This month's favorite daily meditator Instagrammer with a purpose
Rebekah Borucki is a mother of 5, a meditation guide, a birth doula, and an author. Her recent project, a Kickstarter for her first children’s book called Zara’s Big Messy Day, is over 400% funded and has raised enough to gift nearly 500 books to school children in underestimated districts. Her posts are witty, light-hearted, and insightful. To see more about Rebekah's journey as a Mom just trying to make the world a better place for all kids, follow and support her @bexlife.
“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”
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