I read an article from Kiwi Magazine that talked about the benefits of meditation for children. It stated that although meditation does not always lead to some cosmic events, a growing number of kids who practice it are experiencing impressive results.
Meditation is defined as a practice to slow the mind, promote calmness and focus the attention.
Children who participated in a weekend course at the California Vipassana Center in North Fork, California, claimed an increased ability to concentrate, focus, and calm down. One teenager said that he found a way to reach perfect calmness in his mind that he’d only felt in his sleep.
Children also use meditation to dissipate conflicts with siblings and schoolmates, increase self-esteem, process difficult emotions, and mitigate anxiety caused by everything from school tests, to doctor visits and divorce.
Based on several studies performed (New England Committee for Stress-Free Schools Conference in Boston last May 2006, and a 2004 study in University of Michigan), transcendental meditation teachers reported an increase in their students’ grades as well as improved social and creativity skills. They have found that two ten-minute sessions of meditation per day reduced stress in public school kids and lowered verbal agression, anxiety and loneliness.
The article also stated that kids are perfect candidates for meditation, because of the speed of their brain waves, which allows them to easily enter the slow meditative state. According to Sarah Wood (author of Sensational Meditation For Children), kids with ages 2 to 6 are often in the “wonderful meditative” theta state, with brain waves at four to eight cycles per second. Older children usually operates at the alpha state (8-12 cps). Adults, on the otherhand, operate at the faster, more analytical beta state (12-35 cps) and so needs to work harder to get into meditation.
Another reason why kids can meditate easily is because they have not picked up the limiting beliefs that many adults have about meditation. They haven’t heard that meditation is hard, or that they don’t have time to do it, or they’ll never be able to do it right, blah, blah, blah, whatever excuse an adult can make up.
Most meditation practices can be adapted for children. If you’re new to meditation, learning it with your kids is an excellent way to ease into a beautiful bonding experience together.