In “A Pocket Full of Pebbles” the venerable Tich Naht Hahn expounds upon four specific mindfulness meditations appropriate for children. I’ve used and modified three of his meditations for my young students. Hahn’s instructions suggest holding small stones as representative of each element of the mediation. I’ve found the stones become a distraction for my students. Instead, I load my children with any concepts or images they might need to understand the concepts, then have a minute or so of quiet meditation.
The mountain meditation invites sitters to imagine they are mountains. I show my children images of snow-covered peaks from Alaska. As we begin, I close my eyes and say: “I’m imagining I’m as strong and solid and big as a mountain. Time and years pass but the mountain remains the same. Unmoving, solid, and strong”.
After a minute or so of silent imagination, I will tell the children how I felt, or what I was imagining: “I imagined all the wind blowing the snow at the peak of the mountain. But the mountain that is me stayed still and solid”.
Each child then has an opportunity to share how they felt or what they imagined during the mindful minute.