Mindful Activities

These are some of the mindful activities, exercises, techniques for children. We enjoy them, come see why and...give them a try!









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Break Time Meditation

Sometimes in Ocean Class (Year 3,4) we listen to this song before we go out to play. It reminds us to be calm and think of good wishes for the people we share the playground with.



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Mind In A Jar

Sometimes in Ocean Class (Year 3,4) we take our "Snow Globe Buddha" and give it a good shake.  Sometimes, after lunch break, the we can find it hard to settle from a period of play-time into learning-time. We often find our minds are ‘cloudy’, rather like when we shake our Buddha snow-globe (pictured). The snow-globe can show us how our minds are working; we may have positive or negative thoughts, feelings and emotions towards ourselves or others after a lot of interaction in the playground.
What we like to do together is to accept this and understand that our minds are busy and ‘cloudy’ from the past hour of rushing around and playing. Because a lot has gone on in the playground, we can’t always focus clearly or learn easily as our minds are busy with all these thoughts and feelings. So we take a moment. We take time. We feel our breathing, we rest. We see what happens. We often notice that our minds settle. These thoughts or feelings may pass and change or they may still be there, but more settled and not clouding our perspective anymore. We can deal with them more easily and we can make better judgements. We often agree that this enables us to work and learn with clearer, focused minds.


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You can even make your own Buddha snowglobe! Just get a jam jar and fill it with glitter and water and seal it nice and tight. You can give it a good shake and enjoy taking some time to watch the glitter settle to the bottom of the jar! Give it a try! Let us know how you get on.




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Better When We're Together

Why not take sometime out of your day to watch this little video and then meditate on a journey you would like to take with someone special and then send them some good wishes.



Belly Breathing with Elmo

Elmo gives us this uplifting ‘Belly Breathing’ song which can support us in seeing how we can calm down when angry or upset.



Kung Fu Panda & Being In The Present Moment

Kungfu Panda can help children understand the importance of mindfulness — being present here and now with kindness and curiosity. Panda learns a lesson from the wise old turtle. Most of our stress and unhappiness comes from thinking about what we don't have, rather than what we have. If we remain in the present, life often isn’t so harsh you know.



Looking After Our Shrine

In Ocean class we take it in turns as a class job to decorate our class-shrine. You can also have a shrine at home, and it doesn't have to be Buddhist either! It can just have things that are precious to you or give you positive memories. Why not tell us about YOUR shrines at home in our comment box below.



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Physical Meditation With The Bell 

In Ocean class we take it in turns to ring the bell. When it is rung it gives us a chance to forget about everything else around us and just have a moment's peace. We do a little exercise with our hands. We cross our hands and lift them above our heads and release them and drop them down slowly. We do this exercise because we are trying to focus on one thing. 



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Mindful Mind Skills



In Ocean Class each day someone chooses a Mindfulness Skill for us to focus on and practice. We try and share an example each day of where we have done it either that day or in the recent past. Sometimes our teachers will tell us when a lesson has a particular skill we can practice and we can talk about how well we did afterwards in a puja. 

To find out more go to our Mindful Mind Skills page.

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Watering The Bodhi Tree

In Ocean class we take in turns to water our Bodhi tree. It's a nice thing to do because the whole class looks after it and makes sure it is healthy. It is thought that Buddha found enlightenment under a Bodhi tree. 

 

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Thinking About Our Food

In Ocean class we take it in turns to read aloud one of our "Thinking About Our Food" messages. This is where we think about our food before we eat it, to help us be mindful as we eat.

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Good Morning Wishes

In the mornings we sometimes stand in a circle, take a moment to shut our eyes and we picture a piece of paper and a pen. We write a note to someone special in our lives, can be someone in our class, in the school or at home and we write a good wish to them. We fold up the good wish in our minds, fold it up tight and we send it to them.

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Pebble meditation


This week in Ocean we are trying out what is called the pebble meditation. First we learnt the guided meditation mantra it goes like this;



Breathing in, I see myself as a flower.
Breathing out, I am beautiful just as I am and I feel very fresh.



Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain.
Breathing out, I feel solid, nothing can move or distract me.




Breathing in, I feel myself as still water, a calm, clear lake.
Breathing out, I reflect things just as they are, inside me and around me


Breathing in, I see myself as the big blue sky, with a lot of space in and around me.
Breathing out, I feel very free and at ease.














We then decorated a pebble based on one of the verses from the pebble meditation. Between each verse we swap which hand holds the pebble. We also made boxes for our pebble to sit and and decorated them however we wanted and we good wishes on them.

Planting Seeds - Practicing Mindfulness With Children - Thich Nhat Hanh.


Looking after an egg


This year Ocean class cared for an egg for the day with a parnet. Their mission was to think about their egg for the day. Who was going to look after it? When? How were they going to protect it? This helped us learn about a number of skills related to mindfulness including; managing distractions, being responsible, interdependence, collaboration and empathy

[A Top-tip is to hard boil the eggs for the children before hand to make it just a little bit easier for them] 


Planting Wishes

Today in Ocean Class the children placed wishes they would like to see grow in the world. They placed their wishes on our class bodhi tree and will work hard to help make their wishes grow.




Meditation Journeys

In Mountain Class (5-7 Years old) the children went on Meditation Journeys! To find out more CLICK HERE.


Chanting

"Chanting is a great activity we sometimes do at The Dharma School. For example this one."


May I abide in well-being, in freedom from affliction, in freedom from hostility, in freedom from ill-will, in freedom from anxiety, and may I maintain well-being in myself. 


May everyone abide in well-being, in freedom from hostility, in freedom from ill-will, in freedom from anxiety, and may they maintain well-being in  themselves.



Instead of thinking that we can walk through the world without anyone being angry with me or mean to me, nobody is going to cause me anxiety, nobody is going to hurt me. It's a nice thought but its unlikely to happen because we don't know what other people are going to do.

But what we definitely can do is walk through the world and try not to cause these things. Then we are making a good start at creating a peaceful world. 






Pssssttt! Abide = live/act/behave Hostility = unfriendliness Ill-will = bitterness Anxiety = worry 

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing these, they are great!

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  2. This is wonderful! I LOVE that Beach Boys song... :)

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  3. I HAVE MY OWN LITTLE SHRINE AT HOME IT IS FULL OF TOTTENHAM STUFF
    *****

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  4. Thankyou Dharma School for sharing this wonderful blog. It is incredible!! What a lovely way to learn and share your experiences of mindfulness.

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  5. Hi,
    I just received the message that you sent in response to my post "Find Meditation in Anything" for San Francisco's Beyond Chron. First off, thanks for reading! I hope you're enjoying the more spiritual posts I've been writing for BC.
    Second of all, I'd love to hear more about the project you and your kids are working on. I looked you guys up online-- http://www.dharmaschool.co.uk/
    Is this you? If so, your school sounds amazing. Can I be a student there? ;o)
    So yes, just tell me a bit about the project and I'll see if I can write something up about it specifically, or link to it in an upcoming post.
    Keep doing what you're doing! You're changing the world one student at a time.

    Talk soon.

    Natalie

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  6. This is wonderful sharing Ocean Class and The Dharma Primary School. We send you so much thanks for your sharing of your practice - and can see the steps you are taking towards a compassionate start to life are long and far reaching...

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  7. I have recently started teaching mindfulness at a Montessori Elementary school. Your blog has been a wonderful resource and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. Está hermoso todo lo que compartes, muchas muchas gracias!!! Saludos desde Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mex.

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