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The Holy Spirit

We did a brief meditation exercise when learning about the Holy Spirit. The lesson included the Pentecost story. We played a CD with "desert wind" (no music, just sound) and had the kids close their eyes and imagine the wind on their faces and blowing things as they put themselves in the story before it was read. Then when the part of the story came where there were tongues of fire, we had them open their eyes and look deeply at the flame of a candle.

I think it's important to explain and discuss a "setting" that you want them to be "in" while they're imagining. It helps their minds from wandering if they know what they'll be picturing in their minds. Likewise, I think ocean or forest sounds would be good meditation "places to go", playing the CD in the background, loud enough to hear, but not too loud to distract, also having the leader read something calmly and slowly to "guide" them.

Jan at FPC, Napa

Breath Prayer

this is an idea I got from this message board when we did Pentecost. It was called breath prayer. You made a simple prayer and you voiced it both breathing in and out. The children had prayers like: God is -- With Us. You inhaled as you said God is and exhaled as you said With Us. It takes a little practice, but my kids took it seriously - I don't remember anybody getting the giggles, although it seems possible.
Ann Randall

If kids are having trouble settling in for meditation, it might be helpful for them to identify where they carry their "quiet space" inside. This can be done in conjunction with identifying where they also carry other feelings within their bodies. Younger ones (some older ones, too) may get a kick out of having their bodies traced (life size) on sheets of butcher paper and then "mapping out" their feelings within their bodies. I have done this with children, using color as the way of visually differentiating between feelings (excited, happy, sad, angry, etc. leading up to quiet or calm or peaceful). I have also had them identify where they go for quiet time, and used this visual image with them, doing some guided imagery about the place, its sounds, smells, colors, etc., so they can picture themselves there before beginning the reading for meditation.

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