Ninja Warrior Training: How to Teach Kids Meditation Inspired by the Dalai Lama by Stephanie Cannoe

Mindfulness
a year ago
Ninja Warrior Training: How to Teach Kids Meditation Inspired by the Dalai Lama

A quote that speaks to me is by the Dalai Lama: "If every 8-year-old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation." The moment I read the Dalai Lama’s words they resonated so deeply that I felt called to teach my children how to meditate. 

My oldest son is 9 years old and I do think this practice is best taught when your child is 8 years old or older, since my 6-year-old son had a much harder time sitting still to focus. I wasn’t sure how to introduce meditation as a practice or how to motivate their exploration. I have a daily meditation practice and have tried before with no real seeds planted and I recognize the importance of allowing this to evolve naturally. 

My boys like to play with light sabers and to pretend to be warriors, so I began there. What does it mean to embody being a ninja warrior? I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they innately understood the heart of meditation practice, They expressed in their own words that being calm in your center is key to being brave and strong in mind, body and spirit. 

Encouraged by this conversation, it evolved into our "ninja warrior training practice," which is a one-minute meditation practice. Instead of focusing on the breath, the practice is to count to 60 while sitting in a meditation posture and with their eyes closed. My oldest son held the space and continued for six minutes with intention! Luckily, the competitive spirit of my youngest helped him to focus enough for us to continue. Afterwards, they both reflected and said they felt calm and peaceful and I knew my oldest found a deeper center within him consciously. 

As a parent I want nothing more than for my children to draw from this source and to deepen their connection within as they grow amidst the challenges that life will inevitably bring. To be calm and peaceful in mind, body and spirit I believe is the most worthwhile and rewarding lifelong practice we can teach our children. I encourage you to start a meditation practice with your children. What the world needs now is peace and peace begins within.

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Donna John
Love this, Stephanie Cannoe ! My daughter started teaching my grandson to meditate when he was about 3. Love how you did it. Ashlee Smith
Stephanie Cannoe
Wow. That's Great! I am impressed. Thank you. Once a week is the goal, something realistic. Hopefully to open the door to other spiritual discoveries and dialogue. 💓
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
OK, this is simply brilliant. What a great way to get kids to be interested in meditation, Stephanie Cannoe . Since I meditate, can I be a Ninja Warrior, too?? :-)
Stephanie Cannoe
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds Definitely! I think I might start wearing a sword to deepen my practice. ;) LOVE it. 💓
Gail Harris
That’s so great @scannoe. very insightful and inspiring how you went about it, my friend.
Nicole DeAvilla
I love how you are teaching your boys to meditate! When I taught yoga to grade school kids, we would have a short meditation and used the counting too. xoxo
Stephanie Cannoe
Thanks! Nicole DeAvilla So validating to hear that, it just bubbled up in the moment. To teach meditation/yoga to kids in school is a real gift. I have read about a school district that instead of traditional detention, they use this time to meditate. Not just punitive judgment, but to understand, this is the heart of learning. 💓

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