In the era of hyper-connected society and exasperated competitiveness, giving children back calm, play and the opportunity to enjoy peace and relaxation, seems more like an illusion than an opportunity. Yet, experts assure, children, even very young ones, have within them a huge potential for the practice of meditation and the natural gift of concentrating completely in playful activity. It is enough to teach them to free themselves from stress, increasingly precocious, and from the thousand inputs with which our society bombards them. And accompany them in the not difficult art of relaxation through meditation, a way of educating that in many countries has already entered schools, while in Italy its benefits are still poorly understood.
Welcome then Let’s play to relax (Feltrinelli), a manual signed by Marina Panatero and Tea Pecunia, who for years have been dealing with oriental traditions, Buddhism and Zen. And translators and authors of numerous texts in these fields. A book that already on the cover announces its purpose: meditation to calm children and make them more attentive and creative.
Everyone can do it. Parents, grandparents, uncles, educators or teachers, or even child therapists. Anyone who is willing to use a tool practiced in many areas of the world and with amazing results. Children are not immune to stress. Indeed, childhood can be very complex: we live strong, sudden emotions and the thousand commitments that we unload on them risk crowding their little lives. So there are many reasons to try. But how can children meditate?
Meanwhile, a premise: you can never force children. But only try to involve and intrigue them. With the game especially. And with guided meditations. The book is exhaustive about everything we can do. They range from theory, to the introduction of all aspects of meditation, we focus on why and how to help children and how to prepare to “play” with them. In the queue, practical tips and suggestions with guided meditations for children aged five to eight years, from nine to eleven, or those of all ages.
The essence of meditative practice is not so far from the nature of children: meditating means gently directing attention into the here and now, and the ability to be centered in the present is inherent in young children, who focus on a game they play, placing all their attention there, totally immersed in what they live. With time, they will tend to lose this innate quality, swallowed up by the multiple activities and the countless commitments that are assigned to them, but above all by the incessant bombardment of inputs to which they are subjected. Children can enter meditation very easily, you just need to know how to help them do it.We cannot force them, we can only invite them with absolute respect. By proposing meditation to them, as a pleasant moment, a “game” to play in the family or in the classroom, we equip them with a precious tool, which they will always have available. It benefits the ability to relax, learning, attention level, memory, self-awareness, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, emotional balance, creativity, relationships and, above all, the child feels in harmony with himself and the world, feels inner peace and joy.
Parents and school, where are we?
Talking to other parents we often hear of children who manifest restlessness or otherwise live with stress the small big daily commitments or the first interactions with peers and adults. Teachers with decades of experience note that, over the years, the students have become more “lively” and distracted. But these children are still the fruit of our generation, which lives “in a hurry” in a competitive world.
It is up to us to find a solution, to offer an alternative to our children so that they can grow up serene and become better adults: meditation is a sweet and effective “medicine”, simple and free, which also requires our participation and which allows us to let their potential blossom. In many Western countries, meditation is practiced in many schools with remarkable results and we hope that it will soon spread to Italy: many parents and teachers have shown sincere interest in this project. Meditating together creates a strong and mutual connection between pupil and teacher, allowing children to experience school in a more serene and profitable way. We are deeply convinced that happy educators will change the world……..
As Steve Jobs said, “Only those who are crazy enough to think about changing the world really change it.”