As families find new rhythms and adjust to the new school year, it is a good time to set intentions for joy, wonder, and purpose. There are simple exercises that families can do together to stay grounded and connected, things like:
- Setting intentions in the morning before school
- Choosing a mindful exercise for the day
- Adding a weekly family meditation to the schedule
- Ending days with gratitude.
The Reset the School Day series of meditations for children and adults featured on the Chopra App this September has guided practices that may inspire and support your family as you begin the school year.
In addition to the family program on the Chopra App, I am grateful to be able to share another resource for kids this year. My new book, Buddha and The Rose, is an adapted rendition of Buddha’s silent lecture for children, told through the eyes of a young girl. In this talk, Buddha supposedly sat on a dais, a rose in his hand, and was silent. A confused audience wonders why he says nothing, and suddenly there is an awakening.
As I read more about Buddha’s life, I was attracted to Sujata, the milk maid who brought Buddha the rice pudding to break his fast after meditating on the nature of existence. The story is told through her eyes, and the reader experiences the sense of wonder and connection through her.
The rose to me represents the infinite possibilities and entanglement of the whole universe. The rose represents so much - the seed of possibility; the rain, sun and soil that nurture the seed; the emergence as a beautiful, perfumed flower; the role it plays in love, in sweetness, in the continuum of relationships, the planet, and the universe as a whole!
Also, I think the journey of the rose is one that can be explored through any object.
Try this exercise, that adults can do with kids, to explore the journey of the rose:
- Find any object that is in your surroundings. Think about what it took for that particular object to be at this moment in time. Name the elements that made it, think of the people who cultivated it or brought it before you. Create the story that this object embodies to be reminded of the connection and wonder all around.
The beauty of this story, I hope, is that it helps children to see how everything is interconnected.
We are living in a time where children are overstimulated, distracted, and have faced uncertainty and fear in the pandemic. My goal with this book was to bring back some wonder into our every day conversations with our children. In addition, I strongly believe that meditation and mindfulness techniques are valuable how-to tools that children can use to self-regulate, be more int touch with their bodies and minds, and experience silence. When people — children and adults alike — are grounded in this way, they are more resilient but also more joyful.