Meditation and Children, Part 6: Creative Visualization Basics
Continuing with our blog series concerning meditation and children – including progressive relaxation and the importance of breath, seated meditation, and creative visualization – today’s blog post will focus on how to teach your young child creative visualization basics.
The beginning visualization basics for a young child are:
- Before you can move into visualization, it is important to relax the mind and body. You can use the full-body Progressive Relaxation Exercise or you may want to try a more visual technique for creating a relaxed state.
Ask your child to imagine stepping on an escalator, breathing deeply, and riding down through a rainbow of rich, warm colors, with each floor making him feel warmer and more relaxed and happy. Start by seeing ultraviolet on the seventh floor; feel yourself riding down the next floor to see purple on the sixth, blue on the fifth, green on the fourth, yellow on the third, orange on the second and a bright, red on the first floor.
- Now ask your child to think of something that makes him happy, especially a favorite place where he feels really peaceful. It could be floating in a bath, or lying on the warm sand at the beach, or a special place in the backyard. If nothing comes to mind, bear in mind that it can be an imaginary place, too: up in a balloon, or on a raft in the ocean. You can help find the place by making up a story that takes your child on a journey through a meadow where he can feel the grass, hear a river dancing over the rocks, and so on.
- Once you both find a soothing spot, ask your child to describe it so you can help him evoke all the details clearly. The more clearly your child can see the spot, the better able he will be to go to that peaceful place again and instantly relax.
Ask questions to elicit these visual details. See the colors, feel the heat or the cool air. Listen to the sounds of the birds. Smell the grass. Hear the brook. Walk up the path to a mountain. Emphasize some positive association with each detail: how the cool air feels refreshing or the blue water makes you want to relax. Each element should make him feel calm, happy, relaxed and peaceful.
- The first time you do the relaxation exercises and find a peaceful place, it will take considerably longer. Once your child has done this part of the exercise several times, he will find that what took 20 minutes at first can now be compressed into five minutes or less.
In summary, finding a place that makes your child feel happy and relaxed, and being able to describe it clearly so that he can go there and experience the happiness and peace associated with that place, is the first step in using creative visualization to achieve his goals.
The next step is to learn how to set goals so that your child can achieve them, using visualization as a tool.