Sunday, Feb 19

“Breathe deeply to bring your mind home to your body.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk



Today’s Excerpt: Opening Activity

Start by inviting each person to put their hand on their chest, throat, or wrist and find their heartbeat, getting a sense of pattern and rhythm. After they have a good sense of the pattern, invite everyone to do some form of exercise — running in place, jumping jacks, etc. — to get their heart rate up. Now have them feel their heart rate again, noting what it feels like as it gradually returns to its resting rhythm again.

Explain that just like we can notice our heart rate, we can also notice our breath. Try it by inviting each person to notice their breath. You might hold up a finger for each cycle in and out, counting from one to two to three.

Noticing the breath is one of the most basic ways we can meditate, which is when we’re aware of what we are experiencing right now.

Watch “Meditation 101: A Beginner’s Guide” (2-min video) by Dan Harris to get a basic introduction to meditation.

Harris outlines these three steps:

  1. Sit with your back straight and eyes closed
  2. Notice the feeling of your breath going in and going out
  3. Notice when your mind wanders and start over

This is a basic method of breathing meditation. In the age-specific sections below, we explore additional methods that are geared for each age group.

Explore the rest of the lesson here.