Riverstone Meditation:A Mindfulness Practice for Children

My oldest son sometimes has difficulty going to sleep. Over time, I found that he tends to get himself caught up in thoughts at bedtime. I created this meditation for him. We adapt it each time a bit– if he is afraid, or having a recurring thought, we might insert a specific reference to that thought or feeling into the meditation where it now says “thought” below. He can practice it himself, and sometimes, he asks me to “do the rock thing” at bedtime to help him unplug and settle into sleep.

This is our Riverstone Meditation:

Lie down and let your body be comfortable. Settle your arms and legs and gently close your eyes. Relax your hands, your eyes, and take a few soft breaths. Now,  imagine that you are a rock, a nice round river rock. Someone has just softly plopped you into a river. 

Feel yourself slowly drifting down through the water to the river bed. Slowly settling into the sandy floor of the river. Feel the sand receive you, allow yourself to gently sink down into the river bed. You are held gently there now. 

Feel the river, the water, as it moves around you. The water is like your thoughts. They come, and they go, but you are still there, softly settled into the sand. Just be there. Feel the water moving. Feel the water flowing around you. If you find yourself thinking about something again, see if you can let it go, don’t worry, just let it flow around you like the water. Return to the image, the feeling of being a stone resting on the bottom of the river. Feel the support of the ground, the motion of the water. Just breath.

Allow quiet now. And for a few minutes, ever so often, repeat one of the phrases to your child “let the water gentle touch you as you rest on the sand.” “Feel the river bed, holding you gently.”

© Traci Childress, 2013.

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