All parents and educators know how open children can be to new learning and how receptive when interested. We also know how responsible we must be with respect to what we teach our children and allow them to absorb.
When it comes to the values of meditation, we can be put off by the developmental facts of the limited attention span of young children, or their difficulty sitting still for more than a minute at a time. These characteristics often prevent us from seeing the wider potential of introducing a learning process to the young so that they can move, step by step, into a fuller comprehension of what spiritual centering is all about.
We can do this, even with young children, in a variety of ways. We can sit with them with eyes closed, asking them to place their hands over their hearts and to think about love or God. These are abstract concepts, and yet children know the words if the words are used by their parents with feeling and sincerity. They know the feeling of the words - the emotional state behind the words. This is true to the extent that parents and other adults have a commitment to living a spiritually centered life, and choose to speak of it in a language that can resonate with children as well.
Today, the long path of meditation which has been traversed by many for thousands of years, has a new companion which comes into being as a result of the greater presence of spiritual light on the Earth. This companion, called 'alignment', is like meditation in many respects, but can be practiced in short, focused moments throughout the day. Such a practice is more inclusive of the personality and embodied self than most traditional forms of meditation, and is founded on the understanding, initiated by light, that anyone, at any time, can now experience the realm of the Divine more directly and easily than ever before, merely through their intention to do so. The reaching out of heartfelt intentionality plus the discipline of regular efforts in this direction, can be met, today, with a sense of connection that would not have been possible before. The Practice of Alignment can bring to both children and adults a feeling of light, energy, and the presence of the Divine in an immediate and tactile way, because the distance between spiritual and physical reality has diminished as a result of light's penetration of the physical plane.
Children can be taught this. They can be taught to reach out to God and light with their hearts. They may not have a word for what they feel as a result, but can learn to call it something like peacefulness, or love, or happiness, or God.
Even a moment of alignment, preceded by a sacred prayer and followed by a song or by a reading of something special that children can relate to, can be the foundation for a spiritual practice that grows and deepens as a child ages.
Even for those children who are unable to close their eyes or to sit still for more than a minute, the opportunity to share the feeling and desire of their parents to enter a sacred space is valuable, for they can feel the specialness of the moment, and it will remain as an internalized reality for them that may flower many years later.
For more about meditation with children see The Practice of Alignment.