Meditation on candlelight
This is a meditation practice that I enjoy because it is very contemplative and cozy and invites me to sit down and practice especially in the colder seasons and I have found that it is a wonderful practice to do with kids.
I simply put a candle about an armlength in front of me and focus my gaze on the candlelight while I watch my breath come and go while allowing my thought and bodily sensation to move through me without holding on. (This can be practiced as a kriya, a cleansing exercise as well if you keep focusing on the candlelight without closing your eyes to let your eyes be washed out, but that is not the purpose here.) The candle is a symbol for light and brightening up the darkness and bringing awareness into what is unseen.
If doing this practice with kids, I keep the candle out of their reach, but close enough so the candle will be responsive to their movements and then I let them be really still and watch for movement of the candlelight. If they keep really, really still, the candle light will be still as well, if they move, speak, or breathe to forcefully, the candlelight will flicker. I have found that kids like to play this game and if the candle light has flickered we just try again to be really, really still. This keeps them focused on being still, not moving their body, staying quiet, and allows them see how we have an influence on what happens around us as well. If we run around and scream, the candle light will flicker and eventually be blown out, if we stay really still and quiet, the candle keep burning for us and light up the room.
Is that a practice you enjoy trying for yourself or with your kids?
Image thanks to Jaclyn Moy via unsplash.com