Prior to meeting our class room buddies, Jeanne and I sat down to talk about what we have been doing in our homerooms. I was intrigued when she said that her class had been meditating since the beginning of the school year. This practice reminded me of an activity I participated in long ago called, Mind in a Jar.
Jeanne and I got our homerooms together for the first time last Friday and talked briefly about and asked the children to observe a jar of water. "It is clear," a first grader shouted. "It's calm and still," another added. When are our minds like this? "When I'm sitting in my mom's lap." "When my friend is holding my hand." "When I'm outside." After this, I added colored sand, beads, and small stones and gave the jar a good spin. I then asked, "When are our minds like this?" "At recess." "When I have to get ready to go to school and my parents are rushing me out the door."
Each child made their own minds in a jar. Hopefully, in the hour that followed, each child could see their objects spinning around and settle and, in turn, bring awareness to when their minds spin and find a peaceful state and space. In our next session, we will practice ways and strategies so we can move from a whirling mind to one that is calm and clear.