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Meditation for Children

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Call Will & Jess

When we left your lovely venue, Little Leo was in a great mood, much more talkative than usual and with a clear sense that we had some extra bonding among us. That night he was so creative, coming up with ideas of plots for his own comic creations. He's been meditating (next to me) every single morning since and almost every evening. Being a very active and restless boy, he finds it a bit hard to stay physically still, but at least he's keeping his eyes closed! Since he started, I can definitely claim that he's been sharper, getting constant 10/10 results in spelling tests, getting in the top 2 of the Year 4 maths competition... and very creative (he was one of the few of the class that preferred to invent his own poem in a 'learn a poem by heart' exercise). We are meeting his teacher on Wednesday, I'm curious to hear what she says. THANKS a lot for such a lovely gift for him (and for me, since I now have a new "meditation buddy" as we call ourselves).

Laura & Leo, London

Academic Performance

If our children have been pushed too hard, or their capabilities have been impaired by stress when expected to do something normally achievable, the child soon learns that not only is that task not solvable, but all related tasks are now seen through the lens of being very difficult, if not impossible. This is the phenomena of ‘learned helplessness’. It afflicts everybody to some degree or other (men doing the dishes for example!), and particularly those with what’s called an ‘externalised locus of control’, i.e. if we don’t feel empowered in our life or in the decisions we get to make.

As the biologist Robert Sapolsky has illustrated “If a teacher at a critical point of our education, or a loved one at a critical point of our emotional development exposes us to his or her own specialized uncontrollable stressors, we may grow up with distorted beliefs about what we cannot learn.”

A great example of this was highlighted in run down schools in the US where children with English comprehension difficulties were then given characters of the Chinese alphabet to learn and because their learned helplessness filters were off, they demonstrated themselves to be far more adept at learning Chinese than equivalent learning levels in English!

And if this patterning becomes ingrained, then the child will be much more susceptible to developing depression later in life.

Meditation addresses this by improving all aspects of our cognitive functioning and engenders a significant amount of cerebral development. The hippocampus, which is responsible for all of our memory formation and recall, grows larger. We have a more active and thicker growing pre-frontal cortex which aids our lateral thinking and problem solving capabilities and the greater brain wave coherence that is unique to this technique fosters greater connectivity between all areas of the brain. Learning functions such as intellectual performance (problem solving ability), concentration, reading comprehension, the ability to deal with abstract and complex situations and memory have all been shown to consistently improve.

This is illustrated well by a recent study which found that introducing meditation using personalised mantras to a whole school increased the number of students graduating by 15 per cent. Even more impressively, among those with the lowest academic grades, a further 25 per cent graduated compared to those who were not meditating. This type of study has been replicated many times and the results are always of this magnitude of improvement.

Behaviour

Many of our children’s behavioural issues come down to either; an overstimulated nervous system; hormonal imbalance; or impaired cognitive development.

Vedic meditation helps with all of the above. When a child meditates their nervous system becomes much calmer and far less excitable. As a result, their behaviours tend to moderate to more appropriate levels of interaction and responsivity. The hormonal imbalances that may have developed as a young child or even as a foetus, will also begin to wash away so that our neurons are now synthesising, receiving and disposing of neurochemical messengers and hormones in a way that is supportive to optimal and graceful outcomes.

Any traumas that may be stored in the nervous system will also begin to lose their emotional charge so that any associations of stress and discomfort no longer take hold of the child and cause them to react so painfully to circumstance.

And as we have seen in the academic achievement section above, our children’s cognitive capabilities develop significantly.

Studies have shown marked improvements in self-esteem, increased tolerance, greater self sufficiency, decreased anxiety and decreased anti-social behaviours when children us this technique.

In summary, if a child feels relaxed and comfortable with themselves, is achieving more, feels more empowered and has greater levels of awareness of self and others, their behaviour will undergo a radical transformation for the good.

And if attention deficit or hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) abound, Vedic meditation has been shown to be an excellent way for children to develop healthier patterns of behaviour and interaction.

Creativity

When we meditate, the area of our brain known as the pre-frontal cortex fires up and allows our creative functioning to really flourish. Our brain also begins to operate more and more in the alpha state which is home to much of our most interesting and creative thinking. As a result, our children’s natural propensity for creativity is given the opportunity to reach its full potential and as a result, studies show that measures of innovation and creativity rise significantly amongst children who meditate.

There is a small school in the north of England where all the children practise meditation using personalised mantras and they rank in the top 5 schools for GCSE art and have won 21 national poetry competitions  (only one other school in the country has won more than one – they won two).

 

5-9 yrs: Young children

For young children, it would be impractical to ask them to sit still and meditate as us adults and perhaps their older peers may do, so for them, we simply give them a ‘word of wisdom’ which they can use while they’re at play and which will help them develop without cramping their style.

We will only need to see them for an hour to give them their instruction.

Young children fee: Free (we just ask they draw us a picture)204A0759                  Iron Man, Syan Patel, aged 7, April 2015

The next available courses are:

Sunday 30 July, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

* Please do note, we ask that the children have expressed an interest in the meditation and that one of the parents has learned Vedic Meditation/TM to give them the right support.

Contact Annalisa to book: annalisa@willwilliamsmeditation.com
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10-15 yrs: Adolescents

For adolescents, they are given instruction in the sit down, eyes closed technique that adults do, but only need to practise a minute for every year of their age. So a 12 year old can do 12 minutes at a time and achieve all the goodness for their mind, body and nervous system that they need so they can begin to access their fullest potential at home, at school and at play.

They will not be required to attend a course, we will simply have an hour together with their parents to instruct them and then if they choose to, they can attend an adults course free of charge when they reach their majority.

Adolescent fee: £140  

The next available courses are:

Sunday 30 July, 6:30pm – 7:45pm

 

 

* Please do note, we ask that the children have expressed an interest in the meditation and that one of the parents has learned Vedic Meditation/TM to give them the right support.

Contact Annalisa to book: annalisa@willwilliamsmeditation.com
Find out more

16+ Students / Young adults

Stress amongst younger people is far more prevalent than most people realise and the problem becomes much more acute and widespread once children reach tertiary education.

This stress epidemic amongst young adults is at the heart of much of their troubles and is single-handedly the biggest factor in holding them back from achieving their full potential. They learn the full technique that adults do, all we ask is that those under the age of 16 have an adult that accompanies them.

Student fee: £196

Book a course to help navigate the transition into adulthood and maturity
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Meditation appears to hold tremendous promise for enriching the lives of students.

Telegraph

School programmes

One way we can encourage our children to meditate is to get our schools to introduce a program. If you are a parent or educator who would like to know more about our schools programme, please feel free to get in touch.

Find out how Vedic meditation can help your school to thrive
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