Meditation for an 8 Year Old

by Nneka Kelly

When I was 8 years old, my family was living in a basement in Queens, New York. Recently migrated from Trinidad to pursue his degree in music, my father quickly found out that the land of milk and honey was not all that it was told to be, and it was more all at the same time. It was at this time that I was introduced to yoga and meditation. As an 8 year old, this is how I was taught to meditate.

Wherever you are, sit still in a comfortable position.
When you’re sharing a brownstone in Queens with 2 other families and you’re in the basement, there’s kids trampling on the floor above, music, buses, cars, and a boiler in the background. Quiet is not possible. That was his point. No matter where I am, it’s my choice whether or not I’m still.

Today I have the luxury of waking up first thing in the morning when no one’s awake in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. I share 1500 square foot house with only one other person and I have a quiet, undisturbed place in my office dedicated to meditation. I have no excuse.

Next, pay attention to your breath.
Your breath is always with you. As long as you are medically conscious, you have your breath. As you breathe in, imagine that you are breathing in Spirit. As you breathe out, imagine that you are expressing Spirit. Pay attention to the air passing through your nostrils, down the air passages, into your lungs, exchanging it, and breathing it out the same way.

Paying attention to your breath accomplishes 2 things. It shifts your focus from the chatter going on in your mind. At the same time, it brings your attention to God.

If you realize that you are thinking about anything, even the details of how your body breathes, gently bring your attention back to your breath. No need to badger yourself or battle with your mind, just breathe in and out. As you sit still and watch your breath, you may notice a moment when you are not watching anything. Your mind has stopped rambling (or you are no longer aware of it). You experience SILENCE. It is at this point that you will be able to hear the still, small voice.

Previous post:

Next post: