October 2017

Meditation helping to reduce kids’ anxiety

A meditation workshop for children which aims to equip them with simple techniques to help manage anxiety and stress will be held at the Mount St Benedict Centre in Pennant Hills, Sydney, next week.

Vicki O’Leary and Fiona Borland, both experienced and passionate teachers of meditation, will facilitate this “fun” three-hour workshop for children aged between 5 and 12 on Saturday October 28.

“Our objective is to give the children an experience of meditation, to understand calm breathing and to leave with simple techniques they can use at home or at school, or any time they may feel worried or stressed,” explained Vicki.

“Fiona and I are passionate about offering this [experience] to children. We want them to know about meditation, to connect with their spirituality and to realise how great it is to understand this and to know they are empowered to find calm in any situation.”

Vicki and Fiona first started meditation workshops for children about ten years ago when their own daughters were very young. They felt there was a need to offer a way for children to understand more about meditation and peacefulness, and to connect with their creative or intuitive self in a simple and enjoyable way.

“We started workshops in our local area and then as they proved more popular, moved to larger premises at a local children’s gym, Moving Bodies, and then to the Mount St Benedict Centre,” said Vicki.

It was about 15 years ago, however, when Fiona was working as a primary school teacher that she first began offering students simple meditation experiences in the classroom.

“I was doing a lot of meditation myself and was keen to introduce it to the children I was teaching. The children seemed to really enjoy this quiet time, which also often involved an art response. I think they also loved lying down after lunch and taking off their shoes!” she said.

“When I met Vicki, we began to offer meditation workshops and courses through schools and other venues. We have been fine-tuning the sessions ever since.”

Vicki, a registered meditation teacher with Meditation Australia, has been teaching children’s meditation for over 10 years in workshops, after-school programs and classrooms around NSW. She also runs Clear Minded For Life, an organisation which offers a meditation program for primary school children in Catholic and State schools around Australia.

Currently Vicki is teaching meditation in a number of Catholic primary schools on the NSW Central Coast and has a team of people available to teach in other locations around NSW, Victoria and Western Australia.

“Clear Minded For Life came about as a result of a desire to extend on what Fiona and I were doing to reach as many children as possible with this great knowledge on how to calm the mind, to connect and how to manage emotions and stress from a young age,” said Vicki.

According to Vicki and Fiona, children “really enjoy” the meditation workshops and “take away many different tools and techniques to assist them with everyday stress, sleeping at night time, managing emotions, as well as inspiration to be creative and feel free to express themselves in their own way”.

“Each session we offer the children a number of take-away pieces to remind them of their experiences,” said Fiona.

“These are designed to get them to recall what they felt during the meditation sessions and may include a coloured cloth square to sit upon during their own meditation at home, a special rock, an inspirational message on a card, a picture or a mandala.

“In addition to this, they leave with their own creative expression in the form of a drawing on card or a mandala and we suggest they put this somewhere special to remind them of the day. They always go home with something tangible as well as the wonderful skills they have learnt during the day.”

The Children’s Meditation Workshop will be held at the Mount St Benedict Centre on Saturday October 28, 1:30pm to 4:30pm. For bookings phone (02) 9484 6208 or email mtstbenedict@goodsams.org.au.


The Good Oil

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