Mindfulness together

relational mindfulness for adults & kids

 
 

Mindfulness and meditation have become buzzwords in clinics, schools, and boardrooms, yet integrating them into daily life is often challenging. These powerful practices can be made more accessible when the themes, methods, and life skills that fuel them are taught using games simple enough to share with children. Mindful games explore the following important elements derived from psychology, philosophy, theology, neuroscience, education, and contemplative traditions: 

  • Six social, emotional, and academic life skillsquieting, focusing, seeing, reframing, caring, and connecting — that help us become less reactive and more aware of what’s happening within and around us
  • Five introspective methods — anchor practices, awareness practices, body scans, analytical practices, and visualization — that develop these crucial social, emotional, and academic life skills
  • Universal themes that help us navigate the ups and downs of workaday life with wisdom and compassion

Many children think meditation is easy, while adults find it difficult at first. But it’s important we work through the challenges because our own internal mindfulness has a powerful effect on everyone in our lives. Brief, frequent periods of practice help caregivers develop greater mind-body awareness, cultivate caring, connected relationships, and reduce stress.

Practicing on our own is terrific, and so is practicing mindfulness together. When we practice with our kids, partners, or friends, we’re not just tuning into our own experiences; we’re tuning into the other person’s inner and outer worlds too. Mindfulness together is relational mindfulness, where we watch, listen, sense, interpret, and respond to what other people say and do in a way that we better see and understand them, and that they feel seen and understood. Relational mindfulness happens all the time — when team members play together in a basketball game, they are in tune with each other and themselves, as are actors when they’re improvising a comedy sketch.

Here are some tips, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to additional resources to help get you started practicing on your own and together with family and friends.

 
 

We practice focusing by slowly moving our arms up and down, or back and forth, in sync with each other’s movements.