Shambhala Art with Children!
By Jill Blagsvedt
I was recently invited by Jennifer Lacy, Head of Family Life at the Shambhala Center of Boston, to present some of the Shambhala Art teachings and exercises to the Mindfulness for Children program. First I worked with a group of about ten children, ages 6-10, then a group of about eight tweens and teens. I was supported by colleagues Dan Melish and Esther Seibold who led various meditations.
I had so much fun that I wanted to share what we did and some of the spontaneous poetry that we created. We focused on the Shambhala Art exercises that help us to awaken our senses, and then create from that experience.
We talked about simply experiencing our senses versus thinking about them or thinking we already know what something is like because we see it. We then focused on the sense of touch by feeling objects in paper bags that I had prepared. They felt different objects in the bags, without looking (this was very hard!), with textures of smooth, pokey, sandy, squishy, soft and more. Then we experienced the senses of taste and again touch, over our snack break. Finally we came back together, sat in our meditation postures and in that space allowed our experiences of the felt sense to arise in words.
Those who were brave – adults and children – were then asked to share their poems! Here is a sampling of what arose:
the cracker was salty and crunchy
the carrots were hard to bite and had a crunch
the juice was cold
soothing to the touch
something was squishy and cool
It made me cold
It felt like ice
like “spiky” straws
from a summer barn…
I poke my
boiling in a pot
my scarf went in the pot
sticky, sharp and smooth
grains of rice flowing through fingers
impatience and curiosity
sense and sensibilitysquishy
Interested in exploring Shambhala Arts for yourself?
Join us on March 30th for Shambhala Art Day Community Celebration, and for Shambhala Art Parts I & II in July.
From: Wake up Boston!