Activity 3: Meditation on Breathing
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- "Meditation on Breathing," Hymn 1009 in Singing the Journey, supplement to the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition
Preparation for Activity
- Memorize the meditation, which is a chant. If you are unfamiliar with how the chant should sound, ask someone who reads music or knows this chant to teach it to you.
Description of Activity
Through breath, children work with the image of love coming into us and going out to others.
Ask participants to spread out and sit up tall. Sing the entire chant with the participants several times. Process using these questions:
- When we are with our families there is a sense of peace. I wonder what your family is doing when it is peaceful.
- How is it possible to breathe in the peace of family and breathe out love?
- Does love surround us in our families? How?
Now add actions. With hands to the side begin the song. Raise hands for the first two phrases with hands meeting overhead on the word peace. Lower hands to shoulder height for the third phrase. Move hands creatively while chanting the last phrase.
If time allows, ask two older participants to sing the lower melody as participants breathe in and breathe out. Process the meditation using these questions:
- How is our body surrounded by love when we breathe out?
- How does love surround us in the care our families give us?
- How can we surround others in our families with love?
Affirm positive answers. End by saying that participants can try and think of this meditation during difficult times in a family, such as when siblings are fighting.
Including All Participants
Tell the group it is fine to do the movements in a way that feels comfortable for their body. Humming the tune or simply breathing in and out while others chant is a good adaptation.