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Leader Resource 1: Acorn Guided Meditation

Today we built a tree using the outside of our bodies. Now we'll go inside our imaginations. Let's imagine what it might feel like to grow from an acorn into a mighty oak.

Find a space where you are arms' reach away from anyone else. Squat on the ground in a tight ball, close your eyes, and imagine that you are a small little acorn... You are the seed of the mighty oak tree... I wonder how you were planted in the soil?... Maybe a farmer or squirrel put you there!... Now that you are in the soil, you need a few things to grow... I see rain clouds gathering... Feel the gentle rain as it comes to quench your thirst.

[Leaders: Walk among the "seeds" and water them by gently touching their heads with wiggling fingers.]

Now your roots are going deeper and anchoring you in the soil... . You need some sunshine to keep growing... Turn your face up to the sun and feel its rays warming the soil all around you... You are beginning to sprout!... Slowly and gradually begin to straighten your legs...

The sunlight is shining down on you, and you have lots of water and nutrients in the soil that are helping you grow even taller... Continue to slowly stand up with your arms by your side... there's more sun... and more rain... and now your branches are growing as you stretch your arms, out one at a time... and now unfurl your leaves, by opening your hands and gently wiggling your fingers... You are now a small tree or sapling.

As you continue to grow, raise your arms high up in the air toward the sun... Now you are a fully grown tree... in the spring, you will have flowers... in the fall you will have nuts... acorns... And you will live a long life, providing a home for birds, food for insects and squirrels, and oxygen for people... Listen to the bird song... Feel the squirrels tickling your bark as they run up and down your strong trunk... Breathe out your oxygen for people and use the carbon dioxide the people provide for you...

A storm is coming... Your branches shake and blow in the wind, but your roots keep you anchored... After many storms and many seasons, you are growing old... You may even lose the top of your tree... Slowly hang your head down... as you begin to lose branches to disease and storms... Slowly bring your arms down to your sides again...

What will happen when you die? ... Maybe you will begin to rot inside but still remain standing... ..If this happens, you are then called a snag... Snags offer a great place for woodpeckers to hollow out their homes! ... Listen to the woodpeckers drumming...

Eventually, over many years, you—the snag—will fall to the ground... Lie down now as you become a log lying on the forest floor... .. What might happen next? ... If the conditions are right—if there is enough sun, rain, and soil—a new tree will grow in your place from a seed or nut carried by the wind, or a bird, or a squirrel... And the cycle begins again... Slowly open your eyes and leave the forest as you come back to our circle here.

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