Tapestry of Faith: Sing to the Power: A Social Justice Program for Children Grades 4-5

Taking It Home: The Power of Stillness

In stillness the world is restored. — Lao Tzu

IN TODAY'S SESSION... the children heard a story which connected Henry David Thoreau seeking stillness at Walden Pond with the biblical story of Elijah finding God in the "still, small voice." We talked about air power as power that comes from stillness and listening, and discussed how sometimes very small things we do can have a big impact. The children experienced a meditation which focused on breath, and created prayer flags from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition to send their prayers/wishes out on the wind.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. How do members of your family feel when the atmosphere around them is quiet, with no music, TV, or talking? Are there ways members of your family seek stillness, or ways to be quiet? Are there ways you seek stillness or quiet together?

FAMILY RITUAL. Find a time during the day when your family can practice stillness together. This might be as simple as everyone closing their eyes and taking a couple of deep breaths before dinner. Or, light a candle before bedtime and spend a few minutes together watching the flame in silence.

FAMILY ADVENTURE. Henry David Thoreau found inspiration sitting quietly by Walden Pond and paying attention to the natural world around him. Your family might wish to visit a nearby lake, pond, or reservoir and spend some quiet time observing what you see around you. Encourage children to bring paper and pencil, and to write notes or draw pictures describing what they see, as Thoreau did.