Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sounds of silence.
— Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, "Sounds of Silence"
IN TODAY'S SESSION . . .
The children explored the physical reflective properties of mirrors. We used a mirror as a symbol to teach about reflection as a tool we find in our Unitarian Universalist faith. We talked about using reflection when we have difficult questions and need to think about the answers. And, we talked about when, where, and how we take the time to listen inside ourselves for a still, small voice.
The children learned that we often think of our own "still, small voice" as our conscience and that some people think of it as the voice of God. The group heard the story, adapted from Hebrew scripture (I Kings 19:11-12), of the prophet Elijah and his experience hearing a "still, small voice."
We learned about reflection to illustrate that:
- Unitarian Universalism is a faith that will help you nurture your spirit through reflection
- Unitarian Universalism encourages a free and responsible search for truth and meaning (fourth Principle)
- Unitarian Universalism learns from direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life (first Source)
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about . . .
When are times that different people in your family find it easy to be reflective? Around a campfire? on a mountaintop? at night?
Talk about the kinds of things each of you think about when you are being reflective. Does reflecting give you fresh ideas? Calm you down? Help you solve problems?
What does your "still, small voice" say to you?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try . . .
Talk about ways you have used, or could use, reflection to help find meaningful, truthful answers to difficult questions in your lives.
Many cultures and faiths use meditative practices to foster inward reflection. Explore forms of meditation that members of your family could learn together. Research online about Zen meditation or yoga meditation and locate meditation centers or classes in your area. You can hear guided meditations for children and adults on websites such as Learning Meditation.
A FAMILY RITUAL
Try setting a time, such as during a family meal or before children go to sleep, to be deliberate about reflecting on events and issues. Ask each other to reflect on something unusual about your day or something that happened which made you think. Share your reflections with one another.