Dr. Willard has been practicing meditation for over 20 years, and teaching for almost as long. His thoughts on mental health have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, mindful.org, cnn.com, and elsewhere.

Mindfulness for Kids 8: Lake stillness

with Dr. Christopher Willard & Hunter Clarke-Fields

Join Hunter Clarke-Fields and Dr. Christopher Willard in this special series of mindfulness practices for kids! Mindfulness offers kids a powerful tool for managing the pressures of school, peer relationships, and the increasing digital distractions, ultimately promoting their overall emotional intelligence and promoting a healthier, more balanced approach to life. 

[Mindfulness For Kids 8] Lake Stillness

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: You're listening to a Mindfulness for Kids episode of the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Today, we are visualizing ourselves as a lake.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent or kid. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children. I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the best selling book, Raising Good Humans, and now Raising Good Humans Every Day.

I'm joined by Dr. Christopher Willard, clinical psychologist, author, and dad. He is the author of 20 books, including Alpha Breaths and Growing Up Mindful. Both of us have been practicing mindfulness for over 20 years, and we are so excited to share the benefits with you.

Welcome back to the Mindfulness for Kids. Priss, thank you so much for being here.

[00:01:02] Dr Chris Willard: Thank you so much for having me. It's wonderful to be with you for another week and sharing some practices.

[00:01:08] Hunter: So, sometimes I feel a little scattered, and I'm just wondering if you have anything that can help when we feel a little wiggly and scattered and crazy.

[00:01:20] Dr Chris Willard: Absolutely. This is sort of a little bit of a practice, a little inspired by Jon Kabat Zinn, some other visualizations that I know, and visualizations that resonate a lot for me. So I'd like to do this visualization about, um, just resting in a pond. Um, so are you feeling ready? I'm ready. All right, so we can do this laying down, we can do this sitting up, but let's just get comfortable if we are sitting, and I'll invite you just to lean back on the couch or chair.

If you want to lay down, you can lay down. You can just allow your eyes to close or lower your eyes if that's comfortable for you, and you

can feel those points of contact with the surface underneath you, just letting yourself sink in a little bit,

and I'll invite you to imagine that you're... By a beautiful pond or lake, maybe one that you know and have visited, a beautiful clear pond or lake. And you can just imagine by the shore, looking at the pebbles and picking up a beautiful pebble and then just tossing it into the lake and watching the ripples ripple outward.

And you can imagine that you're... With that stone or pebble just gently, gently drifting down

past the surface, down a little bit deeper, and just sinking into the sand at the bottom with a soundless arrival.

And even though the surface of the lake may still have ripples down at the bottom, the Stone is just resting in stillness,

just like that stillness between your breaths or those other moments of stillness we all have in our day.

And meanwhile, back up at the surface, maybe there's wind creating white caps at the surface, ripples across the surface, yet all the way down, down at the bottom, the stone is just resting in the stillness, just held by the sand.

Other things may change at the surface, the sun might set,

stars may come out, and yet underneath the stone is just still way down at the bottom, just resting in the sand, dressing in the stones

morning may come where it's calm, and the lake or pond just reflects the sky, the sunrise trees and everything around it,

and down at the bottom. The stone is just still, just looking upward.

Other days, there's fog at the surface of the lake, obscuring the surface.

And yet, deep down, the stone is just still undisturbed by what else may be happening around the lake or at the surface of the lake. Days go by, seasons change into fall. Leaves may fall on the surface of the lake, eventually drifting down, down, down to rest next to the stone, which is just... Undisturbed, unbothered.

Leaves falling around it and yet the stone just remains still.

Winter comes and the surface freezes. Snow builds on the ice and yet, even in the dark, the stone's just cozy, nestled at the bottom of the lake. Bothered, unmoving. Disturbed by changes at the surface.

And as the ice and snow begin to melt and the cool water drifts, sinking down to meet the stone, the stone's undisturbed, unbothered, appreciating the stillness, enjoying the stillness so that regardless of the change of the seasons, weather, ice at the surface, stillness, fog, wind and waves. Deep down, the stone's just settled, resting, just watching changes happening all around and contacting that stillness in yourself, that stillness between the breaths,

taking a few more moments just to enjoy that stillness,

then beginning to raise your eye, taking that stillness with you, knowing you can come back to that stillness at any point in your busy day, undisturbed by the... News by what's happening in the world with friendships, with excitement on the playground or worries and anticipations. You can just be still and undisturbed just like the stone at the bottom of the lake.

Well, thank you, Hunter, for letting me share this practice. Thank you, Chris.

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