Today at Om School, children will practice mindfulness of thoughts. We’ve had this lesson before and noticed how our thoughts are like butterflies — constantly fluttering about in the garden. The kids were quite surprised to discover the constant flow of images in their own minds.
This is as far as we got with this lesson last time — just noticing the parade of pictures streaming through our minds. Then children made these very sweet wool-roving butterflies to represent their thoughts.
Today we will venture a step further into this practice. I’ve asked all of the kids to bring a puppy photo, picture from a book, or even a stuffed animal puppy. We’ll explore the nature of puppies and discover that, as delightful as puppies are, without a little training and encouragement, they tend to run about and get themselves into trouble.
Thoughts have a similar nature.
To begin training our Puppy-Minds, we’ll put on our Mountain Bodies, open our Fox Ears, bring our attention to our Ocean Breathing — and notice how our minds are like puppies… quickly running off! We’ll try using a verse like, “Come home, puppy!” to bring our attention back to our breath. Then we’ll illustrate this exercise in our Mindful Schools workbooks.
For parents wondering about the relevance of this exercise, Shambala Sun has a great article here. When we pay attention to our thoughts with a gentle curiosity, we can move away from allowing thoughts to unconsciously direct our lives.
For more about Puppy-Mind practice, check out this article at Mindfulness for Students UK.