This meditation practice is a great way to make the loving-kindness meditation concrete for elementary school children.
The practice can be infused in the context of a variety of settings: home, class, school. You will need to create pairs — either child with parent/guardian or two children together (this works especially well with children from different age groups, e.g. 2nd grader with 5th grader). The practice is also a powerful representation of what it means to move from individual to community.
Send a Kind Wish to Yourself
Close your eyes. Sit up tall. Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Think of one kind wish to send to yourself. It can be sending yourself Peace, Love, Courage, Hope or the chance to just be. Breathe in the kind wish deep into your heart and slowly breathe out.
Share a Kind Wish with Each Other
Now face your buddy. You can sit knee-to-knee and look into each other’s eyes. Take a moment to think of one kind wish to say to each other. First have the older buddy share their kind wish the younger buddy. Now switch and have the younger buddy share their kind wish with the older buddy. Take a deep breath in together and a deep breath out. Note: if pairs are family members you can have them even hold hands across from each other.
Group Brainstorm: Kind Wish for the Greater Good
Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Take a moment and think of a kind wish to send to someone who could use a bit of love. This can be a grandparent or a teacher or it can be someone in need. Raise your hand to share your kind wish with the group. Note: you can write these words down on a notepad or whiteboard so the group can see the collective output.
Group Kind Wish Breath into the World
Take one breath in as a group, take in all the kind wishes that were shared in the room, and send a big community Kind Wish breath out into the world.