When I was a little girl peace meant the absence of war. As I got older, I learned that there are many ways people use and sometimes misuse the word peace. Peace means different things in different parts of the Bible too. Sometimes peace does mean the absence of war. Sometimes it means Shalom – peace as well as hello and good-bye. And, sometimes it means Eirene, which though it does mean peace is more like rest or tranquility. Let’s continue our discussion of mindfulness with an exercise to develop personal peace. Like the other exercises we have learned this one comes from Awakening Joy.
“During mindfulness sessions … the children lie on the floor wherever they wish.
I ask them to slowly relax and tune into their breathing.
I ask them to imagine a cute, cuddly puppy coming into the room.
I tell them that when they have wild and crazy energy, the puppy will get wild and
I ask them to relax enough that the puppy would come onto their laps.
They imagine the puppy’s soft fur and gentle breathing that we can feel in the puppy’s
tummy as the puppy calms down.
I tell them that like their minds, the puppy will wander off, and when they notice the
puppy off their laps, to gently bring him back with lots of love and compassion.
Finally, I say that the puppy might turn into an animal that they know, an animal they
love, or a forest creature, and encourage them to just bring the softness of the
concentration to that animal while they watch its breathing.”
Peace, like joy, is another thing we all want in our lives. Here is a simple way to find peace within, way to slow yourself down enough to be able to hear God and be in God’s Shalom.
Simple things, done with great love.
Director of Children & Young Family Ministries