Meditation: Healing The Scars From Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, PTSD And More – Part 2

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By Tom North, author of True North: The Shocking Truth About “Yours, Mine and Ours”

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

yogaposeIn my own experience, and in the experience of many meditators who have been culturing a daily meditation practice over time, the ongoing result has been a steadily growing expansion of awareness and appreciation for all of life. This takes the form of improved relationships with those around me, connection with the entire human race and seeing the divine intelligence in the simplest life forms.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include experiencing an overwhelming sense of love for everyone and everything I encounter. As one friend and former college classmate of mine said, “I was stopped in commuter traffic on the 405 freeway in L.A. I looked around me at the thousands of cars and people and was feeling an unbounded love for all of them!”

If this is the outcome of consistent meditation, then it certainly is worth trying for anyone whose long-ago trauma-related or trauma-triggered emotions frequently get the better of them. For those who simply cannot see their way out of their own personal darkness, meditation is even more important. I encourage you to make the commitment.

8 Steps to Help You Develop Your Daily Meditation Practice for Trauma Healing

* Give yourself permission to get better, understanding that meditation can provide healing and relief.

* Seek out a meditation teacher. Meditation is like walking in an unfamiliar forest. It is best to have a guide.

* Commit to regularity. Research shows that 20 minutes twice a day is optimal.

* Create a space that is just for you to meditate each day. Unplug the phone(s) and put your silenced cell phone where you cannot see it. No cheating!

* Get your mediation checked regularly by your teacher. This is very important.

* If you absolutely have to miss a session, do not be hard on yourself – it is OK to renegotiate with yourself, recommit and pick up where you left off.

* Wait two months, and then check in on your memories of pain and trauma…do you feel better able to just let them go, to allow them to NOT MATTER anymore?

* Congratulate yourself for staying with it! You’re on your way to true healing.

*Disclaimer: Please remember that meditation is not a substitute for professional care or psychiatric help if that is what is needed. Many physicians and psychologists recommend meditation in conjunction with standard therapies.

– Tom North is the author of True North – The Shocking Truth About “Yours, Mine and Ours” They appeared to be the blissful Beardsleys, the happily blended family-eight of Helen North’s, ten of Frank Beardsley’s, and two children from their union. A family so famous in America that Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda played the parents in the box office smash–Yours Mine and Ours. But they were anything from blissful; in fact they were the beaten and battered Beardsleys. That’s the real hidden story behind the spotlight. And Tom North, Helen’s second eldest son, is now revealing how he survived the ordeal of living with a horrifyingly abusive stepfather that drove him to depression and drugs, and deprived him of his self-worth-and a mother who protected the image of the “perfect” family at all costs. But True North is much more than an inspiring and powerful account of a man who rose to success against all odds. It’s a story of how Transcendental Meditation (TM) brought peace to Tom North and saved his life. It brings to light how effective meditation is as a means for healing trauma survivors and especially those who have endured any form of verbal, physical or sexual abuse. For more information, go to truenorthbytomnorth.com/

Meditation: Healing The Scars From Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, PTSD And More – Part 1

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By Tom North, author of True North: The Shocking Truth About “Yours, Mine and Ours”

Meditation saved my life.

yogaMy father, Richard North, died in a Navy jet test flight crash when I was six years old. Fifteen months after his death, my mother, Helen North who had eight children, re-married a man named Frank Beardsley who had ten, making us one of the largest families in the country. We became famous, and our story was featured in the movie, Yours, Mine and Ours. But it wasn’t one big happy family. We had to hide the fact that we were living a lie.

My stepfather was abusive on every level; physically, emotionally and sexually. His constant rage, disapproval and controlling personality left deep emotional scars. And, to make matters worse, our family hid this from the outside world, so we each suffered in silence. The toll I paid was enormous. Lacking any sense of self-worth, it drove me to depression and drugs. I imagine many people will identify with the feelings, even if their home life was not as extreme as mine. But trauma is trauma–whether suffered in a living room or the theatre of war.

As a young adult I discovered meditation. It was my passage out of a deep depression and emotional despair, and I’m here to recommend it as a powerful and effective solution if you cannot get out of the mental patterns that keep you stuck, feeling a victim of past trauma.

Meditation was and still is a vital therapy for my continued survival and healing from a life of child abuse and domestic violence. I still practice it every day, having begun more than 38 years ago.

Meditation is indeed a powerful tool for health and healing on all levels. Research shows that group meditation can produce a radiating influence of peace in society. Recently, Dr. Deepak Chopra sponsored and conducted an online Global Group Meditation for Peace with over 100,000 people participating from around the world. I was happy to be a part of this important event.

This was a tremendous service Dr. Chopra was delivering to the audience, for as he explained, meditation is the key to our connection with ourselves: Our Divine Selves. It is also our connection to the collective consciousness. Studies show that everything in the universe is connected and it is possible to unite people in heart-focused care and intention to facilitate the shift in global consciousness from instability and discord to balance, cooperation and enduring peace.

The Health Benefits of Daily Meditation are Many

The scientific evidence documenting the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, especially for PTSD, which includes child abuse, is conclusive. While there may always be skeptics, it is irrefutable that meditation delivers improvements on every level of life, from stress management to emotional, physical and spiritual balance.

Dr. Norman Rosenthal, senior research scientist at the National Institute of Health (NIH), has published his studies of over 300 experiments that prove the importance and benefits of meditation. This is in addition to the many thousands of published reports that have become available over the last 40 years that have come out of Maharishi University of Management, Harvard University and many others.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Tom North is the author of True North – The Shocking Truth About “Yours, Mine and Ours” They appeared to be the blissful Beardsleys, the happily blended family-eight of Helen North’s, ten of Frank Beardsley’s, and two children from their union. A family so famous in America that Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda played the parents in the box office smash–Yours Mine and Ours. But they were anything from blissful; in fact they were the beaten and battered Beardsleys. That’s the real hidden story behind the spotlight. And Tom North, Helen’s second eldest son, is now revealing how he survived the ordeal of living with a horrifyingly abusive stepfather that drove him to depression and drugs, and deprived him of his self-worth-and a mother who protected the image of the “perfect” family at all costs. But True North is much more than an inspiring and powerful account of a man who rose to success against all odds. It’s a story of how Transcendental Meditation (TM) brought peace to Tom North and saved his life. It brings to light how effective meditation is as a means for healing trauma survivors and especially those who have endured any form of verbal, physical or sexual abuse. For more information, go to truenorthbytomnorth.com/

Create A Meditation Room For Your Kids

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By Marcela De Vivo

kidsFor those with stressful jobs and a demanding list of daily activities, meditation and relaxation can be an important part of a daily routine. However, meditation isn’t just helpful to adults; it can also be extremely beneficial to kids as well. If you have a child who is taking an interest in your yoga and meditation, a good way to encourage their involvement would be to build them their very own meditation room.

Assuming you have the space to allocate for something like this, it would be ideal if your child had a room of their own, styled and constructed with their personality in mind. This can be quite encouraging to a child who is in the process of growing up and taking an interest in what their parents are involved in.

If you believe that regularly meditating is a crucial part of that process, then you should definitely take the opportunity to encourage them in it, in any way you can.

Setting up a yoga or meditation room is a great way to get your kids more involved, and it isn’t terribly difficult. It will just involve a little kid-friendly creativity on your part.

1. Water wall. Now, we’re not saying to purchase the largest water wall you can find. After all, this is for your children’s meditation room. A small water wall or bubbling fountain will be the perfect touch.

Both hearing the sound of running water and seeing it has an extremely relaxing effect, and it will help your child to settle down get quiet enough to actually meditate.

2. Kid friendly decor. You don’t want the room to be distracting to your child, but you should strive to fill the room with kid-friendly decor, including pictures, colors and furniture that are all geared towards your child’s age range.

As your child grows and continues to use the room, you can update it over time with age-appropriate items so that your child doesn’t feel like they’ve outgrown their meditation room.

3. Bean bags. Bean bags are both comfy, relaxing and ideal for a kid’s meditation room. This gives them a comfortable place to sit while they meditate, as opposed to using the floor. Getting a young kid to focus for a long period of time is nearly impossible if they’re not comfortable, so make sure that if you are going to go through the trouble of creating a room specifically so they can focus, be sure that it’s accommodating and comfy for them.

4. Colorful yoga mats. If your children are old enough (around 10 to 12 years of age), you might want to opt for yoga mats instead of bean bags. You will want these yoga mats to be colorful or just allow your child to choose their very own design and color.

Helping a Child Focus

If there’s one thing that kids do not have the patience for, it’s the ability to focus. Their attention spans are short and their interest ebbs and flows like the waves of the sea; however keep in mind that all this should be predicated on your child’s initial interest in yoga and meditation– you want to facilitate that interest and not force it on them.

By designing a meditation room that is tailored to your children’s personality, you’ll have an easier time incorporating meditation and yoga into their daily routine, helping to improve their focus and concentration.

– Marcela De Vivo is a writer for Soothing Walls, mother and yoga enthusiast in the Los Angeles area. She and her children love practicing yoga each day in their special meditation room, which is complete with bean bags, a water wall and yoga mats!

The Importance of Meditation

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By Jeff Gitterman

brainthinkingI recently read an article about Max Planck, who won a Nobel Prize for his work with atoms. After years of study and research, Planck eventually said that he could only know one thing—that some invisible force holds together energy to create this minute solar system, and he must assume, based on his research, that some higher intelligence is behind this force.

Quantum physicists today will often tell us the same thing, sometimes in rather mind-twisting statements, but these ideas are not just the esoteric territory of the scientific fringe, as many scientists have believed that the world can be understood in terms of energy for some time. In 1632, Galileo published A Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems, which included his principle of relativity, which states that the fundamental laws of physics are universal in all fixed situations. Others, such as Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, continued to build on the work of Galileo, which eventually led to the discovery of Einstein’s famous theory of relativity in 1905. E=mc2 states that energy equals mass times the speed of light squared, and that energy and mass are transmutable.

The idea that everything in this world is made of energy is also something that has been known to spiritual mystics for millennia, particularly in the Eastern traditions. Over the past thirty years, as we’ve seen a greater synthesis of Eastern and Western thought, many ancient teachings of the East have gained a wider acceptance in the West, especially as science has begun to validate some of these key spiritual insights.

According to many Eastern systems, our minds are the greatest obstacle to better understanding the world and connecting to the larger energetic system that surrounds us.

According to many Eastern systems, our minds are the greatest obstacle to better understanding the world and connecting to the larger energetic system that surrounds us. If we take a moment and look within, most of us will notice a voice inside our heads that is talking so fast we can barely concentrate on anything. Sometimes I ask people in my seminars to give me an image that describes this. “A six-lane highway,” one person said. “An endless to-do list,” said another. Other images include an orchestra without a conductor or a traffic jam at a busy intersection. Almost without exception, people come up with images that represent chaos, confusion, fragmentation and lack of integration. In this day and age, when our minds are bombarded with so many distractions, it’s no wonder we can’t keep still.

Generally speaking, there are two ways our minds work. If we have a project or task to solve, we can engage our mind to help us accomplish our goals. A scientist figuring out a lab experiment, a mathematician working out a complex equation, and a writer creating a novel are all utilizing the mind in this way. When we engage our minds in problem solving, our minds are working for us.

All too often though, we aren’t engaging our minds productively. Rather, our minds are engaging us—running around in multiple directions, depleting our energy and not really accomplishing anything. It’s just trying to keep us hooked—on it. When we lose our attention to the endless stream of thoughts that continually run through our heads, we’re no longer using our minds—rather, our minds are using us.

The first step in learning to harness the power of our attention is to become aware of how it moves. To do this, we need to find a way to disengage from the endless stream of thoughts that preoccupy us. This is one of the fundamental reasons people practice meditation, in all its many forms.

yogaposeWhen I use the term meditation, I don’t necessarily mean sitting cross-legged on a cushion, but rather participating in any deliberate activity that teaches you to disengage from a compulsive relationship to the stream of thought. There are numerous books that have been written over the years on the subject of meditation and how to disengage from the thinking mind or, more simply put, how to stop listening to the voice inside your head. It’s important that you find a method that works best for you.

The benefit of learning how to disengage our attention from our thought stream is that we can then apply our minds more readily towards constructive things, such as completing goals and connecting with other people. It creates space within us—an opening that allows more energy to flow into us. In this seemingly paradoxical way, having more space in our minds allows us to accomplish more and more things in the world.

Adapted from Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity
© 2009 Jeffrey L. Gitterman – Published by AMACOM Books
All rights reserved – A Division of the American Management Association.

– Jeff Gitterman is an award winning financial advisor and the founder and CEO of Gitterman & Associates Wealth Management, LLC. www.gawmllc.com. He is also the co-founder of Beyond Success, www.BeyondSuccessConsulting.com, a consulting firm that brings more holistic values to the world of business and finance. His first book, Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity, was recently published by AMACOM.

In 2004, Jeff was honored by Fortune Small Business Magazine as “One of Our Nation’s Best Bosses.” He also serves as chairman of the advisory board to the Autism Center of New Jersey Medical School, an organization that raises significant monies each year for autism research and support services.

Meditation Can Help You Have A Healthier Heart

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By Kac Young PhD, DCH, ND, Certified Transformational Meditation Trainer

yogaposeAsk anyone who meditates regularly and they will tell you they receive mental, physical and spiritual benefits. Medical doctors often recommend meditation to help reduce chronic pain, stress, high blood pressure and anxiety.

Science has yet to fully explain how meditation works, but we can clearly say it has to do with the connection between the mind and body. Psychology Today tells us, “Maybe meditation isn’t so mysterious after all. Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex – brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression and anxiety.”

Meditation is simply the act of putting your attention on a single area of focus for a period of time. Specific focus distinguishes it from daydreaming, musing or fantasy. The word meditation means the emptying of the mind of thoughts, or the concentration of the mind on one thing, in order to aid mental or spiritual development, contemplation, or relaxation. (1)

Meditation comes in many forms. Transcendental Meditation, for example, focuses on a mantra, which can be a word, phrase, or sound that is repeated with every slow breath. Zen Buddhist meditation involves sitting in special positions as you direct your awareness to your posture and breathing. A third form is mindfulness meditation where you practice being aware of the present moment by observing your thoughts, feelings, and sensations, without making judgments or allowing yourself to think about the past or worry about the future.

yogaposeOver the past 30 years meditation has been shown to help in conditions such as insomnia, chronic pain, psoriasis, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, and some psychiatric disorders. It has been shown to alter aspects of the immune, nervous, and endocrine system. Research suggests it may be particularly useful in helping people reduce anxiety and depression associated with illness. (2)

Any condition that’s caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation, says cardiologist Herbert Benson, MD, founder of the Mind/Body Institute at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

“The relaxation response [from meditation] helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves,” Benson says. Tension and tightness seep from muscles as the body receives a quiet message to relax. As a cardiologist he recommends meditation to his patients with heart disease.

Some documented results achieved from meditation are:

Immune Booster. Meditation also helps ward off illness and infections. In one study testing immune function, flu shots were given to volunteers who had meditated for eight weeks and to people who didn’t meditate. Blood tests taken later showed the meditation group had higher levels of antibodies produced against the flu virus, according to the study in Psychosomatic Medicine.

Hot flashes. In a study in Menopause of 110 women going through menopause, those who participated in an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program coped better with their hot flashes. Though the program didn’t significantly reduce the intensity of hot flashes, the women reported improved quality of life, better sleep, and less anxiety and stress.

Depression. In a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry of people who had been successfully treated for depression, mindfulness-based therapy was as effective as antidepressants in preventing relapses.

Pain. Long-term practitioners of mindfulness meditation handle pain better, a study in the journal Pain found. Anticipating more pain makes current pain worse; being attentive to the present helps prevent this. Another study in the same journal found that mindfulness meditation reduced pain and increased physical function in older people with chronic low-back pain.

healthyheartHeart Health. Countless studies have looked at meditation and heart health. Regular practice has been shown to significantly help high blood pressure over the long term, according to government-sponsored studies conducted at the College of Maharishi Vedic Medicine in Fairfield, Iowa.

If you want to have a healthy heart, alleviate stress, create more balance and lead a more centered life meditation may be the practice for you.

To begin:

• Look for classes locally and visit three or more meditation centers until you find one that feels right for you.

• Experiment with different types of meditation. Find the method that works best for you.

• Check out DVDs that offer guided meditations if you can’t attend classes regularly.

• Create a schedule that includes meditation every day.

• Document your progress in a journal. Describe the changes you feel on your program.

• Stay faithful to the practice and don’t let yourself get sidetracked.

• Enjoy the peace meditation brings.

“PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all of those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~ unknown

(1) Encarta Dictionary
(2) Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society.

– Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a Ph.D. in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding.

While earning her Ph.D. in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy, she completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University.

She also earned a doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. Her practice includes, weight control, smoking cessation, behavior modification, stress reduction, past-life regression, meditation training and phobia management. Her books include: “Heart Easy, The Food Lover’s Guide to Heart Healthy Eating,” “Discover Your Spiritual Genius,” “Feng Shui the Easy Way,” “Dancing with the Moon,” “21 Days to the Love of Your Life,” “Gold Mind,” “Cheese Dome Power,” The Path to Fabulous,” “The Quick Guide to Bach Flower Remedies” and “Supreme Healing.”

Meditation Can Help You Have A Healthier Heart

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By Kac Young PhD, DCH, ND, Certified Transformational Meditation Trainer

yogaAsk anyone who meditates regularly and they will tell you they receive mental, physical and spiritual benefits. Medical doctors often recommend mediation to help reduce chronic pain, stress, high blood pressure and anxiety.

Science has yet to fully explain how meditation works, but we can clearly say it has to do with the connection between the mind and body. Psychology Today tells us, “Maybe meditation isn’t so mysterious after all. Neuroscientists have found that mediators shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex – brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression and anxiety.”

Meditation is simply the act of putting your attention on a single area of focus for a period of time. Specific focus distinguishes it from daydreaming, musing or fantasy. The word meditation means the emptying of the mind of thoughts, or the concentration of the mind on one thing, in order to aid mental or spiritual development, contemplation, or relaxation (1).

Meditation comes in many forms. Transcendental Meditation, for example, focuses on a mantra, which can be a word, phrase, or sound that is repeated with every slow breath. Zen Buddhist meditation involves sitting in special positions as you direct your awareness to your posture and breathing. A third form is mindfulness meditation where you practice being aware of the present moment by observing your thoughts, feelings, and sensations, without making judgments or allowing yourself to think about the past or worry about the future.

Over the past 30 years mindfulness meditation has been shown to help in conditions such as insomnia, chronic pain, psoriasis, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, and some psychiatric disorders. It has been shown to alter aspects of the immune, nervous, and endocrine system. Research suggests it may be particularly useful in helping people reduce anxiety and depression associated with illness (2).

Any condition that’s caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation, says cardiologist Herbert Benson, MD, founder of the Mind/Body Institute at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “The relaxation response [from meditation] helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves,” Benson says. Tension and tightness seep from muscles as the body receives a quiet message to relax. As a cardiologist he recommends meditation to his patients with heart disease.

Some documented results achieved from meditation are:

Immune Booster. Meditation also helps ward off illness and infections. In one study testing immune function, flu shots were given to volunteers who had meditated for eight weeks and to people who didn’t meditate. Blood tests taken later showed the meditation group had higher levels of antibodies produced against the flu virus, according to the study in Psychosomatic Medicine.

Hot flashes. In a study in Menopause of 110 women going through menopause, those who participated in an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program coped better with their hot flashes. Though the program didn’t significantly reduce the intensity of hot flashes, the women reported improved quality of life, better sleep, and less anxiety and stress.

Depression. In a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry of people who had been successfully treated for depression, mindfulness-based therapy was as effective as antidepressants in preventing relapses.

Pain. Long-term practitioners of mindfulness meditation handle pain better, a study in the journal Pain found. Anticipating more pain makes current pain worse; being attentive to the present helps prevent this. Another study in the same journal found that mindfulness meditation reduced pain and increased physical function in older people with chronic low-back pain.

Heart Health. Countless studies have looked at meditation and heart health. Regular practice has been shown to significantly help high blood pressure over the long term,according to government-sponsored studies conducted at the College of Maharishi Vedic Medicine in Fairfield, Iowa.

If you want to have a healthy heart, alleviate stress, create more balance and lead a more centered life mediation may be the practice for you. To begin:

• Look for classes locally and visit three or more meditation centers.

• Experiment with different types of meditation. Find the method that works best for you.

• Check out DVDs that offer guided meditations if you can’t attend classes regularly.

• Create a schedule that includes meditation every day.

• Document your progress in a journal. Describe the changes you feel on your program.

• Stay faithful to the practice and don’t let yourself get sidetracked.

• Enjoy the peace meditation brings.

PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all of those things and still be calm in your heart. ” ~ unknown

(1) Encarta Dictionary
(2) Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society.

– Dr. Kac Young – www.HeartEasy.com

Guest Post – Dr. Lesley Phillips, Meditation For Children

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There are appointments to keep, deadlines to meet, difficult situations to overcome and unfriendly, bullying people to deal with.

It’s a busy world for adults and children alike. There are appointments to keep, deadlines to meet, difficult situations to overcome and unfriendly, bullying people to deal with. Sometimes it seems we are swimming against the tide in a sea of stress. Yet we continue to have high expectations of ourselves and our kids. After all we only want the best for ourselves and for them.

So we spend a lot of time encouraging our children to excel. We pass on our wisdom and teach them what we know. We provide them with a set of beliefs and concepts about the world and how it works; as well as limits and guidelines for how to successfully navigate their way through it. Sometimes this means we pass on our fears and pain.

kidsSo how many parents have the life skills to cope with stress themselves, let alone teach their children how to handle it? Many of us have little time to relax from a busy schedule consisting of working, volunteering, socializing and looking after the family. Most struggle to cope with even minor issues, let alone divorce, infidelity, illness, unemployment and financial loss, to name but a few of the most common stress factors adults’ face.

So how can we encourage our children to relax and create balance in their lives when we don’t know the first thing about it? You may have a boisterous ten year old, or an overly emotional tween, but if your response is to shout back and attempt to control them, the result will hardly likely be a calm and zen-like offspring.

yogaMeditation helps promote physical health and emotional and spiritual well-being

The benefits of practicing meditation for children have been well studied scientifically and include having an increased attention span, reduced anxiety, increased ability to express compassion and create a peaceful environment for themselves and their peers. As well as increased self-esteem, ability to cope with negative emotions and improved ability to relax and wind down. There are also many scientifically physiological benefits to meditation.

All the above are reasons why I wrote my book “The Midas Tree.” In my practice as a meditation teacher and spiritual counselor I am able to assist many people, but I wanted to share the meditation techniques that I know really work with a wider and broader audience. Especially with children because I have a vision of what is possible if we can provide these skills to people before they venture into the world.

There are many meditation tapes and how to books available on the market, but “The Midas Tree” is something different. It is an adventure story that parents and kids can enjoy reading together. It is a story book that helps you learn about meditating and healing without even realizing that you are because you are having so much fun.

The Midas Tree was written to introduce meditation to children

A recent reviewer told me “You don’t even realize you are learning as you read this fictional story, but you are. I found myself “transforming” like Joshua was as he learned from the Devas and all the other wonderful characters. I stopped to reflect on his lessons myself as I was reading through the book.”

She also told me she was impressed with her son “His favorite was the Black Widow Spider… I was impressed to hear him voice the lesson back to me too that he thought Joshua learned before the spider told Joshua what the lesson was. I felt this book was written in such a way that he was intrigued enough to pay attention, but also he was learning without even realizing it.”

The hero of “The Midas Tree” as you probably have gathered is called Joshua. He discovers a golden acorn in a stream that transports him to another world inside a tree. The book follows him on a life time of adventures as he tries to find his way back home.

Meditation is taught through the mechanism of a fairy tale

Joshua meets many challenges along the way. They are the same types of challenges that we all meet in our day to day lives. The way he overcomes them is by facing himself and his ego and transforming what isn’t working. The mechanism to do this is learning to meditate.

They are the same types of challenges that we all meet in our day to day lives.

As he journeys through the tree, Joshua meets wise teachers, called Devas, who are the keepers of great spiritual secrets. Each one looks after a different realm within the tree and so uses the analogy of the tree and its biology to explain the concepts of meditation to Joshua.

Because Joshua’s mastering of the meditation techniques form part of the adventure, the kids learn in a very easy way. They can follow along as the Devas and other creatures instruct Joshua; if they choose can practice them in their own time.

Engaging characters help capture the attention and make learning easy

I had the book illustrated because I wanted to help paint a picture of the world I had created and its characters, and at the same time give a visual representation of the meditation techniques they practiced. While the paperback version has black and white sketches, the Kindle version is in color and the color images are available on the website too.

My next project will be to create a teaching guide using the pictures, so that teachers can use “The Midas Tree” in the classroom to teach meditation to their pupils. The characters are important because if the child identifies with them as favorite heroes and heroines then they will want to emulate their behavior.

The age that a child is ready to meditate varies, but anywhere from as young as 8 can be appropriate. Around 12 is a good age to read “The Midas Tree”, although it has been read by many adults who loved it just as much as the children did.

lesliephillpisDr. Lesley Phillips is a speaker, author, workshop leader, spiritual and meditation teacher based in Vancouver BC, Canada. Her book “The Midas Tree,” a spiritual adventure story for children of all ages is available on Amazon as a paperback or e-book.