Holy Family students take lead on Christian meditation
June 25, 2019
It’s recess time at Holy Family Catholic Elementary School and from the window of the second floor classroom, you can hear the sound of the schoolground roar, that distinct combination of sounds as students gather and play in the waning days of the school year.
Despite the noise outside, the classroom is still. It’s dark. Somebody has turned off the lights. Students sit in their desks, eyes closed, peaceful. One student explains the process of meditation including the interior mantra, Ma-ra-na-tha (Come Lord Jesus).”
There is stillness for a few minutes. A chime rings and students slowly open their eyes. The calmness in the classroom is a sharp contrast to the noises of the schoolground outside.
One student described his efforts. The goal is to connect with God, he explained, but he said it can be hard to be still in mind, body, and spirit. Thoughts pile on, distractions are easy to come by.
So, the students have a tip. Think of your mind like a fish bowl. Thoughts and distractions are like bubbles; you have to allow them time to rise, but then they pop when they get to the surface.
When Holy Family began offering opportunities throughout the week for students to participate in Christian meditation, the students and staff involved say they tapped into a need at the school they didn’t even know existed.
Steven Williams, the school’s Special Education Resource Teacher, began leading Christian meditation with a small group of students and it soon blossomed.
Students took a leadership role and began volunteering to lead the weekly sessions. The school has since held a school-wide Christian meditation, as students from the group took their learning to other classrooms and led meditation for their peers.
“Students have told me…‘hey, this is something that feels good.’ They know that what they’re doing is helping them relax and calm themselves and a lot of them have taken these methods and gone home with them and they’re teaching their younger siblings and their parents just what they do during Christian meditation,” Williams said.
The payoff has been noticeable. Students who have participated say they are more relaxed, less distracted and more connected to God after taking part in Christian meditation on a regular basis.
PVNC has developed a Christian meditation handbook, and as we head into the summer, we encourage educators to take a look at the resource and consider downloading the World Community for Christian Meditation app on their smart phone and try meditating for short periods during the summer.
And look out for professional development opportunities about Christian meditation offered in the 2019-2020 school year.