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Should schools teach kids how to meditate?

Should schools teach kids how to meditate? ​   (NEWS CENTER) — Parents know how stressed their kids can get, juggling school work, extracurricular activities and making friends. Everybody has their own way of dealing with that stress, and some schools are teaching an unconventional technique to students: meditation. Twice a week at Rosemont Nursery School in Portland, the normal chaos and noise of a preschool subsides, and kids sit down for 45 minutes of meditation and yoga. Cayce Lannon, founder of Maine Yoga Kids, is teaching them to find their center. “Parents sometimes say, ‘What do you mean they’re going to sit and mediate and do yoga?’ They just can’t imagine what that looks like,” she said. Lannon doesn’t expect the kids to sit still or do exactly what she’s saying all the time. She does try to keep them entertained with singing, dancing and coloring. It looks like fun, but are the kids really getting anything out of it? Brain scans show the difference between novice and expert meditators’ brains during rest and during meditation.   (Photo: Custom) Dr. Karen Houseknect, a pharmacology professor at the University of New England and a long time meditator, admits people can be skeptical about meditating, because of the stereotypes. They want science, like brain scans, to back it up. Scientists haven’t been studying meditation long enough to prove all of its benefits, Houseknecht said, but science does show meditation can potentially prevent your brain from getting altered by chronic stress. “Meditation has been shown to lower stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, that fight or flight response,” she said. “Overtime,...

Fun children’s meditation with book The Dog Who Chased His Tail

Fun children’s meditation with book The Dog Who Chased His Tail Hong Kong author who’s practised meditation for three decades wrote book after seeing how it calmed his own young children down, writes Mark Footer The book is illustrated by Yae Yeung. Lost in Hong Kong, Found in Hong Kong, The Mermaid and the Pink Dolphin, Lulu the Hong Kong Cat; there are a number of English-language children’s books featuring Hong Kong, but until now there’s yet to be one that doubles as a guide to meditation. Enter The Dog Who Chased His Tail, which may not contain specific references to Hong Kong but has been produced by an author and illustrator who live on Lamma Island. “I’ve practiced meditation for over 30 years as my mum, who is a yoga teacher, taught me as a child,” says the book’s author, Gregory March. “I now have my own children, aged five and two, and I share simple breathing and meditation techniques with them. At bedtime or when they are simply overexcited, I’ve found it really helps. “I developed a simple breathing song which is a little bit funny and it makes them giggle and so therefore remember it. I’ve noticed an automatic association – the five-year-old occasionally sings it unprompted and finds it calming. So I decided to create a book blending my favourite zen story … the characters of a boy and his dog and this breathing song.” The story March refers to as his favourite, A Cup of Tea, is about Japanese master Nan-in, who receives a university professor inquiring about zen. Nan-in serves him tea but...