The theory and practice of mindfulness as a way for children to calm their busy minds, self regulate, become more hopeful and happy has been an area of increasing interest. The potential impact on our culture is great as it affects future generations.
It’s my pleasure to bring you this interview with Amy Saltzman, MD a holistic physician in Northern California who has been integrating mindfulness with children and teens for many years. Her current research has found significant impacts on children in the areas of attention, anxiety and compassion. I’ll be watching Amy speak at Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth Conference in San Diego on February 4 -5.
Today Amy talks to us about what the still quiet place is for children and teenagers, the impact of her research with children, and a little practice and advice to help us parents, caregivers and teachers along the way.
Elisha: What is the “Still Quiet Place” within for children and teenagers?
Amy: The Still Quiet Place is a way for children and teens to experience pure awareness. Awareness is a concept that may not make sense to young children. However, with guidance most children can discover that stillness and quietness (aka awareness) is alive inside of them. When I introduce mindfulness to children I begin by inviting them to attend to the breath– the feeling of the expansion of the in-breath, the stillness between the in-breath and the out-breath, the release of the out-breath, and the stillness between the out-breath and the in-breath.