CRE December Grades 4+

I will try to be better about posting every week. This is what we have done in December.

December 4th Mindfulness Part 2

– Experience mindfulness through visual and auditory observation without judgement.

– Practice walking meditation

Each student received a small accordion book with questions about the story Owl Moon and were instructed to read the question and pay attention to getting the answers to the questions while listening to the story. We went outside and discussed the questions. Then we walked around the sanctuary grounds noticing things like the shape of the ground, what was heard, what animals might be around. We picked up objects and verbally described them to each other and talked about why we chose those objects. We also learned how to do walking meditation using the entire foot in a step. Asha observed that she couldn’t think about anything because she was concentrating on her steps.

December 11th Las Posadas

Harmony’s mother, known to those who love her as “Abu” (short for Abuela) gave us a lesson on the Christmas traditions of Mexico. We colored a paper creche and whacked a pinata.

December 18th Understanding the Sacred

I asked the students to listen to the singing bowl chime until it stopped making a sound while they closed their eyes and settled into a meditative state. But after a few seconds, I banged on the bowl hard several times and they were jolted with eyes wide open. I asked them how that felt and then related that feeling to when a group of people are attempting to settle into a spiritual frame of mind, jarring interruptions aren’t conducive to achieving it.

We talked about whether the singing bowl was inherently sacred or if it was sacred because a human gave it sanctity. I also asked them if my dog would consider it sacred if I used it to give him food.

We discussed:

  • mindfulness = awareness/attention
  • mindfulness = intention
  • mindfulness = curiosity

We also discussed each of the following words and how they are related to each other.

  • sanctuary
  • sacred
  • holy
  • ritual
  • worship
  • belief
  • truth
  • meaning
  • hubris – this one came up during the discussion

Additionally, we talked about differing religious perspectives on what is sacred, and how behavior changes depending on what a group of people believes is sacred.

December 25th As of this writing, this is still in the planning stages.