This meditative exercise can be a great way to get the girls to pause, breathe, and reflect on their own peace and good feelings towards their friends.
Each participant will have two tokens – one to represent themselves and the other to represent a friend – and a cup or bowl of water.
The girls will get into a comfortable seated position with a token in each hand.
With their eyes closed, and some soothing background music (ideally a water feature, like the sound of the sea or a water fountain), they can begin to meditate.
The girls will be guided by the group leader/volunteer who encourages them with imagery, read out below:
“Imagine you are sitting in a beautiful garden. You are warm and comfortable. Look around you. What can you see? What can you smell in the air? Try to slow your breathing so you are taking deep, steady breaths.
In front of you there is a water fountain, with clear sparkling water flowing from its mouth. Can you hear the water burbling?
Now, turn the token over in your right hand. Think of a calming, positive thought for yourself: may I be kind, may I be happy. Drop your token into your cup. In your left hand, you have another token. Turn it over in your hand and drop it into your cup as you think of another positive thought for your friend. May they be happy. May they be calm.
How does it feel in this beautiful garden? Think of all of the colours you can see. Think of all the smells.
As the girls slowly open their eyes, encourage them to share how they feel – if they want to. What kind of positive things do they wish for themselves? How did it feel to think about friends?
This short meditative exercise will allow the girls to have space to breathe and reflect on what friendships mean to them, by wishing positive thoughts for people they care about. It will also provide them with an opportunity to practise positive self-talk, encouraging them to consider good things for themselves.
‘Loving Kindness’ is the name of this kind of meditation, which was invented by Buddhists and helps to grow kind, friendly feelings for the person that you think of in the meditation