Annual Meditation Tours
Since 2005, Sahaja Meditation has held annual Meditation Tours in different regions including the Northeast, Midwest, South, West Coast, and Southwest. Through these annual tours, youth activists and volunteers stop at numerous schools, universities, health fairs, and community centers teaching meditation in cities across the United States. Participants on these tours largely consist of college students who are driven by a motivation to teach meditation to others who are looking for meditation as a method of achieving balance in their daily lives. Due to the success of Sahaja Meditation programs at previous Boys and Girls Clubs locations, the focus of this year’s Sahaja Meditation Tour will be heavily focused on introducing meditation to the youth of Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
This year the Meditation Tour will pass through the Northwest region of America and the Southwest region of Canada. Programs will be held in Seattle (Shoreline, Renton, Bellevue, Edmonds, Lynwood), Portland, Kelso, Victoria, Vancouver (Surrey, North Vancouver, Langley, Burnaby), and Chilliwack. In addition to the Sahaja Meditation youth group in Seattle, numerous other young meditation practitioners from around the world will also the North American Meditation Tour this summer. The dates for this year’s tour are July 22nd – August 15th.
Collaborating With the Boys and Girls Clubs of America
The Boys and Girls Clubs of America has provided a positive and supportive environment for kids in America for over 100 years. It is through efforts of youth empowerment organizations, such as the BGCA, that the seeds of our future leaders and statesmen are sown in the childhood years of individuals. Sahaja Meditation aims to enable children to realize their full potential as an individual and as a member of their greater society. Children are enabled in this way through the practice of meditation, which gives them a personal understanding of civic duty and responsibility towards the common good.
Since Sahaja Meditation and BGCA have similar interests in helping youth become productive, caring, and responsible citizens, a partnership between Sahaja Meditation and BGCA is extremely beneficial to the youth enrolled in BGCA programs.
Previous collaborations between Sahaja Meditation and the BGCA have occurred in Pennsylvania in 2005, and in Florida, Alabama, and Texas in 2008. Previous collaborations with BGCA have been successful and especially enjoyable for the kids. Nearly everyone was able to meditate, and the staff has always been very supportive and made Sahaja Meditation representatives feel welcome. Sahaja Meditation’s collaboration with these BGCA sites most often consisted of a one-time meditation and music program for the children. During the first half of these programs, the children were taught how to meditate. During the second half of the program, the kids were provided entertainment in the form of music and dance pieces. This was always followed by interaction with the children, through which they learned to how to play the instruments, how to do dance moves, and how to improve their meditation practice.
Outline of Boys and Girls Club Programs
During this year’s North American Meditation Tour at Boys and Girls Clubs, there will be three different programs on separate days, in order to continually reinforce the practice of meditation for the students. Each program would be between 1-1:30 hours, and would include meditation sessions, music and dance entertainment sessions, artistic development sessions, and focus and attention exercises. The following is an outline of each program:
Program 1: Introduction to Meditation
- Introduce the Meditation Tour and youth activists
- Ice breakers, including skits to introduce meditation as a solution to life stressors
- First Meditation Session
- Short and slow song for meditation enrichment
- Multi-Cultural Entertainment: Theatre, Dance, Music
- Second Meditation Session with breathing exercises, “How to Meditate at Home” worksheet
- Interactive time – Chatting with kids, Learning about instruments and dance
Program 2: How to Apply Meditation in Your Daily Life
- “How You Feel Doing Homework Before Meditation” worksheet
- First Meditation Session in pairs/groups, use attention focusing exercises
- “How You Feel Doing Homework After Meditation” worksheet
- Multi-cultural Awareness and Entertainment session, Interact about world instruments and dance
- Second Meditation Session, “How to Stay Balanced in Tough Situations”
- Interactive Games emphasizing Teamwork and Cooperation
Program 3 (In Evening): Teaching Meditation to Others – Parents Invited
Introduction to parents about Sahaja Meditation Tour, youth activists, and the Meditation method
- Introduction to parents about Sahaja Meditation Tour, youth activists, and the Meditation method
- First Meditation Session, Kids Teach Parents how to Meditate
- Short Presentation on Scientifically Proven Benefits of Daily Meditation
- Second and Final Meditation Session with both Kids and Parents
- Discussion on how to Reinforce Daily Meditation at Home and How to Teach Friends and Family
- Question and Answer Session, Good-Bye’s