Watching Trains: A Calming Breath Practice for Kids

Join author Susan B. Katz in a playful practice that helps children to focus on their breath, while their thoughts zoom on by.

Today, we’re going to go to a train station together. But we’re not going to get on any of the trains. Our journey will be into ourselves. We’ll stay in the station with our breath, and in our bodies, and just watch the different trains come and go.

Like our train of thoughts, we want to notice the train, acknowledge it, or wave to it, and then let it go. The trains might have exciting things on them like toys, games, candy, or birthday cake, but you still want to stay in the station. Breathe in, breathe out, meet this moment as if it were a friend. So, let’s begin.

A Breathing Meditation for Children

A 5-Minute Stay In the Station Meditation

  • 4:55
  1.  To start, breathe in for three seconds and out for five seconds. It’s important to count our out-breath and our in-breath, and to breathe in for three and out for five—breathing out longer than we breathe in. This helps calm our bodies. 
  1. Let’s try, breathing in one, two, three. Breathing out one, two, three, four, five. As you sink into your breath, there’s a lot around you that might distract you. A train comes rushing by.
  1. You might get distracted, but you can always come back to your breath and stay in the station. Don’t get on that train. Here we go. Again, breathing in one, two, three. Breathing out one, two, three, four, five. Let’s try it again. Breathing in… breathing out. Again, breathing in… breathing out.
  1. Did you hear that? You might hear bells and whistles, but you can stay with your breath. Stay in the station. Breathing in… breathing out. 
  1. May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be safe and strong, may you be calm. May all beings be happy, may all beings be healthy, may all beings be safe and strong, may all beings be calm. Breathing in… breathing out.
  2. I‘m going to be silent for a few moments. I want you to stay with your breath.

Stay in the station. Don’t get on that train of thoughts, meet this moment as if it were your friend, you can wave to the thoughts, let them go. Anytime you need to, you can come back to your breath. It’s always with you. 

Excerpted from Meditation Station by Susan B. Katz.

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  • Mindful Staff
  • June 11, 2020