Sitting Still…Like a Kid: An Interview with Eline Snel
Shambhala: How did you first become interested in teaching mindfulness to kids?
Eline Snel: I led a training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for a group of twelve principals at my local school board. They asked me to develop a training method for children. So I did, after several tryouts in different schools and age groups.
S: How do you explain to a child what mindfulness is?
ES: I use the metaphor of a frog to help children become familiar with mindfulness as a daily attitude or lifestyle. A frog can sit very still, but can also jump very far—just like our minds do. You can see the breathing in the frog’s belly. Awareness of your own breathing helps you to concentrate and focus. And notice when the concentration is gone. Frogs are also aware of their surroundings, without constantly reacting.
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