Tracks for Secular and Multi-Denominational Schools


While secular schools and multi-denominational primary schools do not engage in faith formation of children, very many children attending these schools are from families where faith plays a very important, grounding role in family life. Such schools do teach about religions and may also engage with mindfulness and meditation practices. While meditation is not taught in those schools as a faith-based practice, all of the children - those from different faith backgrounds and none - can nonetheless meditate together. Children from faith backgrounds can appreciate that the intention in meditation, from the perspective of their religious affiliation, is to sit in silence in the presence of the Divine while children who are not affiliated with any religious tradition can regard it simply as sitting in silence. The tracks on this page therefore contain no reference to God or faith, but teachers in multi-denominational or secular schools are free to remind children from time to time about what the different faith traditions of the world say about the intention of the practice. This topic is covered more fully in Meditation with Children: A Resource for Teachers and Parents which VERITAS (Dublin) will publish in Autumn 2017.

The tracks are in mp3 format which means you should be able to play them directly on a PC or a MAC or on a range of mobile devices including iPads, iPods, Smart Phones and so on. Each track begins with a narrator giving simple instructions, guiding the children into meditation. In the first three tracks this is followed by a 30-second clip of instrumental music which is immediately followed by three rings of a gong, announcing the start of the meditation. The appropriate period of silence then follows and each track ends with a further three rings of the gong, announcing the end of the period of meditation. Tracks 4 to 6 have a shortened introduction followed by the music and the gongs while the remain tracks (7-12) have a very short introduction and no music. Children can meditate for one minute per year of age when they have become accustomed to the practice.

              
                         
                                     

The final track, called Fast Finish, plays the gongs immediately. It can be used by the teacher to bring meditation to an early close if circumstances demand it e.g. if the class seems to be finding it difficult on a particular occasion to manage the normal period of silence or if some commotion outside the classroom disrupts the silence and distracts the children inordinately.