mrs. neal's not-so-conventional MEDITATION [CLASS] for TEENS...

...the book and the recorded meditation

CHAPTER 24: mrs. neal’s not-so-conventional meditation class for teens…

Wisdom begins in wonder.

– Socrates, philosopher / teacher


I created and developed this not-so-conventional meditation class many years ago because students were eager to learn how to use the relaxation techniques I had discussed in a graphic arts class.

Students were curious and I love to teach — it seemed like a good idea!

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One of the most important things I learned from my own child is that kids ask a lot of questions — and they always seem to want to know “why.”

When he was just a little boy, my son asked me that age-old question, “Why is the sky blue?” We used to spend a lot of time outdoors, looking at the sky, watching clouds, talking about the changes in the sky from different types of weather, or at different times of the day.

It came as no surprise when the question came up, “Why is the sky blue?” I explained to him that it had to do with how light from the sun is diffused through the atmosphere, and how the atmosphere affects the different bands of light waves. He didn’t need a lengthy, detailed, highly-scientific answer, he just needed a simple explanation; he was satisfied with that answer.

After I taught my first meditation class, students wanted to know why: why how you breathe is such a big deal, why their fingers tingled, why they felt like they were dreaming, why one student fell asleep.

They wanted — no, they needed — to know the science behind it. I pulled out all of my old books, and bought a few new ones — and then I started to put some classes together that would answer their questions.

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As I taught more classes, I would talk to students to see if there were other questions they had.

Over the years, my meditation program has developed into the program I teach today — complete with my best answers to all of their questions.

If I didn’t know the answer, I told them so.

I also told them I would find an answer for them, or — more often than not — I would challenge them to find an answer.


I base my classes on the science behind each topic I teach, and on my personal spirituality.

No compromises. I have found that my students appreciate the honesty and knowledge I bring to share with them. And, they appreciate learning the hows and whys.


The How, When, Where, Why, And More Of Meditation

Several students requested that I include the how, when, where and why to use meditation. I do get a lot of questions about this, so, here are my answers to some of those most-asked questions from students.

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As I have mentioned elsewhere, there are many ways of practicing meditation; the class I teach is a very basic and easy-to-learn method — especially for teens.

I have found that if I keep it simple, students are more willing to try it.

After you get the basics down, you may choose to try different, or more advanced forms of meditation.

One of my students pointed out — and asked that I include in this book — that it’s important to be aware that when you are in an active state — when your brain waves are at higher levels of activity — it may take longer and be harder to achieve a meditative state than when you are already in a relaxed state.

Chapter 27 includes a guided meditation, which will go into more details about how to meditate.

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Teenagers are emotional — it’s your brain (remember reading about that?). Because of this, you need to de-stress yourself once in a while.

When you are feeling stressed or upset — for whatever reason — just taking a breath will help in the moment. However, if the opportunity exists, meditation is a great option for relaxing, and calming yourself down.

Another time that meditation is good to use is before taking a test. Studies have shown that if students can put themselves into the same state that they were in when they were studying, they will recall more information, and do better on the test.

(It’s also great for when you are preparing to study!)

If you have a hard time getting to sleep, try using meditation. The relaxation exercises used in meditation will help to slow down your brain waves, which is what happens naturally when you go to sleep.

Teens, in general, do not get enough sleep. Take another look at the section on sleep in chapter two, and how much sleep you should be getting. Do you get enough? Why not?

Using meditation not only can help with sleep, it also can serve as a sort of “power nap” when you just need to “recharge.” For example, if you have an after-school job, or play sports after school, or have other responsibilities, taking a few minutes to get into a meditative state will give you the energy to get through the rest of your day!.

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The environment you choose will affect your meditation. This topic has been touched on in other chapters that discussed the body and brain resonating with the frequencies around you.

Find a quiet place, if possible, with few distractions.

Be aware of your surroundings. The people, colors, and objects around you will have an impact on the quality of your meditation. Try to find a space with calming colors — pastels, blues, greens — and a space with minimal objects.

Solitude is nice — preferably with no people or other distractions. Turn off the phone, TV, blaring radio, etc.

Soft music is nice; loud, pounding music is not.

The ideal place is a place you can use whenever you want — like a corner in your room that you can convert to a meditation space. All you need is a comfortable, cozy place to sit. A CD player is nice for that soft, soothing music, if you’d like. Scent is an option, too, but not necessary. Light an incense stick or use a drop of essential oil on a cotton ball (more on that later).

A busy, noisy environment will not be conducive to a peaceful meditation. If you can’t do anything about the external noise, wear headphones, and turn the volume down!

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Gosh, where to begin!

There are so many benefits to using meditation — many of which have been discussed in other chapters in this book.

One of the best is that meditation will trigger the release of those feel-good endorphins! It just makes you feel good!

My students have told me they have used meditation to help them to sleep, to control their anger, to focus their thoughts and to study, to deal with their stress, and to pray.

In addition to reducing stress, other benefits include gaining a clearer mental focus, a stronger immune system, and improving your self-control.

A point I stress in class is that when you are using meditation, you are staying in control of your mind and your body the entire time. No one, no thing takes that control away from you.

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And More…

I do use aromatherapy in class when I can.

I explain that scent is a powerful tool — and that our sense of smell, a more primitive sense, not only evokes memories, but also can induce relaxation.

There’s a bit of science here, too. When we breathe in a pleasant scent, the olfactory bulb (scent gland) — part of the limbic system — which is located just behind the bridge of our nose sends a message to the receptors in the brain that trigger the release of those feel-good chemicals.

I place a drop of an essential oil on a cotton ball to hand out in class. The oils are a good quality (from Spiritual Sky Incense in New Zealand — I use their oils to ensure students don’t have a reaction to the oils). The scents are selected for their relaxation qualities — lavender, musk, sandalwood, etc.

As I am beginning the class, I hand a scented cotton ball to each student. As I place the scented cotton ball into their hands, I have an opportunity to connect with each student.

As a side note here, I think God uses this opportunity to guide me to students who need attention.



I also like to use music in class.

I bring a selection of CDs with me that would be appropriate for meditation — soft, gentle music, flutes, acoustic guitars, nature sounds, classical with the sounds of the ocean, and so on.

I then ask for a student to be my volunteer, and have that student select which CD we will listen to during the class.

This gives me an opportunity to point out that volunteering can be a good thing!

Next, we talk about the type of music we use in class, and why. The type of music is soft and soothing, with no words.

As discussed in previous chapters, the body and brain resonate with the frequencies around them — that includes music.

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I must share these two brief stories about the music.


First story:

I love the Rolling Stones’ music (yes, I am that old), and I love classical music. I have a CD of a philharmonic orchestra playing the Stones’ music. However, I can’t use it for meditation because I know the words to the songs, and I find myself singing along in my head. It’s a great CD, but it’s not effective for meditation.


Second story:

I was playing a classical-type CD in class one evening, and I had gotten to the part of the class where I go through a guided meditation. As I was guiding the students through the relaxation exercise — and the CD had come to a particular track of music — I noticed that some of the students were flinching a little, opening their eyes and looking around, and acting a little startled. I asked if there was a problem. I was told that, that particular piece of music was a sound track from a horror movie.

I never used that CD again.

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An Interesting Thing Happens...

In the places where I teach classes on a regular basis, I have found that students begin to take ownership of the class.

There are some things we talk about at the beginning of each class — why we use music in class, why we use the type of music we use, what effect the scented cotton balls have — those students who have been in several of my classes not only will volunteer to answer the questions, they are the ones who also get involved and participate the most in class.

These are the students I expect to teach the class someday!

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Students ask me all the time to give them a list of books or websites that they can study to learn more.

I have included a list of a few of my favorite books — recommended reading — at the back of this book.

If you are interested in learning more about meditation, spirituality, metaphysics, philosophy, or a few of the topics covered in my classes, check out a book or two and read them.

As for the websites, I challenge you to search for the information you are specifically interested in researching. Just use caution when you visit some of the sites. As you probably already know, there is a lot of garbage out there!

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How, when, where and why do you use meditation?





Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight,
O Lord,
my strength, and my redeemer.

— Psalm 19:14