Welcome to the world of Ammi—a mindfulness adventure series for young children. Ammi is a wise and gentle child who leads the way as we explore ourselves and one another through the natural world. Each story uses guided imagery to inspire inner connection and support emotional regulation. These simple meditations recognize the importance of imagination as a foundation for conscious creation in the world. They bridge the physical, the energetic, the emotional, and all the spaces in between. Whether in the home or classroom, you can engage in these special practices with children of all ages. Read them aloud together, listen to the guided meditation, and welcome the time to process and integrate the practice.
Ammi’s Adventures: Trees
Hi! I’m Ammi. My name means “the whole world is inside of me,” and I think it’s true: I carry the whole world in my mind and heart and body. I know you do, too! I like to play games, explore, and discover what makes me, me. I’m so glad we’re together on this journey!
When was the last time you hugged a tree? I can hardly imagine how many trees I’ve sat with, whispered to, climbed on, eaten from, been shaded by, and hugged in my life! Can you? Trees are our friends and trees are our teachers. Trees are alive just like us and they can help us learn about ourselves.
Think about a favorite tree, which one comes to mind? Maybe there’s one in your backyard or in the park down the street. Perhaps at your school, by the lake, or in the forest where you went camping? Think about that tree now and notice its presence.
What is the tree’s bark like? Smooth, rough, thick, peeling? The bark protects the tree like skin, it’s a barrier from the elements. The bark says, “I am a tree.” Just like a tree, we need boundaries too!
Think about the tree’s roots. Are they thick or thin, bumpy or knotted? Can you imagine how far they go and how they connect with all the living things that we don’t get to see? The roots anchor the tree into the earth, and keep it steady no matter what happens. The roots say, “I am safe.” We need to feel grounded and held too!
What about the tree’s trunk? Is it wide or narrow, short or long, straight or bent? It is the tree’s core, its body. The trunk says, “I am strong.” We need to feel solid and steady within ourselves too!
Now think about the tree’s branches and leaves. Every tree is unique! Some bring fruit, others are evergreen. Some branches are twisted together and others are sky high! Like arms, hands, and fingers, they express beauty and create nourishment for the world. They say, “I am whole.” We belong here too! We all have beautiful gifts to share!
There is so much change happening. For all of us. Even for the trees. With all this change, it’s helpful to remember what is true. What is true is what holds, even in the midst of change. What is true is different for everyone.
Let’s play with the trees together!
A 5-Minute Meditation for Kids
- Find a comfortable place to be with yourself. Notice where you are by finding your breath. In and out, inhale and exhale. When you breathe in, notice a feeling of being lifted, like you’re getting taller, and when you breathe out notice coming down deeper inside your body. Up and down, up and down, as you breathe.
- Begin to imagine yourself as a tree. Notice your branches and leaves. Feel your skin, imagining that it is like your bark. Then find your upper body, your trunk. Moving down your body, imagine your trunk begins to grow roots into the earth. Down, down, down, feel your roots extending through the dirt until they reach a special place in the heart of the planet. There you feel a release, your roots have found their home. Ahhhhhh. You are held.
- Slowly bring your focus up your roots, back into your trunk, and up to your arms, hands, and fingers, your own branches and leaves. Feel as they sway in the wind, or shine in the sunlight, or as a bird comes to say hello. Notice the space around your head and feel the canopy of green surrounding you. We may notice our physical growth most of all, but we are always growing and changing in other unseen ways all the time. We are understanding ourselves and others more. We are noticing the world and what it means to us, more and more. We are sensing life inside us and around us, and we are exploring our place in the mystery. As we grow we strengthen our trunks, deepen our roots, and expand our branches and leaves.
- Get in touch with the seed inside you. A part of yourself that is your essence, like the seed of a tree. It carries all that you have ever been, and all you came here to be. This part of us is unending. It holds all that is true. This is what we can hold onto.
- Come back to your breath now, up and down as you breathe in and out. Be a tree. Feel the growing branches stretching up and deep roots anchoring down. Up and down, up and down. Up into our leaves, and down into our roots.
Just like the environment around a tree is always changing, our lives are always changing too. Everything changes. But no matter what the changes are, we can anchor into our seed, and find what is true. We can remember we are like the trees.
Love from your friend and fellow tree lover, Ammi
Getting to Know Ourselves More
“I am me. I am safe. I am strong. I am whole.”
Say these sentences aloud or quietly to yourself. Repeat them three times. Notice how you feel. Say them again. Say them as many times as you want, over and over again. Draw them, paint them, make a sticker and put it on your wall. Repeat them to yourself when you are in a car, on the bus, on your bicycle, on an airplane, in bed. Whisper them to yourself when you are worried, or frightened, or unsure. Remind yourself of them when you’ve forgotten. Come back to them when you are confused. They will reconnect you with your seed. When you are feeling clear and bright and certain, here are some fun questions to ask yourself. What are you ready to shed and in what ways are you ready to grow? Where will your branches reach? What changes will you create in our world? What new ideas are you here to bring? What new systems are you here to bring in? What change do you stand for? Be you. Be safe. Be strong. Be whole. You are so deeply loved.