The Feeling Years
The next cycle of growth covers the period from 6-12, the Feeling or elementary years. During this stage, the emphasis shifts from the body to working with and through the child’s feelings. Children are helped to notice the different kinds of feelings and their varying effects on people. Special consideration is given to cultivating the uplifting influences of qualities such as kindness, cheerfulness, and even-mindedness. Conversely, children can learn to redirect the disturbing energies that produce anger, greed, and jealousy. Of crucial importance during these years is the cultivation of the calm, centered state that leads to clear intuition. Techniques for working with these energies include breathing exercises, affirmations, yoga, and meditation. Students also learn to discriminate between the positive and negative effects of different kinds of activities and environments. During this period, teachers can utilize feelings as a powerful stimulus for other kinds of learning through emphasizing the awe of nature and scientific exploration, the sense of order and symmetry in mathematics, and especially, the encouragement to be gained from the study of inspiring and saintly people.