Shopping cart is empty.

Reviews

ELEMENTARY ELEMENTS: Meditation specialist Chitra Sukhu produces children's CD.

by Kenya Yarbrough



Chitra Sukhu
(Jul. 12, 2002) *Chitra Sukhu is introducing a new type of bedtime story for kids. Born in South America and raised in the US, the Indian actress initially planned to pursue an acting career, but now considers that her past life. Instead she's found her higher purpose - working with children and creating a new generation of well balanced healthy and creative individuals with a sense of self. Sukhu produced a CD called "Guided Meditation For Children: Journey Into the Elements" and is committed to helping children create the world they want.


"It's part of my life, this meditation, so it comes to me naturally," Sukhu says of her authority on the art of meditating. She adds that she began teaching the art to her own two children who found comfort, imagination, and joy in the exercise, so she decided to market it to others.



"It's a guided meditation CD for children and it consists of five meditations that correspond to the five elements - earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Each meditation takes you into each element, at the same time taking you deeper within," she describes.



Furthermore, Sukhu says that the CD creates a time for children to be creative and build focus and concentration at the same time.



"It helps with nightmares and hyperactivity," she adds. "That's very important now because of our schools diagnosing so many of our children with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorders). We don't have anything for our children to learn to relax, so this helps with that."



Sukhu also says that another inspiration for the project was children's reactions to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.



"That made me want to do this right away," she says. "There were so many things out there for adults. I know children were having nightmares, and I think adults didn't know how to explain to children what was happening. With meditation, my children, who have been doing it since they were about three or four, were able to deal with it."



The basis of meditation for children, Sukhu explains, is not to try to "clear" their minds, or make them necessarily "settle down." In fact, Sukhu believes that being active is part of being a child and the meditation techniques aren't to stifle their activity. She suggests children use the CD just before they go to sleep.



"For the younger child it could be before nap time, but usually it's before bedtime, like a bedtime story. They can just listen to the words and go on a journey," says Sukhu. "It's like a fairy tale. It's something they can relate to."



The CD features Sukhu and a monologues of stories connected to the elements targeted at children ages four to 12. Each element has a story and its own guide, such as a gnome or mermaid, which introduces the child to their world through detailed visualization techniques. Then, after each journey, the CD has three or four minutes of instrumentation that allow the listener to imagine and create their own images and journeys in their mind. Then each story ends with a message, delivered by Mario Van Peebles, Sukhu's love interest, about the taking care of the world.



"Children will be our future leaders and I feel that this is the place to start," Sukhu says. "I think if children can learn meditation at a young age they can create the most amazing world. I think everything starts with a thought. If they're able to imagine what they want their world to be like or what they'd like to be when they grow up, they can accomplish anything. So, meditation is such an important tool in creating their world."


Guided Meditation for Children
Music Design review

By introducing a child to meditation at a young age, a parent is equipping them with important skills for developing focus and learning how to be calm. This set of inner journeys from yoga and meditation practitioner Chitra Sukhu offers an entertaining excursion into the mind for children ages 4-12. Five meditations are present, each themed after one of the five elements of our world: earth, air, water, fire and ether. To help listeners immerse themselves in these meditations, Sukhu tells whimsical stories of mermaids and friendly gnomes that impart knowledge and serenity onto their young visitors. Comforting instrumentation consisting of acoustic guitar and woodwinds underlies the recording, further enhancing the relaxing nature of the program.

Visions of Sugarplums
Music Design review
With all the guided meditation albums on the market for adults, it's refreshing to hear a program crafted with children in mind. Visions of Sugarplums features a series of guided journeys designed to help children fall asleep feeling comforted and relaxed. Narrated with the soft, captivating voice of Chitra Sukhu, the program gives children the opportunity to depart to such fantastical places as the "Forest of Dreams" and "The Lake of Enchantment" and meet mythical creatures like fairies and unicorns. In the process, young listeners will gently drift off into a rejuvenating slumber. Sukhu's voice is backed by lullaby-esque acoustic instrumentation performed on flute and guitar.




Positive Thoughts for Children

Music Design review

Just like adults, children can benefit greatly by embracing the power of positive thinking. Having an optimistic outlook can help them set goals, approach tasks with a confident, "can-do" attitude and develop into grounded, centered individuals who appreciate their many blessings in life. This program, from meditation expert Chitra Sukhu, features a total of 56 affirmations set to soothing, Asian-inspired music (tanpura/flute). The first track is done in a call and response style, here Sukhu utters the affirmations and 8-year old Makaylo Van Peebles repeats it. The second features recitation from Sukhu only and the third is an instrumental music track for the listener to form their own meditation. An example of an affirmation is "I love to learn. Every lesson I learn brings me closer to perfection."




Chakra - Guided Meditations to Unleash your Full Potential

Music Design review

An enormous amount of growth, healing and life enrichment potential lies in a person's energy system. On this program, meditation expert Chitra Sukhu offers listeners a guided tour through the chakras, and in the process helps them embrace their inner power. The meditations presented are overflowing with lush imagery, which is made even more transfixing by the calm, fluid voice of Sukhu, An example is "Vishuddha," a journey into the fifth chakra, which encourages one to imagine themselves floating on their breath like a feather blowing in the wind. Backing Sukhu is tranquil music performed on guitar, cello and keyboards.

Vedic Lullabies

Music Design Review

Devotional slokas and mantras from the ancient Vedas are transformative tools for developing a sense of inner balance and tranquility. The recitation of these verses helps one still the mind and experience uplifting bliss. On this program from Chitra Sukhu, listeners are granted a loving session of chant for use with yoga, meditation, healing arts and, as the name implies, helping one calm the mind before sleep. Sukhu's voice is velvety and mellow with a hint of sweetness, helping to create a relaxing, hypnotic atmosphere conducive to sleep and mindfulness activities. Her singing is backed by light, serene arrangements consisting of twirls of bansuri flute, sitar drones, tanpura, bells and subtle percussion to create ambience. The music also is effective for calming children and promoting an environment of gentleness and joy.

Vedanta Saraswati Guided Meditation for Children

Review by Vedanta Saraswati


This CD takes children on five different journeys with each of the elements earth, water, fire, air and ether. Each track begins with awareness of and connection to the breath, this is followed by a guided imagery to evoke the mood of the element and the children are then left with space to explore their visualization. All tracks finish with a "life enhancing message" read by Mario Van Peebles, which further connects the children to the element and gives them an environmentally friendly thought to contemplate. Each track is accompanied by music and could be used individually, taking one element at a time. or a journey through all five.



The CD is well presented with a cover that would attract children, an inspiring picture of Chitra and her children and a summary of the content of the CD. There is a text of each track, which could be read out to children if a CD player was not available, and a short explanation of meditation, its benefits and a note to parents about the practice.



Chitra has a good voice for teaching meditation. The language used is mostly positive and the journeys given during the guided imagery are excellent, caring and very appealing to children.



Teaching meditation to children requires a great deal of sensitivity and experience on behalf of the teacher. Chitra has these qualities and guides the children through meditations safely. It would be essential that the parent or caregiver is present throughout the practice and has personal experience of meditation themselves to be able to be "available" for their children to discuss the experience of meditation.

Daily OM Review May 20, 2009
Journey Into the Elements
Chitra Sukhu 
2002

Chitra Sukhu started practicing yoga at the age of three (her parents are both active teachers), and her practice has shaped her every step, leading her to become a guiding light in the field of meditation instruction. She's created over a dozen meditation CDs, many of them—including this one—aimed at children (though they are certainly suitable for all ages). Each of these five meditations explores a specific element and follows a similar arc: Sukhu gets us warmed up and relaxed via breathing and simple visualization exercises and then takes us deeply on a journey into the elemental kingdoms to meet mermaids, fairies, and kings. 

Throughout the meditations, there is soft and gentle music—flutes, acoustic guitars, pianos, and a quietly struck tambourine—that helps keep things focused during Sukhu's frequent pauses (so our minds can create the visualizations). At the end of each meditation, no less a figure than Mario Van Peebles shows up to play the wisdom-dispensing king of each elemental kingdom, his masculine voice contrasting with the friendly hypnotic sweetness of Sukhu's voice. Playing a merman king in "Water," Peebles observes over gentle guitars and flutes that polluting the ocean is the same as polluting ourselves (and therefore vice versa): "So take care of the ocean / Take care of your ocean!" In "Fire," Sukhu takes you inside the sun where "Everything around you is golden, with golden fruit to take from the golden branches." As the king of the sun, Peebles invites you take a ride on his golden chariot as he dispenses wisdom about the fire that is "all around you." 

There's nothing here from stopping you or perhaps your child or children from falling into a deep, restful dream state; meditation state; or just halfway between. This is great stuff to plant in a child's inner mind, to grow and take root, to create a place of silent contemplation within themselves: "Silence is good / Silence is peace," Sukhu notes. What better gift for a frazzled parent than a CD that teaches your children (whether inner or outer) the joy of remaining quiet and calm within themselves? Peebles and Sukhu are always waiting, in the CD player and now in your heart, to take you to places beyond the tawdry lands of anxiety and self-doubt and to deliver you to the elemental kingdoms that are so far out they're right there within us.

Daily OM Review - Chakra - Guided Meditation to Unleash your Full Potential

Born into a yogic family in Guyana, Chitra Sukhu was raised in the States and has been practicing yoga since the age of three. Since then she’s traveled, studied, and made bringing yoga and meditation to children her life’s work, teaching and creating beautiful CDs like Chakra Guided Meditations. Speaking softly in an echo-laden voice over flutes and mellow acoustic guitar melodics, Sukhu guides listeners toward releasing their blocked energies via visualizations of the seven chakras. Her softly spoken words may seem at times to dissolve in the mist of sound, but rest assured you are hearing everything she says. You just relax and let your unconscious mind and Chitra Sukhu take care of things. 

With a track devoted to each chakra, Sukhu uses the mellow tempo and warm timbre of the ever-present guitar to keep a constant, even, and bio-sympathetic rhythm, rocking you into a sense of nurtured comfort. She also chants, as in the third chakra track, “Manipura.” Singing along is not necessary but certainly recommended for your practice. What’s unusual about her chanting style is the way she integrates the melodic four-chord structure of the guitar melody, inviting us to dissolve the difference between singing and chanting. She also incorporates visualization, as in “Anahata”: “Imagine yourself in a field of sunflowers. It’s a beautiful clear day. No clouds—only sunflowers as far as the eye can see. Feel the sun, as it penetrates your body.” For chakra six, “Ajna,” Sukhu presents a system for approaching life’s difficulties: “Detach yourself from the problem and the solution will find you. From this perspective, you can see the answer. You can feel it in your heart.”
 

This may not be the disc for the seasoned practitioner, but for children or people new to the world of the chakras, this is an ideal beginner’s session. The hypnotically repeating guitar and the elusive nature of Sukhu’s voice as it stays comfortably cloaked in the background make falling into a deep alpha-wave trance all but unavoidable. She’s not out to dazzle with her virtuoso brilliance but to comfort, heal, and guide toward affecting positive change. And her Chakra Guided Meditations succeed admirably, humbly, and with grace to spare.

Wildmind Buddhist

Wildmind Buddhist Meditation Newsletter

CD Review
Guided Meditations for Children: Journey into the Elements

There are far too few resources for teaching children to meditate, and for that reason Chitra Sukhu's CD is to be welcomed. In essence, "Journey into the Elements" is an exercise in imaginative storytelling, and therefore not at all alien or unusual (in other words, parents needn't be worried about what kind of "meditation" their children are doing) and in addition the guided journeys are accompanied by natural sound effects and very pleasant music, which is not at all childlike.

Sukhu guides us through various realms in which we are guided by the King of the Gnomes, a mermaid, the Sun King, and other characters. In each case the guide leads us (or the child) into the magical realm, and simply leaves us with an opportunity to simply enjoy the music and to use our imaginations. At the end of each meditation, the actor and director Mario van Peebles (who is Sukhu's partner) gives us an ecological message of interconnectedness.