Buddhism, parenting

Child friendly meditation

Simon and Jay meditating at Stonehenge - from AnAccidentalAnarchist.com

My children – a boy of 6 and a girl of 9 years – are fairly typical and struggle with finding calm space in the maelstrom of their lives.  But, I want them to be able to take timeout from their engagement with activities.  In truth,  some of their activities can become so all consuming and they lose all mindfulness to the world outside. How then can I get them to develop moments of stillness? How can I give them tools for dealing with the intensity of life?  My plan is to find a child friendly meditation for us to practice together.

Don’t misunderstand me, I think concentration is good, but the right type of concentration. Concentration that is aware and importantly under control. My kids though, especially with technology, often lose control of themselves and get absorbed.

The plan

Now, around two years ago I had the pleasure of attending a mindfulness evening with the super human monks of Plum Village.  The evening involved, mindful orange eating and various physical activities, but what I really took home and practiced was a trade mark song of theirs; breathing in and breathing out.

Breathing in, breathing out.
Breathing in, breathing out.
I am fresh as the dew.
I am solid as a mountain.
I am firm as the earth.
I am free.

Breathing in, breathing out.
I am water reflecting
What is real, what is true,
And I feel there is space
Deep inside of me.
I am free, I am free, I am free.

The monastics of Plum Village

Its something so simple. I use this song myself to find space when I am lost in thought. In my life the demands and stresses of events often derail and then blow me around. Like being hit by a storm, I get swept away before eventually landing and finding that moment of calmness to practice some grounding and recenter myself.  But, during that grounding, I feel like a beginner practitioner again and I need something simple This song provides that simplicity.

And, I think it could also work for my children.  Why?

  1. It is simple.
  2. It has hand gestures which they will enjoy learning.
  3. It has a song which encourage participation.
  4. It is short and therefore a suitable introduction.

So, I plan to practice this every day with them and see where it leads.

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  1. Dolby Dubrow

    Your kids are ADORBS. Thanks for this beautiful Mantra. OM Shanti

    • Thanks, they are lovely. They have made me such a better person, a true gift. Peace and love to you.

  2. It is true! “This song provides that simplicity.” Our life is so simple and we can live it in that way. Wonderful post and wondeful work you do with your kids! Thank you very much for sharing “The monastics of Plum Village”.

    • Thank-you. It’s my pleasure to be able to share. Forward we all go, towards better parenting and happier lives, namaste!

  3. This is beautiful! I love the video and plan to share it with my 3 year old granddaughter! Thank you!

    • Aww, that is very warming to hear. Making the world better one little bit at a time, you sound like a wonderful parent!

  4. Beautiful! I’m going to do this with my daughter! She’s getting too hook up with YouTube and she’s only 5 years old! It’s insane…

    • Yes, my kids too with youtube. Clawing a little bit back helps, I have been making a big effort to replace youtube with more activities, youtube is not banned its just not the primary option in the day now. The meditation is very intimate time, it’s quite emotional for me with them at times when practicing. Good luck and love.

  5. I love it! It is easy to sing or say. You have amazing children.

    • Thanks Elaine, I am no saint or buddha but I do try. But, the kids are amazing, that much is true.

  6. I am so excited to come across this post (well, actually your entire site!) I noticed you ‘like’d my “Water Droplet Meditation” so I thought I’d check out your site, and I gravitated to this post (I have a 10 month old with my beloved). I had been wondering how to go about introducing meditation to him in the near near future. I saved the video so I am going to give this a go every morning with him! Thank you so much for sharing your insights on your site. You are an amazing papa!

    • Thanks-you Maya, my kids really enjoy it. They get a bit distracted at times but its definitely a special intimate bonding time for us.

  7. GreenSea

    Thanks for the “like” on my blog, Simon. I have just begun to follow yours and look forward to many hours of meaningful browsing 🙂

  8. Bay

    I don’t have kids yet, but this will definitely come in handy when I do! Thanks for the love on my blog.

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