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Fiona Clarke

How do you meditate with your children?

Some children are very curious when they see their parents meditating and are eager to have a go, they happily join their parents in meditation - sitting on their lap, or pulling up a cushion beside them. Other children are reluctant to do anything that involves sitting still and being silent, even for a moment - they can’t see how that could possibly be interesting or enjoyable. And then there are some children (such as my own!) who love questioning almost everything their parents do.

In our eagerness to share meditation with our children, we can over-complicate it, and bombard them with too many words and ideas. I have even become uptight and annoyed when trying to persuade my children to meditate - not surprisingly, this approach didn’t work!

I realize now that it’s great if children can first have a taste of what meditation feels like, rather than too many instructions. Sogyal Rinpoche’s teaching, Hang Loose (see below) creates the feeling of meditation - children love the advice to ‘just hang loose’.

I love this teaching too, it is wonderfully atmospheric and works very well with all age groups. Children often say they feel happy, relaxed, calm and peaceful after watching the teaching.
“it felt like I was in a different world, where all the people meditate” – Poppy, 8.

In the teaching, Sogyal Rinpoche says “when I meditate ... I do nothing’. Max,10, asked a great question -
“but how can we do nothing, aren’t we always doing something?”

What do you think?

I would love to hear how the teaching feels to you, and how you meditate with your children.