An Exploration of Sacred Parenting and Education

Meditating with children 1

In Meditation on January 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm

The Struggle

It’s good and necessary to work, to struggle, but the spiritual path should not be only that. “Indeed in the remembrance of God hearts find rest.”

And in meditation the primary purpose is to do nothing but be–do nothing, especially no thinking, just being, listening within. This, too, may seem like work–especially if we bring impatience to it; but it really could be a time of refreshment for our being.

And meditation isn’t the be all and end all of it either, for we have responsibilities in life and life is our spiritual path if we live it meditatively.”

Kabir Helminski

A post was started by Trishna a few weeks ago on the challenges of being present and calm when our buttons get pushed. I felt she touched on something very important that often gets overlooked in the schooling and education of our children: the state of consciousness of the educator or parent. I would like to share my reflections on mediating with my daughter as I’ve experienced over the past few weeks.

Firstly, notice how I haven’t called this ‘how to mediate with children’ because in essence we’re moving beyond doing and thinking into presence. I realise this is a long journey which is continually refined hence I’ve called this post part 1. (the picture may be a little misleading because I’m not asking my daughter to meditate). Meditation would mean different things to different people and lead to different experiences from being calm and centered to becoming totally empty to receive… For those who may be new to meditation, I would like to stick to a simple definition of meditation as simply ‘listening within’. I feel before we can be present when our buttons gets pushed it may be a good idea to cultivate presence with children when our buttons aren’t being pushed. I’ve found three such situations which I unintentionally tend to use regularly.

1. Listening. In the early hours of the morning if you manage to get up before they do, it is so amazing to listen to them breath while they sleep. That for me, is a most natural portal for entering the present moment. If you happen to listen to some early morning birds chirping away as well then you have an orchestra going!

2.  Walking. I have often found walking with my daughter to the library while she is on her scooter allows me to practice being present as I move out of mind and cultivate an awareness of my body by feeling the soles of my feet on the ground.

3. Putting them in the zone. One of the most talented classroom teachers I’ve ever met had at the heart of his approach the idea of putting his students in the zone. He called it the pit. It would be an activity which students feel they are able to do yet are also stretched by. Some would simply see it as being fully engaged while others would see it as a flow of consciousness as the recipient surrenders and enters the zone. Author of flow Mihaly Csikszentmihaly has given a TED talk on it. I have decided to include a clip of my favourite snooker player, Ronie O Sullivan, instead- as it demonstrates flow in action. The highest score you can make in snooker is by potting a black ball with every red ball scoring a 147. Ronnie sets the world record here. If you have a few minutes certainly worth a watch as it he seems to do it effortlessly with no thought whatsoever.

As a parent make space for my daughter to enter the zone by giving her an activity such as painting, drawing, making a card etc. (Wilkinsons sell a lot of such activity material). I have a chair next to her little table and while she is engaged in her activity I sit, observe, turn inwardly and be.

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