DH and I are pretty progressive Christian types, but DH has been chatting a lot with a buhdist friend about meditation and we've been exploring working meditation into our home more. I just finished reading a lovely little book on creating a contemplative home, and I'm wondering if anyone else has introduced meditation with their toddlers/preschoolers and how they practice.
I have already found that when the kids (3 of them, 5, 3 and 3) are getting a little too crazy for my sanity, if we all stop, take a deep breath in, and then out (I say, "Calm" when we breath in, "Smile" when we breath out. From the little book), they seem to enjoy it and calm down a bit, for a bit. DH and are working on creating a space in our room to go to be away from the rest of the house, not sure if I should allow kids to use that space, or to create their own....
We are seriously on the same journey. What book did you read?
At the moment, we are just working meditation into our own lives before expanding to the kids--but partially because we are challenged by the 3yo.
Ironically, I have some guided relaxation CDs for kids that were donated to me for a fundraiser and there were extras. They're specifically for kids. I'm going to try them out. Here's a link to them:
Heather - Wife , Mommy & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant
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Love this post! I'm on a similar journey, with a 20 mo. old. I'm a Christian but have found wonderful wisdom in Zen Buddhism and other religious practices. There is a Zen center about 20 min away from my house; I'll go sit in formal meditation for an hour every Wednesday. It has been a challenging and wonderful experience!
The meditation I encourage with my DS is mostly when we're having quiet time and reading books. I've asked him to take a deep breath when he's acting wild and I'm pretty sure he pretends he doesn't hear me ;) When we're reading, we'll both take a deep breath in between each line or when we flip a page. It's almost become a game, and definitely a bonding ritual.
Usually when we're going to bed, I recite Goodnight Moon and I'll take a deep breath between each word or sentence. Before he could talk, we were laying down in bed one night, and I was daydreaming about something we had to do the next day. He started taking slow, deep breaths on purpose and I realized he was asking me to tell him his story! It was so sweet!
Just some ideas, I'll sometimes incorporate breathing and mindfulness during eating, taking a deep breath and chewing slowly while we eat together, or if we are doing crafts or cleaning even, I'll breathe deeply and pay close attention to putting each handful of blocks into their basket. It ends up being this fun, calming thing to do together, and really brings us into the present (well, brings me into the present, anyway; I'm pretty sure my li'l Zen master is always there).
Also, I benefitted a lot from a book by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn called Everyday Blessings. A couple others I've read are Buddhism for Mothers and Momma Zen (from Shambhala Publications).
Anyway, it's nice to "meet" some mamas who are on similar paths!