I have been practicing meditation for 25 years and teaching it for 10 years. When I started meditation, it was seen as a mystic practice reserved for monks and ascetics sitting high in the Himalayan, a practice done to achieve nothing less than self mastery and self-realization. But today, I see people from all walks of life utilize meditation as an effective tool to relieve stress, re-organize or just to deal with the complexities of day to day life. Today, many people swear by meditation and this widespread acceptance helped me push the boundaries of testing the power of mindfulness and meditation on a wide variety of situations and peoples that were generally disconnected from such techniques.
Where I come from children, were very good in logic reasoning and mathematics and they were extremely creative as-well. Hence, I wanted to know why was it such. May be I thought this was because in the monastery where I grew up, children were taught to meditate much before they learnt their ABC.
Thus began my long journey of teaching ancient meditative techniques that I had mastered to children in schools. But first let us understand why is meditation good for children.
Firstly, meditation gives its practitioners the feeling of being quiet and still. It gives children time to breathe and imagine, and lets them know that it is okay to have feelings. In fact, through meditation, children learn that it is okay to be whoever they are and feel whatever they feel.
Any one with a good memory would remember that their childhood was not a carefree time. The fact is that children experience many fears: fear of the dark, fear of monsters, fear of abandonment, fear of the school, fear of exams, etc. etc. By training young people to focus on one thought, sound, or breath at a time, meditation teaches them how to stay in the moment, where they are safe. Meditation can carry children away from whatever makes them afraid to a place where they have power and control over their lives.
In addition to the above meditation helps children to
- Have better quality of sleep especially when practiced before bedtime;
- Have better immunity
- Deal with difficult emotions
- Release negative thoughts and behaviors
- Get along better with others.
Special Meditation techniques designed for children, like the Soul Revival, help them focus so they can better concentrate on their studies. Not surprisingly, meditation has been shown to improve students’ performance in academics and sports.
On a more subtle level, children learn patience, kindness, acceptance, and generosity from meditation. Meditation strengthens children’s relationship with their inner selves, their mind/body connection, and development of their own personality, thus strengthening their will power and focus.
The fact is almost every adult that I teach or has benefited from my work feels how much better their life would have turned out if they would have started their meditation practice or would have met me earlier in life. With the tools that they have they wonder how different would have been the outcome of tough situations if they knew back then what they do now.
So if every meditating adult feels that they should have started early, why not start by gifting your child the greatest gift of them all? The gift being a meditation practice to help them forever.