Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Meditation for Children

Kids like to meditate.  Does that sound crazy?  I was skeptical, but I read Baby Buddhas(now out of print) and realized that not only is it super good for children to meditate, but that they are totally open to it and can actually sit.  Meditation helps kids learn to focus their energy, self soothe and calm, improve concentration, build self esteem, and feel more at peace in the world.  When I showed my five year old the photos in the book and introduced the concept, he couldn't wait to get started.  And he really does it.  Now it's only for about five minutes at a time so far, but that's a great starting point.  What a wonderful habit to get into at an early age. And what a great way to start the new year.

Look at these cool children's meditation cushions from Still Sitting.  The round ones are called Zafus and they are placed on top of the rectangular Zabuton.  They are filled with eco friendly kapok, come in several different colors and patterns, and the zafus have carry handles.  The child sits on the zafu with her legs crossed on the zabuton.  This makes it more comfortable and helps achieve the correct posture. These cushions and many other meditation supplies at Sitting Still are lovingly created by its founders, Koshin Christopher Cain and Soshin Lidunn Cain. who began Sitting Still while establishing the Puget Sound Zen Center.  I think this set would be wonderful for every child to have at their disposal.  My son and I have started a tradition of meditating together and it is wonderfully bonding.  These cushions make it more special and more of a ritual, and they also make it easier to sit longer.  Sitting Still is having a sale right now so be sure to check out their beautiful site.  Highly recommended!
Peaceful Piggy Meditation (Albert Whitman Prairie Books)
I always think it's a nice idea to have books that accompany your interests.  Peaceful Piggy Meditation is a great book to get kids excited about meditation.  The piggy sits on his own zafu and zabuton and the book outlines all the ways meditation is beneficial with really sweet illustrations.
Moody Cow MeditatesMoody Cow Meditates is about a very frustrated little cow who's having a bad day.  He learns how to get a handle on his anger when grandfather cow teaches him how manage his feelings through meditation.  It's an empowering book for kids that provides a tool for dealing with difficult situations and the emotions they bring out. 

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