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Thread: Teaching kids Zazen...

  1. #1

    Teaching kids Zazen...

    Hi.

    Most of the time i sit zazen alone, when Filur, my son, is asleep.
    But sometimes we sit together (Ok, it's more a fight over who sits on the seizabench... :wink: ).

    I thought this would be a good thread on how to teach children how to sit zazen and do meditation.
    Giving room for experiences, advices and so forth.
    So, let's hear it.
    What's your take on the matter?

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  2. #2

    Re: Teaching kids Zazen...

    hi Fugen:

    I agree what you say, my younger daughter usually practice with me together just she may leave a bit early than me. and she can do the full lotus sit but i only do the half lotus. , if my kid want to practice zen, fine for me, but usually they sit with me.

    gassho, tony yeung

    P.S. they also do the yuga practice with their mon. so i think is good for them to practice zen. :twisted:

  3. #3

    Re: Teaching kids Zazen...

    Hi Again,

    My perspective on this is to just be a good parent, and keep an environment in the house in which the teachings and ethics of Buddhism can gently and naturally permeate into the child ... for example, not to live by materialistic pleasures, appreciate the intangibles in life, how to take life as it comes, how to embrace all of life, how to practice generosity, avoid anger and be gentle ... etc. etc.

    More than causing a young child to pursue any practice such as daily Zazen, especially at a very young age (my son, a long time ago, asked why daddy is so bad ... since he is always sitting in the corner for a 'time out' 8) ) I just let him watch me and join in when he feels. I try to teach him not to be a slave to his thoughts and emotions, and realize that if he changes his mind ... he can really change the whole world through his eyes. That is enough. Kids really can get the simple lesson that, for example, "when we feel angry, the world seems angry ... when we feel peace inside, the world seems peaceful". They get the lesson that this world is our home, and we have an obligation to take care of it ... just like they take care of their own toys and room.

    When he is older ... maybe even a young adult ... it would be nice if he came to this Practice. But I do not force the issue now. When kids are older, they tend to come back to the religious environment in which they were raised (for example, when in their twenties). That is time enough. Now, I let it permeate into his bones just by being in our house.

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - Leon sat most recently with me during our (kinda) eclipse ...

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... y-son.html

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
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    Re: Teaching kids Zazen...

    Hmm
    I started sitting at a time where i was accesible for my 3 year old and she playfully joins me. I spent one sitting observing her (oops i know i know... lol) and noted her play was to mimic my behavior to the letter/action. She still chants the Heart Sutra (hehe in her own words) aloud to herself when she plays and its cute and all. She even mimics my clearing of my throat and little quirks when i sit. This shocked me into a couple of things... one - i make a point to sit when she can come if she chooses, two - behave alot better and pay way more attention to my actions AS WELL as my words - I'm being scrutinized by the most honest, open and (yikes!) impressionable person i could(and such good hearing!! man). She reflects a lot of my actions and speech and its eye opening. Plus she is much more brutally honest then any old Zen master of old could have been.

    So Im down with letting the kids come to/or not come to this practice as on their own- any push in one direction can be met with equal force in the opposite. :wink:

    Gassho
    Shohei

  5. #5

    Re: Teaching kids Zazen...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk
    So Im down with letting the kids come to/or not come to this practice as on their own- any push in one direction can be met with equal force in the opposite. :wink:
    Hi.

    Thats an important lesson, especially when it comes to children and teaching...

    Mtfby
    Fugen

  6. #6

    Re: Teaching kids Zazen...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen
    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk
    So Im down with letting the kids come to/or not come to this practice as on their own- any push in one direction can be met with equal force in the opposite. :wink:
    Hi.

    Thats an important lesson, especially when it comes to children and teaching...

    Mtfby
    Fugen
    I agree completely. Leading by example is the best way to teach many things.

    Peace,
    Eika

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