Results 1 to 40 of 40

Thread: Curious Children.

  1. #1

    Curious Children.

    So just today my oldest daughter (12) stumbled across me preparing to do zazen. She sat next to me and asked, "Why are you putting the folded blankets on the floor?" to which I replied, "Because I am too poor to afford a Zabuton and Zafu."

    She then asked, "What is that?"
    "They are cushions for sitting on while 'meditating.'"

    I proceeded to open the Heart Sutra on my phone (not yet memorized) and produced a glass cup and a spoon. I began by doing my prostrations when she asked, "what are you doing?" She sighed a small laugh.
    "I am taking refuge and paying respect to all beings"

    I began to tap the spoon to the glass and started reciting the sutra. I was cut short again, "what are you saying and why are you saying it that way?"
    "I am chanting, and it's to set my mind on the right path", I replied.
    "The path for what?" she inquired.
    "The path that will lead me to the most dangerous alleys in the city of my mind."

    I recited the sutra, and as I prepared myself for zazen I also gave her step by step instructions on how to sit zazen.
    Her and I sat zazen for a good time before she said, "this definitely teaches you patience!"

    "No, it does nothing for you."
    "That makes no sense, Kyle."
    "What makes sense then?"
    "I don't know."
    "Perhaps you're making too much sense of things when you should just see everything for the way it is."
    "That's stupid, Kyle."

    Then she left the room.
    Anyone else have similar stories?
    Last edited by Kairu; 09-26-2015 at 03:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Hi Kyle

    I might agree with your daughter here. Zazen is indeed good for nothing. It also teaches you patience.


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday
    Last edited by Kokuu; 09-26-2015 at 08:49 AM.
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  3. #3
    Hi Kyle,

    I have been teaching kids how to sit lately and they are amazing in how easy they can follow their breath. They find it fascinating. But I think they like it more when they can relate easier to things.

    Some parents who sit say to me that when they started sitting, their kids were very curious about it all. They asked about everything, they laughed... but after a couple of weeks they understood that zazen had came to stay and then they began sitting for short periods.

    So if your practice is new for your daughter, the jokes, the questions and laughs will continue for a few days more. Then it will all be part of a regular day and she will adapt... and it could be that she starts sitting too.

    It could happen

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  4. #4
    Kairu,

    First, you are a wonderful writer! Lovely!

    If I may, I am just going to put my usual advice on kids and Zazen, although every family is different

    =====================

    I too believe that I am introducing my children to Buddhist values, perspectives and practices in our household, but they are free to walk their own path when older. They are "Buddhist" in the way that their upbringing has been imbued with such teachings, such as the general peace and goodness of the Precepts.

    Every home is different, but in our house Leon (when smaller) or Sada sits with me for about 10 minutes now and then ... before either dashing off or falling asleep. Leon used to sit with me more when smaller, not so interested now at 11. My daughter joins me from time to time, the cat much more.

    I do not think that we need to insist that our young children sit Zazen. Perfectly fine though if they ask to do so, or come over on their own. Otherwise, it is best just to create a loving home in which lessons of Wisdom and Compassion, the Precepts and other teachings of the Buddha are naturally passed down to our children. Let them learn about Zazen from seeing the place and effect that Zazen has in our lives Then, years from now, when they are grown ... maybe they will turn to it too (your child saying years from now, "That Practice had a positive effect on mom and dad, and they were good parents ... maybe I should try that too").

    Now, when my daughter plops down in my lap, she is always welcome. If my son is making noise, I ask him kindly to stop while I am sitting. However, ultimately, the noise is "just what is" and we sit with it, all the Buddha's chanting.

    In the meantime, one issue for me is those times I have to give a "time out" to Leon or Sada, and have them sit in the corner. It looks too much like Zazen. In fact, when Leon was younger, he asked my wife if papa was "bad all the time, because he is always sitting in the corner"! I think he now understands the difference!

    Our house naturally blends a variety of religions and customs. Most Japanese practice both Shinto and Buddhist Traditions, a time for each. My wife's family are Nichiren Buddhists, and I am the "Zenny" of course, and we respect both ... a time and place for each. I also throw in some Jewish Traditions to respect my background and family, and "Santa Claus" and "Christmas" is all around the stores and kids' TV even here in Japan ... no problem.

    One thing I would like to do is find some new ways to introduce our children to Buddhist and Zen Traditions. I came up with this a couple of years ago, "Buddhist Family Holidays", to recognize our own holiday traditions in the Spring and at the end of the year (there are other holidays which might be added too for other times of the year, like Bodhidharma's Birthday. Right now the two holidays we have begun with our Buddha's Birthday in the Spring and Buddha's Enlightenment Day, Rohatsu, in December). I thought it a great way to get the kids involved. However, nothing ever came of the program and it is rather neglected, just sitting there. The next holiday, Vesak, is in May in Japanese Tradition.

    www.BuddhistFamilyHolidays.Com

    I am looking for someone who can volunteer to really take the lead on it and make it take wing. Write me privately if you think you can.

    Gassho, Jundo Dad

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-27-2015 at 12:55 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Joyo
    Guest
    My kids show no interest in any kind of spiritual practice. In fact, my oldest has told me he is an atheist for several years now. I've always stressed to both of them the most important thing is showing kindness and respect to themselves and others. My husband and I have never pushed religious/spiritual beliefs on them. Our families have both been torn apart due to religion, I won't let that happen with my own.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  6. #6

    Curious Children.

    Hi,

    While driving the other day my 5 year old goes "daddy, did God make the mountains?"

    "It depends who you ask" I reply.

    My nine-year-old then joins the conversation and says "the Christians would say yes. The Buddhists would say I don't know."

    Both of then go to church twice per week and my family is Christian.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  7. #7
    Gassho!

    Juki
    sat today
    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Joyo View Post
    My kids show no interest in any kind of spiritual practice. In fact, my oldest has told me he is an atheist for several years now. I've always stressed to both of them the most important thing is showing kindness and respect to themselves and others. My husband and I have never pushed religious/spiritual beliefs on them. Our families have both been torn apart due to religion, I won't let that happen with my own.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  9. #9
    I have 11-year-old twins. Neither one has sat before, but my son is interested. He has been asking more about it recently and says he wants to try sitting. Maybe it's time.

    Gassho,
    Rick
    sat today

  10. #10
    Thank you all for your kind comments!

    I usually sit when no one is around because my day is nonstop otherwise. Between sewing, working a third shift, and taking care of the kids alone after they come home from school most of the time, I'm not left with even 5 seconds to sit. I usually make sure I take care of myself in the morning after work, go to bed, and then wake up when the kids get home.

    I have not pressured any of my kids into any Zen practice, but they do ask basic questions about it and at rare times try and emulate what I'm doing or saying. My favorite thing to do is tell them parables but make them sound silly. This helps them understand Buddhism more, but also entertains them. I even make up my own.

    "A wise Buddhist was sitting in the forest. A tiger came into the forest and asked 'who can know the feeling of satisfaction?' to which the wise Buddhist replied, 'only the fox knows.'"

    Then I'll ask my kid, "so what is the moral of the story?" she'll shrug and ask what the moral is and I'll say something silly like, "the moral is that the fox is an American!" (I'm a yank BTW). It's just a little something to familiarize them with even something as small as the word "buddhist".

    I would be interested in celebrating Buddhist holidays with the kids! I can't believe that idea fell apart here. It's something I might consider when I'm more "seated" in my practice (pun intended). My foundation is a bit rocky at the moment and am still trying to organize my life all over again. Ill definitely PM you (Jundo) when I finally get my family in order. Oh and what a glorious day that will be (the wife and munchkins are in disarray! Release the kraken! Grab the laso!).

    Otherwise, even after cracking jokes with the kiddos and having light talk with them I try and let them know I take my Zen seriously, but not rigidly. That way they know to be quiet and respectful while "daddy is staring at a wall again!". I'm also trying to teach my Christian wife what it means to be a Buddhist. She is very open minded, which I can always be thankful for.

    Also thank you for the link and all of you for sharing your experiences and suggestions thus far.

    Kyle,
    Sat Today.


    Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Children are amazing aren't they? I had so much fun raising my two and now my fave 10yo keeps me laughing and on my toes.

    She started sitting with me in the beginning and also asked many questions. One day she did say that I was sitting wrong and that I should be sitting like Raven - a cartoon character from Teen Titians. So, just so we all know... we're sitting with our hands in the wrong position

    One afternoon while she was visiting relatives she decided to meditate and proceeded to sit like the cartoon character for ten minutes and was asleep in five. Priceless!

    Kids are so inquisitive and always watching us even when we don't think they are. Now sometimes she sits with me but only for two minutes at a time then she's off on to her next adventure.

    Gassho

    Clarisse Sat2Day



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    I've tried to incorporate Buddhist elements into life's routine so my son is exposed to it. We celebrate Buddha's enlightenment day and his birthday.

    At mealtime, we try and always say a Buddhist "mealtime prayer" based on the prayer we say at the temple I've always practiced at. I think it's a good practice. We only say the English parts:

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Look at what I walked in on this morning...



    I wasn't sure what I was looking at until I saw this...



    She's my fave 10yo and she sat for three minutes after I saw her but she wasn't sure how long she was sitting before I walked in.

    I think I need to buy another Zafu and Zabuton

    Metta

    Gassho

    Clarisse Sat2Day




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    That's awesome!

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  15. #15
    I live with some serious Zen masters. I asked my 9 year old the other day if he could talk without his foot. We laughed very hard over this made up Koan as we investigated the Koan together. My 5 year old just wrote it off as "that's Buddha talk." I presented the "can you talk without your foot?" Koan to my wife and she did not answer me. I asked "well, what's your answer?" She said she had not been listening and just kept going about her business.



    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    I live with some serious Zen masters. I asked my 9 year old the other day if he could talk without his foot. We laughed very hard over this made up Koan as we investigated the Koan together. My 5 year old just wrote it off as "that's Buddha talk." I presented the "can you talk without your foot?" Koan to my wife and she did not answer me. I asked "well, what's your answer?" She said she had not been listening and just kept going about her business.



    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    I think your wife answered you without answering 🏼🏼🏼

    Kids are awesome

    Metta

    Gassho

    Clarisse Sat2Day


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    Member Getchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Between Sea and Sky, Australia.
    Hi!

    Sorry to have been so quiet lately, but this thread has drawn me out again.

    My oldest is 4. I love her questions and the way she never quit just accepts the answer, there is always another question.

    Several times now she has woken up at either 11pm or 4am, which are my usual sitting times, and sat with me silently. The first time she asked me what im doing, I told her I was sitting quietly to see what happens.

    Her "best" time so far is about 9 mins. She constantly comes up with amazing conversations, like how Thor is a god and a superhero and that means he must be very busy

    I learn alot from her, yet she never teaches me anything


    Geoff.
    A student.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Getchi View Post
    Hi!

    Sorry to have been so quiet lately, but this thread has drawn me out again.

    My oldest is 4. I love her questions and the way she never quit just accepts the answer, there is always another question.

    Several times now she has woken up at either 11pm or 4am, which are my usual sitting times, and sat with me silently. The first time she asked me what im doing, I told her I was sitting quietly to see what happens.

    Her "best" time so far is about 9 mins. She constantly comes up with amazing conversations, like how Thor is a god and a superhero and that means he must be very busy

    I learn alot from her, yet she never teaches me anything


    Geoff.
    A student.
    She's awesome

    Metta

    Gassho

    Clarisse Sat2Day


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    Hi,

    I like to play zen with my kids. On the way to school today I asked my 9 year old what "road" meant. He answered other than "no road" he had "no idea."

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Hi,

    I like to play zen with my kids. On the way to school today I asked my 9 year old what "road" meant. He answered other than "no road" he had "no idea."

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    he's awesome!! Haha!

    Clarisse Sat2Day


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  21. #21
    Hilarious, Jishin! Sounds like your son already "gets it" and has a great sense of humor to boot. This is such a fun thread. My kids have passed the age where they want me to teach them anything, but of course they still watch, whether they admit it or not. And now I am humbly doing the learning, because impermanence and separation are what teens are all about!

    My daughter did somehow find monks wandering around on Minecraft today, some of them wearing Rakusus! Who knew?

    Gassho,
    Sierra
    SatToday

  22. #22
    Hi Sierra,

    I am the only weird one in my family who is not Christian. My kids go to church twice per week and I don't interfere with their Christian education. But they also know that there is another way of thinking. The 9 year old knows how to give zen answers which are correct but has trouble explaining zen logic. He gets it though. He is a good sport. The five year old can not abstract well so just writes me off as "talking Buddha" but is very intrigued when I play zen word games with my 9 year old.

    I am blessed to have such a forgiving wife and in-laws.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  23. #23
    Same here. I am sure that my poor MIL prays for myself and my children's souls regularly since they are not baptized. But my husband's family have always been wonderful to me regardless.

    Gassho,
    Sierra
    SatToday

  24. #24
    I live in the Bible Belt and patients sometimes inquire about my belief system. I have replied "Buddha loves you too" in response to "Jesus loves you." I have also said "I will pray for you too" in response to "I will pray for you" from a patient.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra529 View Post
    My daughter did somehow find monks wandering around on Minecraft today, some of them wearing Rakusus! Who knew?

    Gassho,
    Sierra
    SatToday
    Monks in Mind Craft! That's hilarious!!

    Sierra,

    Teens are a great lesson for all of us, and if you as a parent survives them, there's a prize once they turn 19. They will become your best friend.

    I love and hate teens

    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    I live in the Bible Belt and patients sometimes inquire about my belief system. I have replied "Buddha loves you too" in response to "Jesus loves you." I have also said "I will pray for you too" in response to "I will pray for you" from a patient.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Jishin,

    That is soo Christian. I don't live in the Bible Belt but I've gotten the "I worry about you" because someone thought they needed to "save my soul" so I would respond to them that I worry about them too, hahahaha (it's true I did worry about them because ignorance is a frightening thing when religion is involved). Only my close family members knows what I'm doing now but I expect some pretty interesting comments coming my way once everyone knows.

    I started reading the Bible at five years old with children's Bibles and as I grew up there wasn't too many people especially in my family who could keep up with me. So when someone would try to save me and start speaking Bible the only offense they could use was my interpretation was incorrect and I needed to learn from their pastor

    Last night my fave ten year old said that she wanted to meditate with me but she couldn't keep her eyes open long enough. So I'm going to add a ten minute meditation early evening just for her I can't speak zen yet because I'm still learning it myself and I'll only confuse her more

    Gassho

    Clarisse Sat2Day



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  26. #26
    I have found very helpful the idea that 'doing what needs to be done' (in this case in parenting) can in itself be, or is, zazen. My two are generally quite good with regards to giving me some space for sitting (and sometimes sit with me), but of course every now and then someone needs something pronto, or forgets. I always felt I was doing something wrong when practising vipassana if I responded, as if I'd broken my meditative state, but also felt guilty if I didn't respond. Since coming further into zazen I have felt more able to just remind them I am sitting for a few minutes without feeling I've 'failed' the session.

    My youngest asked me yesterday to sew a rakusu for his beloved cloth penguin. I had absolutely no idea what the correct response to that one was... :-D

    Gassho,
    Libby

    about to sit

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Libby View Post

    My youngest asked me yesterday to sew a rakusu for his beloved cloth penguin. I had absolutely no idea what the correct response to that one was... :-D

    Gassho,
    Libby

    about to sit
    I believe it would be perfectly fine. I have never known a cloth penguin to break a Precept.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Libby View Post
    I had absolutely no idea
    Wow! Your youngest is already expounding the Dharma.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Libby View Post
    My youngest asked me yesterday to sew a rakusu for his beloved cloth penguin.

    Gassho,
    Libby

    about to sit
    Libby,

    That is soo cute!! How can you NOT make one for the penguin

    Awesome

    Gassho

    Clarisse Sat2Day


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  30. #30
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Libby View Post
    I have found very helpful the idea that 'doing what needs to be done' (in this case in parenting) can in itself be, or is, zazen. My two are generally quite good with regards to giving me some space for sitting (and sometimes sit with me), but of course every now and then someone needs something pronto, or forgets. I always felt I was doing something wrong when practising vipassana if I responded, as if I'd broken my meditative state, but also felt guilty if I didn't respond. Since coming further into zazen I have felt more able to just remind them I am sitting for a few minutes without feeling I've 'failed' the session.

    My youngest asked me yesterday to sew a rakusu for his beloved cloth penguin. I had absolutely no idea what the correct response to that one was... :-D

    Gassho,
    Libby

    about to sit
    Hi Libby, that is so cute with the penguin!! I always felt like my kids' interruptions were breaking my sitting up or wrecking it somehow too. But then I read in the book Buddhism for Mothers, that the interruptions should be viewed as part of our meditation, you just simply flow from sitting, to helping your child, to sitting again. That really helped me =)

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    oops, about to sit as well.........

  31. #31
    Thank you Jundo. He's pretty focussed on his practice, for a penguin. I will do my best, bearing in mind the reduced dimensions...

    Jishin - indeed. The most insightful comments always seem to come from the kids in my house.

    Clarisse and Joyo - it's a good but challenging practice in itself to view these interruptions and strange requests as no less important than the work on the cushion, isn't it? I will check out Buddhism for Mothers, too. Always open to new ways to flow

    Gassho,
    Libby
    sat today

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Joyo View Post
    But then I read in the book Buddhism for Mothers, that the interruptions should be viewed as part of our meditation, you just simply flow from sitting, to helping your child, to sitting again. That really helped me =)
    That is totally the way we sit in this Sangha too. Including for our upcoming Rohatsu Retreat. The guide for that says ...

    if your are a parent or otherwise have unavoidable obligations during the days of your Retreat, that is fine. In our ‘life as it is’ practice, there are no disturbances … even the disturbances. We will discuss how to make everything during the day and night part of the Retreat, even the events that seemingly bring you ‘back into the world’).
    ...

    ... as mentioned, parents and the like can adapt the Retreat to their special needs, making --every-- activity a part of the Retreat

    ... For parents, [Samu] is an excellent opportunity for child care. However, more than usual, attempt to maintain silence, inner stillness, equanimity and a sense of nonachievement. As our Retreat will be in whole or part recorded, one may move (or even add) ‘Samu’ periods on the schedule as needed for home duties. Child care is all ‘Zazen’ if approached as such.
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...21-BE-READY%21

    file:///C:/Users/J.M.Cohen/Downloads/TreeleafZendoRetreatPointers122014%20(4).pdf

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  33. #33
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    That is totally the way we sit in this Sangha too. Including for our upcoming Rohatsu Retreat. The guide for that says ...



    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...21-BE-READY%21

    file:///C:/Users/J.M.Cohen/Downloads/TreeleafZendoRetreatPointers122014%20(4).pdf

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    Wonderful, thank you, Jundo!

    Libby, here is the link for the Buddhism for Mothers book...

    http://www.amazon.ca/Buddhism-Mother...sm+for+mothers

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  34. #34
    Thank you Joyo!



    Libby
    sat today

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Hi,

    I like to play zen with my kids. On the way to school today I asked my 9 year old what "road" meant. He answered other than "no road" he had "no idea."

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    I asked my youngest yesterday, "what is mu?" and she simply replied, "it's just mu."

    You can always find the greatest insight from the youngest minds. It made me question myself a bit. A child's mind wanders but never really gets attached to a concept or question unless it really sticks out to them, or unless it has insight for them to absorb. However, us adults get caught up by nearly anything that touches one of our senses.

    Just something I realized about kids being kids.

    Gassho,
    Kyle.
    #kidsneedattention.
    #willsitsoon.
    #pleshalp!hahaha!

    Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk

  36. #36
    Yes it's amazing isn't it? And they are like that with other things that we add layers of overanalysis to, like death... disability... race.... family structure... etc. Why do we adults have to always be getting in our own way, lol.

    I would help you, but I have a velcro teenager that also always needs my attention. If we were closer by she would love to babysit and then both our problems (non problems) would be solved!!

    Gassho,
    Sierra
    SatToday

  37. #37
    Oh my goodness how I have enjoyed reading this thread! Thank you all for sharing. It's quite relevant to me in so many ways. My husband is Christian, our 23 year old daughter is agnostic, and I follow Buddhism. We honor and respect each other's belief systems. We all live in the "buckle" of the Bible Belt and agree that our 9 year old daughter will find her own way. No pressure from any of us. Since I am at the beginning of my journey, I recently put an alter in our sun room. It's quite lovely situated on a table in front of an array of plants. I just added a small singing bowl to the delight of our 9 year old. I worked at the computer the other day and heard her and her friend gently ringing the bowl. What a lovely sound. All day long, I'd hear the random and slight tings reminding me to be here - in the moment.

    That singing bowl captured her attention and prompted many questions. Over the weekend, we talked in the sun room and I answered her questions for the very first time. I suspect she will ask to sit with me sometime.

    I am just delighted to be here with every one of you!

    Gassho,

    Mars Sat Today

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I believe it would be perfectly fine. I have never known a cloth penguin to break a Precept.
    Well now. The penguin got his rakusu, and then in an unexpected development my friend built him a cocktail bar for Christmas. Not sure where this leaves him

    10426702_1499900520314628_3734678865866999939_n.jpgIMG_0329.jpg

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Libby View Post
    Well now. The penguin got his rakusu, and then in an unexpected development my friend built him a cocktail bar for Christmas. Not sure where this leaves him

    10426702_1499900520314628_3734678865866999939_n.jpgIMG_0329.jpg
    Struggling with the precepts like the rest of us. Haaa! This made me laugh out loud, Libby! Pretty much the coolest thing I've ever seen.

    Deep bows to Master Penguin, and cheers!

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Libby View Post
    Well now. The penguin got his rakusu, and then in an unexpected development my friend built him a cocktail bar for Christmas. Not sure where this leaves him

    10426702_1499900520314628_3734678865866999939_n.jpgIMG_0329.jpg
    Love it

    I hope it's going to be a juice bar haha!

    Gassho

    Clarisse Sat2Day


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •