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TOPIC: Children and Dharma

Children and Dharma 21 Oct 2011 03:02 #3999

Wow.
Yeah.
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Children and Dharma 30 Oct 2011 14:49 #4000

This morning's practice was a very cool opportunity. I told the twins
(Summer and Aubrey) that I was going to do my meditation practice for
half an hour and asked that they keep the noise down for a little
while. They asked if they could meditate with me. I enthusiastically
agreed to this but warned them that half an hour was quite awhile to be
sitting still but they were welcome to join me and if they got bored or
disinterested they could leave the room quietly whenever they wanted but
not to come in and out.

I suggested that they start by either staying with the breath and
experiencing breathing as deeply as they could and if that was too
difficult they could cultivate compassion by focusing on kind thoughts
about their family and friends. At any point they discovered their mind
was wondering they could just return to the experience of breathing. I
didn't want to make any rigid rules that would be too difficult for
them to follow and these guidelines seemed basic and still within the
point of meditation practice. I also suggested if they wanted they
could see if they could figure out where thoughts came from. They both
laughed and thought this idea was silly:)

I set the timer for 30 minutes, asked if everyone was ready and with two tiny stereophonic "Yup!" off we went..

Oct. 30 30min sit 8am

I started with noticing awareness of body sensations. Just being alert
and in the present moment. Allowing thoughts to rise and fall without
being tangled.

Nothing too distracting at this point, very soft concentration. Loosely
allowing experience to happen while maintaining alertness and trying
not to be rigid.

About two or three minutes in Summer left the room.

Still staying with body sensations my visual field (eyes closed)
destabilized very dramatically like my eyes were fluttering or my
experience of where my eyes were pointing or my centeredness of mind in
relation to where I was looking began to vibrate rapidly. It's really
hard to describe this. I don't think my eyes were moving at all. It
was like my mental association of where my eyes were pointing couldn't
stabilize. I just tried to stay with this experience and allow it to
happen.

This was followed by my whole sensation of body alignment being pulled
or skewed dramatically to the left. Almost as if my body experience was
wet paint and someone came along and smeared it right through he
middle. My head and feet were more or less aligned in my mental
expectation of space but my midsection was just not where it was
"supposed" to be. this was really weird and I again just tried to let
it happen.

I eventually went into reflection about this (that is lost in thought).
When I noticed this I came back to body awareness and the sensation
faded and everything "re-aligned"

I began counting breaths (1-10 and backwards) with extremely stable
concentration (for me:) however it was not spacious as I have
experienced before. My concentration rested on the breath for 2 or 3
full cycles of counting forward and back but the mental space felt hard
or compressed and my body sensations were more "small" or of what I
would call typical reality or regular. I then noticed that my breath
had become extremely shallow (staying mostly in the throat). My
concentration faded shortly after this as I got frightened for a moment
that I might stop breathing altogether.

I got lost in thought for a few moments about that and then returned to body sensations.

Aubrey left the room ( I had been noticing her shuffling and fidgeting
for about 15 minutes but was amazed that she was still trying to sit
there)

The timer went off about 1 or 2 minutes later.

I took my notes and then went and found the girls and let them know I
would be interested to know what their experiences were if they felt
like writing anything down. About 15 minutes later Aubrey handed me a
big piece of white computer paper with different colored marker that
read the following:

(I have translated misspellings:)

"My thoughts came from my brain when it doesn't have anything to think about" (In big blue marker)

"The kind of thoughts I think about were funny one was one that I couldn't get away" (in big green marker)

She explained the "couldn't get away" as the same thought kept returning.

:)

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Children and Dharma 30 Oct 2011 16:20 #4001

Aww-- what a light!
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Children and Dharma 30 Oct 2011 18:06 #4002

That's really cool!
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Children and Dharma 30 Oct 2011 19:09 #4003

Damn that's adorable!
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Children and Dharma 30 Oct 2011 19:25 #4004

I hope you thanked her!
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Children and Dharma 30 Oct 2011 19:34 #4005


Want to take it to another level? What would unconditional high regard for yourself be like?


-kategowen

I just wanted to take a minute to mention that I have been using this as a formal tool in daily experience with people and it has proved extremely powerful. This doesn't have much to do with kids and dharma but the effects of this practice were notable enough to mention. I have a default reaction to people of irritation and have been using the approach of "unconditional high regard" as often as I notice I am impatient with my wife, kids or complete strangers and results have been rapid and staggering. My overall openness and ability to hear what people are saying/feeling has really taken on a new dimension. it's really become multi-dimensional rather than just a flat irritation or or the occasional helpful benevolence. I'd say it's becoming more stable and panoramic. Something like that. At any rate, wow.. and thanks:)
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Children and Dharma 30 Oct 2011 20:50 #4006

Gee, thanks for the feedback, Duane; I sometimes think what I say may be irritating-- so it's good to know I've been helpful nonetheless.
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Children and Dharma 31 Oct 2011 00:26 #4007

I've really enjoyed and learned from this thread. Thanks guys.
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Children and Dharma 02 Jan 2012 20:46 #4008

Hey all!

Just a quick update and suggestion. I have been using the ios app "Buddhify" with my kids. It's very basic and I don't know that I would say it's of great use for advanced practitioners but it's been a pretty fun way to introduce my kids to mindfulness in a fun way that we can do together.
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Re: Children and Dharma 17 Sep 2012 14:35 #7233

So I've been gone for awhile. So this is an extremely delayed response but it was really fascinating to read back over this and find all the lessons that I thought I understood but somehow totally missed;)

Unconditional high regard for myself is where I had to start a few years back to even begin, and seem to always have to return to:)

Anyway. It's good to be back.
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Re: Children and Dharma 17 Sep 2012 19:45 #7235

Welcome back. Glad you found us again!
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Re: Children and Dharma 18 Sep 2012 17:21 #7250

Amazing how deep the resonances of "yes" go, innit?
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Re: Children and Dharma 18 Sep 2012 21:10 #7252

Yeah. Way more spacious than "no" :)
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Re: Children and Dharma 19 Sep 2012 00:06 #7253

Hello again. :)
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