Is it really possible to meditate with a 4 year old?
The truth is, I love my private, quiet time during my meditation practice and I never really had any interest in having my children participate with me. I could just picture my daughter crawling all over me, while I desperately tried to find those few seconds of stillness.
On the flip side, I always dreamed of having a family where we all enjoyed a spiritual practice together. So about a year ago, I began to wonder how I can make this possible.
Well, it all began in a subtle way. My husband and I always have Kirtan music playing in the background on Sunday mornings. My children love hearing it and singing it. So without really realizing it, we all would sing to Krishna Das or Snatam Kaur’s kirtan music. Eventually, we began setting a few minutes aside to sing it in the evenings. This is a fun form of meditation.
Next, again without much intention, my children would watch daddy and I enjoy our Saturday morning yoga. This was not easy to do with little ones all over the place, but we managed. No, it was not a Zen experience, but it did feel amazing in the way that yoga can. After several months, my son and daughter began copying all the positions and would attempt several minutes of yoga with us. They now know the names of many positions and get into them throughout the day. It is still a work in progress, but I can see how they can really have the hang of it in about a year.
Most recently, they would ask what our meditation is like and we have tried to explain it. We figured, if we actually do it with them, it may help them figure it out better. So, I began visualizations with my son during a time when he had a difficult time falling asleep. I would guide him through a forest (check out my weekly meditation post for details) and within a few days, he began falling asleep. I realized he really only needed some grounding (which the forest meditation created for him). About a week ago, my husband found a beautiful guided meditation for children and their angel. We played it before they went to bed, and they LOVED IT! So for now, it’s mostly guided meditation that our kids connect to as their imagination is so powerful. And it is a beautiful way to be introduced to the practice.
It ends up that my dream of following a spiritual path with family has been realized. This was created effortlessly because it was simply the way I lived my life. The more I lived and breathed a spiritual path, the more I modeled it for my children, and they simply followed our lead. I think that if I made them do any of this, I probably would have not had much success. Instead, like anything else, if we model it, and live a certain way of life, it will simply be what our children will come to know as their own life.