Pediatrics Articles

Why children need meditation

by Dr. Randy


Meditation boy

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Meditation focuses the mind. It can change our view of the world and of ourselves. Our children are exposed to toxic influences on their minds including social media addictions, advertisements on the internet, violence in cartoons, popular music, and video games, and subliminal sexual stereotyping and role modeling. Parents are understandably aghast at some of these exposures, but children and teens with phones and online learning are difficult to monitor. Much of this content is unavoidable in today’s culture. The values promoted in this content often reinforce greed, fear, hostility, and prejudice. Parents do their best to encourage morals and ethics in their children, especially compassion, love, and respect. Meditation can help.

First, meditation can relieve stress reactions. But the form of meditation we do in our group goes well beyond stress reduction (MBSR). The first step in Shamatha (calm abiding) meditation is relaxing the body. Then the practice is to settle the mind, watching the thoughts and feelings that arise in the space of the mind. Settling the mind then leads to a direct experience of the spaciousness and luminosity of that space. This may be the first time that these children (and teens) have carefully observed the contents of their minds. We are tapping into the source of thoughts and feelings, and exploring how different cultures and philosophies view this source.

The results of this practice include heightened performance in music, art, dance, sports, and study. It taps into creativity of the mind. And it calms the impulsive reactivity of emotional responses and distractibility, training the self-discipline of the mental chatter that can sometimes be disruptive. Once children have these skills, they can be used in everyday settings, such as relating to family and friends, and getting to sleep.

Encourage your children to try meditation. Our group is supportive and friendly. This is a great bunch of kids.

Have them tune in to our Zoom sessions on Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 4:00 PST for 8-15 year olds at our Zoom link.