A meditation space is sacred. That said, what constitutes the space where the conscious mind and the unconscious meet can be as diverse as an individual meditator’s differing tastes. The point is to find a place that helps facilitate inward focus with the intention of cultivating a relationship with yourself. Now that’s all swell and good, but what if you have children in the house!
Kara-Leah Grant pens this recent Elephant Journal post on her personal experience with meditation and the difficulties that she faced by keeping true to her practice as her newborn began to grow up. According to Grant, a few important things to consider when trying to practice meditation in a busy household is to not only drop those expecations, but also remember to set boundaries with your family and practice a type of meditation that focuses on awareness. It’s much easier to incorporate your life into the practice.
Ten tricks to meditating with a young child (or with any other relentless distraction!)
1. Establish the possibility in your mind
2. Start young
3. Be open to the experience
4. Let go of any expectations
5. Choose a meditation that allows you to sit in awareness
My meditation practice is very simple – once I’ve gone through some mantra, mudra and pranayama, I sit in awareness just watching all that is. And that includes my child.
Meditation doesn’t mean I try and block out him, or the world, it means that I am aware of everything he is doing, yet I’m not reactive. This gives me the space to be responsive when necessary – at times he’ll wander over for a hug or to climb all over me and I’ll talk to him or OM to him. Other times, he may need me to untangle him from a toy, or pick him up from a tumble. (See video below for examples).
When I’m called upon to respond, I do so, with no drama, nor resistance, nor annoyance. My response is as meditative as my sitting.
6. Set boundaries for other family members
7. Start with a child-proof room
8. Add a freshly-changed, well-feed and well-rested child
9. Add favourite toys and refreshments
10. Make the practice daily and enjoy!
Read more about Grant’s meditation tips for busy households here.