Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Parents, Children, and Spirituality

by Swami Rama

When you make meditation a part of your life, your children will follow your example. Exemplary education is very important for children. Children imitate their parents; you don’t have to teach them to meditate. Never do that. You should teach your children through example how to sit quietly and make their minds one-pointed. When you sit in meditation, your child will also come and sit next to you and pretend to do what you are doing. In this way the child will come to know what you are doing and will also form the habit of sitting with you.

I used to do that in my childhood. When my master would sit in meditation, I would sit next to him. When I wanted attention, I would climb into his lap. He wouldn’t say anything to me, so I would do something to get his attention. Then he would rub my forehead, and I did not know what happened. I am sure I was not sleeping. If you sit in meditation and your child comes and sits next to you and closes his eyes, it is very helpful to the child. Do you think the child is meditating? I say the child is meditating better than you are. Even when a child simply imitates you when you are meditating, it is very helpful for the child.

Meditation is a very powerful thing that gives helpful vibrations to all. When you meditate, it definitely affects your children. If you record the brain waves of a child who is sleeping while you are meditating, you will find a difference. Even your plants and your pets are affected when you meditate. Instead of imposing your ego or your emotional problems on your children in the name of discipline, please discipline yourself, and then your children will also learn.

As a part of our educational training we must define spirituality in its most precise and universal terms. Spirituality means that which helps us to discipline our thoughts, speech, and actions; that which leads us toward the center of consciousness, and thereby helps to unfold our inner potentials. Educations based on such spiritual guidelines will help humanity to become self-reliant and confident. Only education based on spirituality can bring harmonious balance to both our external and inner life.

We need not force children to believe that there is a God. However, we should provide them with the opportunity to unfold their inner potentials, to gain confidence, and to become inspired to search for God according to their own inner tendencies and capacity. For children to learn to cultivate divine virtues within themselves, the knowledge of theories that prove the existence of God is not as important as to learn how to discipline oneself. Through self-discipline God can be experienced directly.

Spiritual practices, undertaken at an early age, have a profound and long lasting effect. Human beings have tremendous potential provided they are taught to train themselves on all levels – physical, mental, and spiritual. Let us teach our children how to become aware of themselves on all levels. With a calm and one-pointed mind, children can obtain a glimpse of true peace and happiness.

(An excerpt from Let the Bud of Life Bloom, A guide to Raising Happy and Healthy Children by Swami Rama, Lotus Press, 2002)

Editor's Note

Join us for five days of learning at the “Nurturing Spirituality in the Family” Conference at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, 20th – 25th February 2013. For further information, please see http://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/India-Events/nurturing-spirituality-in-the-family.html

Let the Bud of Life Bloom, A guide to Raising Happy and Healthy Children by Swami Rama. Let the Bud of Life Bloom is available at the online bookstore of The Meditation Center; the bookstore ships nationally and internationally. The online bookstore can be found at this link: http://www.themeditationcenter.org/jnana/index.php?  In Europe, inquire at http://www.yogaineurope.eu/contact/ In India, inquire at AHYMSIN Publishers at http://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Contact-Us/Book-and-DVD-Orders.html This book is also available at Amazon.com and other bookstores. It is available as a paperback or in a Kindle edition.