Tips for successfully teaching meditation to children

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Lisa Desmond’s beautiful and practical book on teaching meditation to pre-school age children, “Baby Buddhas,” contains the following excellent advice for those wanting to teach meditation to tots.

Some of these suggestions could be useful to those who teach meditation to adults as well!

  • Speak in a soft, kind, loving voice.
  • Smile.
  • Be joyful yet serious.
  • Store your sacred items on your altar and let the children know that they may not play with them — these objects are not toys.
  • Practice the meditations on your own, so you are comfortable.
  • At night, use soft lighting.
  • Make eye contact when appropriate.
  • Do not comment on the way the children breathe.
  • Do not comment on whether or not their eyes are open or closed.
  • The children will mimic you-the way you speak, how you breathe, how you sit and hold your head, how you hold your hands — so be a good model.
  • Place a singing bowl, crystal, picture, or statue in the center of the circle so the children have something to focus on.
  • Start with the shorter meditations and progress to the longer meditations.
  • Know your intent: What do you want to teach with the meditation and why?
  • Gently end a meditation if you feel it is warranted.
  • Trust your intuition.
  • Be patient: you and the children will look forward to these meditations.

From Baby Buddhas, by Lisa Desmond.

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