Meditation may also be the best medicine for all ages.
It seems that a large majority of the people that I find taking up meditation and/or the Buddhist practice are of a more mature age. And while I do see children, teens and young adults often attending the Blue Lotus Temple, the majority are still in the over 40 range I would guess. I believe the reason for this is that most of us don’t get serious about peace in our lives until we are more mature. Also, often I think we have all been seekers with other religions or beliefs, but found no consistent comfort or foundation. For some, finding the benefits of meditation is all they require. Finding that stress and anxiety lessen, and a peaceful life becomes more frequent and abundant. Others choose to study the teachings of Buddha, and find great wisdom and comfort in understanding more clearly the realities of life. Either way, this meditation practice proves for most to be the best solution to putting out the fires in our minds as we navigate the waves of life’s ups and downs.
But what about the children, and why aren’t we all encouraging them more to experience this same type of calm, acceptance and peace?
We all know that children are our future, and also that science has proven the benefits of meditation. The Mayo Clinic endorses the benefits of meditation, stating “Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and can even improve certain medical conditions.” Also one of the Worlds foremost neuroscientists Richard Davidson, states that simple meditation techniques, backed up with modern scientific knowledge of the brain, are helping kids hard-wire themselves to be able to better pay attention and become kinder.
Another recent study showed that 78% of the children and adults who practiced meditation saw a noticeable reduction in their total ADHD symptoms. Only adding more support for the adage “more meditation, less medication”.
All of this begging the question, why don’t we do more as a society to encourage meditation for our children?
All of this calls to mind the African proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child”. These are our Sons and Daughters, Sisters and Brothers, Nieces and Nephews, whether by blood or not. This World is our Global community, our village so to speak. And as loving creatures, it is of benefit to one another that we encourage peace and kindness in our children. And we are all capable of immeasurable love and compassion that is best when served generously. Whether you are young or old, I encourage each of you to share this practice with those around you. And give our children that chance to be happy, balanced and peaceful human beings.
As the Dalai Lama says, “if every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation”. And what a wonderful World that would be!