“Mindfulness is boring” so says my 8 year old daughter with a furlong look. This reminds me of the time I was teaching Mindfulness in my 11 year old son’s classroom and after 5 minutes, he started giving me the bug eyes and swiping his hand across his neck to get me to finish the lesson more quickly.
Shock was my reaction. What? Are my children less enlightened than other kids? How is this so? As they both attend a small progressive public charter school in Oakland, CA, they have been receiving mindfulness lessons since kindergarten. Just the ring of the Tibetan bowl brings every classroom in the school to rapt expectant silence as they take a collective inhale breath. Not to mention the chanting, yoga and Deeksha my children experience with me at home.
Each of my children come from a different perspective on the hologram, as I am now writing this from my perspective on the hologram. In my vantage point, my daughter is a radiant sunny child, self-possessed and present, especially at school. She is a gentle leader, noticing subtle perceptions in her classmates and teacher, ready to supply a helping hand, if she reads their receptivity. She is the seer*.
“Mindfulness is boring,” came as a response after I used the term, Mindfulness, as a “thing we were going to do tomorrow.” This was not exciting to her because, Mindfulness, meaning a state of being quietly alert, of presence, of being in the now, is a state in which she lives quite naturally. In her honesty to me, she admitted that in fact, she craves ritual, surprise, full-body engagement, theater, and arts and didn’t really “get” mindfulness.
To understand my son’s reaction, we must take a jaunt to a new perspective on the hologram. He is my star-gazing child, my conscious dreamer and animal whisperer, an old soul who is still waking up to his deepest wisdom. He is acutely aware of his classmates and is the champion of freedom and autonomy for all people everywhere. He intuitively noticed their impatience as I went into a longer lesson on Mindfulness. He doesn’t want to impose on another’s time and interest. Again, he naturally is in a state of mindfulness to perceive and act from his inner-knowing.
Is Mindfulness boring?
It can be, as a sitting practice, especially in the late beginner stage after the ability to sit for 10-15 minutes has been mastered, but before the deeper inner states of experiences have begun. For a child, they are finding an inner calm and breathing in the peacefulness, remembering a natural state of presence that adults tend to “forget” as our minds develop. For an adult they often need to settle in to remember how to be present and relax the chattering ego mind.
Children can activate this parasympathetic relaxation response quickly, with just a few deep breaths within a few minutes and reset this state of presence over and over throughout the day. This is actually the primary goal, for all of us. Most younger children won’t receive “experiences” that come with deep meditation due to the fact they are already living consciously, mystically with fluidity between the realms.
What are these deep inner states or consciousness breakthroughs that I write of?
Well, there is a rich land of possibilities for each practitioner! It really depends on each person’s individual mode of learning and perceiving in the body. What I am referring to is how each person takes in information, visually, verbally, body/kinesthetic, intuitively, ethereally, and so on. For me, I feel things in my body, I feel my chakras (energy centers in the body) spinning in a clockwise direction up my spine. And in deep states of meditation, my visual channels of perception open and I see images and shapes. Body/kinesthetic and visual are my dominant channels. Some people have auditory experiences and a few may even feel their bodies being lifted through space and have unexplainable, wondrous experiences.
But these specific expanded states of awareness are not the goal and cannot be “willed” into happening. In my personal experience, 30 minutes or more of deep meditation brings on a trance-like state where my ego awareness ceases and I rest in a sweet union with Existence. I find this state erases the stress of the day and empties out my ego in service of being in a state of Empty Presence throughout the next day.
Then being mindful or present throughout the day is anything BUT boring. It brings up in me my child-like wonder, lack of self-consciousness, spontaneity and inner peacefulness.
The continual state of Empty Presence is the goal and for most children it is a natural state of being. Join me in remembering these basic, life-affirming states as adults.
Learn the foundational skills of presence, meditation, deep breathing and mindfulness through my Foundational Skills Online Workshop coming in March 2014! You will be able to learn simple lessons through instructional video and meet with me online to discuss your challenges and experiences. Click here for more info.
- Refers to an earlier post about Being Seen/ Being the Seer.