Kids Corner





Advertising agencies like to catch kids young so that they can make them life-long clients.

Getting to them early,  and inculcating values and virtues in them, therefore, can be a good idea  -  provided what we teach them is worthy of lifetime emulation.

However, my interest is not in TV ads or the like. What I want to do is expose our kids to the habit of cultivating silence, compassion and kindness. The way things are going in our schools and colleges, it is becoming increasingly important that we do something about it. Rampant alienation, loneliness, bullying, narcissism, etc., are some of the by-products of our failure to teach kids how to cultivate an inner sense of mental and emotional stability.

Recently, I introduced our three-year old daughter to the idea of sitting silently for few moments.

To our utter surprise, she took to the idea with glee. Apparently,  she is fascinated by the idea of sitting cross-legged on a pillow, and saying a few words which she scarcely understands but, nevertheless, repeats dutifully.

She calls it "magication", a word that I, too, find quite appealing and magical.

Every time we come to that moment of the evening, or when she sees I am getting ready for my meditation, she quickly gathers all the pillows for me and lays them on the floor in the order I usually put them. Then, she brings one small cushion for herself and tries to sit on it in a half-lotus posture.

It is fascinating to see her trying to bend her legs into this position, while trying to maintain her balance. Even more heartening is her alacrity to engage in this: she folds her hands dutifully and tucks them in the way she sees me do it, and tilts her head sideways a bit.

Once she is relatively settled on her little cushion, we embark upon repeating "Satnam Waheguru" for a few minutes. After finishing, we stay silent for few moments and then, taking the cue, she gets up smiling and leaves the room, shutting the door behind her and leaving me alone to do my routine.

Before we began this practice, she used to bug me, cry, or even on some occasions would not let me do my meditation. She was feeling shut out of something important I was involved in behind the closed door. Ever since she has started sitting with me, there has not been a single instance when she has disturbed me in my simran.

I am pleased that she is now introduced to this beautiful habit. And the bonus is that she has, in her own little way, learnt to appreciate my personal meditation..

I look at the ease with which she has picked up the idea. She is so young and impressionable: all we had to do was let her see our actions, and encourage her to follow suit.

Is this what they call "investing in our future"?


[Trained in Australia and Canada, Dr. Parmjit Singh has a PhD in Psychology and teaches in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University, Canada. ]

Photos on this page:  Top -  courtesy, Gurumustuk Singh. Bottom  -  courtesy, Wishnu Garuda.

Conversation about this article

1: Richard Spiers (Statesboro, GA, U.S.A.), July 13, 2007, 2:17 PM.

When and how did you come up with this phrase? [Editor: We believe it is a phonetic version of the author's daughter trying to pronounce the word, "meditation".]

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