Mindfulness for kids and parents
Mindfulness and meditation are amazing tools that we can use to live a happier, calmer and stress-free life. We had the pleasure of inviting Gelong Thubten, a Buddhist Monk, meditation teacher and author of Sunday Times Best Seller "A Monk's Guide to Happiness" to speak at Phileas Fox Nursery School. Thubten teaches meditation in major companies such as Google and LinkedIn, as well as in healthcare and education. He was the meditation consultant on the set of Marvel's movie, Doctor Strange, where he trained Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton in meditation techniques. It was a wonderful and engaging evening and we are delighted to share some tips on how to realistically integrate meditation into the daily life of busy parents.
1. Practice meditation every day for 10-15 minutes. Start with five minutes, and build it up. The best time to meditate is in the morning, in a quiet space, in order to start your day right. Before starting, always remind yourself of the purpose- why are you doing this- to create more compassion for yourself and those around you. Keep your eyes open and concentrate on your breathing. When thoughts come to your head, note them but don't try to push them away, gently returning attention to your breathing.
2. Practice micro-moments of meditation throughout the day. If you are feeling particularly stressed at any point in the day, practice mindfulness for as little as 10 seconds by bringing your attention to your body. Feel the ground under your feet, your hands on the steering wheel, the bag strap on your shoulder. To further the practice, concentrate on actions that are often done automatically, such as brushing your teeth or eating a snack, to be really present in the moment.
3. Get your children interested in meditation by leading by example. Tell them about meditation, let them know you are doing it and explain how it works and the benefits, so it becomes a part of your, and hence their everyday life. Be aware of your child's age- with the little children, you just need to be in the moment with them, without any distractions. For older children, you can find good techniques and practice micro-moments together.
4. We really recommend reading Thubten's book "A Monk's Guide to Happiness" for a better understanding of meditation and practical exercises. Available on Amazon.
5. We also recommend another book in which Thubten participated called "How To Be Human" by Ruby Wax. It is very funny and has a practical step by step meditation technique for children. Available on Amazon.