Meditation is a mental skill. It’s like any other physical skills that we need to build it up gradually. Once we have this skill, it sticks with us. It is similar to music, sport, or language skill that needs practice. The earlier we start and the more we practice, the better we are good at it. It helps us to understand ourselves better, concentrate better, be more aware of our thought, and helps us to relax. Sandy who is an owner of daycare in Springfield, Virginia knows this by her heart. She has learned meditation from temple since she was 2 years old and has been practicing it throughout her life. It brings peace to her mind such that she wants to share it with others especially little kids in her daycare. She put great effort to instill this skill to them. Here is an interview with Ms. Sandy on why and how she does that. I hope you enjoy.
May: How long have you been a member of our center? And what do you like about meditation?
Sandy: First of all I want to tell you about my background. I was raised by my grandma in Thailand. She took me to the temple every day. I learned meditation by reciting mantra since I was young. I have been meditating and doing chanting every day for more than thirty years. It really helps me to relax and feel at peace. When I moved to the US, my friend recommended me to Meditation of D.C. as a place to meditate. I have been a member of this center for 14 years. I enjoyed coming here to practice meditation and met my friends.
May: Can you share with us more about your meditation experience?
Sandy: I am able to settle my mind down. Sometimes when I reach the stillness, I feel that I can unify with my center and have a spacious feeling. Sometimes I saw a white and soft light inside. It’s so peaceful and motivate me to continue meditating.
May: Why do you bring meditation to your daycare?
Sandy: I’m always busy during the day as I have several kids to take care of. I took a break by bringing my mind to the center of body for one minute every hour throughout the day. It’s a time for me to relax. So I thought to myself why don’t I ask the kids to join me. It started on a no-school day three months ago. That day the kids had to stay with me longer than usual. I said to them “let’s try to meditate together” I sat down with them and showed them how to meditate. I just asked them to close their eyes and be quiet. It was a short time but they enjoyed that. So I continued doing meditation with them since then.
Sandy: In the beginning, we did just one time a day for a few minutes. I just wanted to show them how to meditate. It did not take long because I was afraid they might get bored. When I saw how happy they were at the end of the meditation, I wanted to have it more and more in my daycare. I increased the meditation time little by little and did it more often. Sometimes I used guided meditation with music on. Sometimes we did walking meditation. Now, they can meditate up to nine minutes and three times a day. Meditation became our practice routine in daycare. After breakfast, we exercised for 5 minutes, meditated for 5 minutes, and then had a reading time and free time. They followed this schedule in the morning, afternoon and before they went home. You can also do this with your kids. Start just a few minutes a day. It’s a nice activity for a family to do together.
May:Do you see any change on them after they have meditated with you for three months?
Sandy: They behave better and have more patience. Before that they were running around and it was hard for me to get them to do something such as reading or studying. After we practiced meditation, they were nicer and paid more attention on reading. They now know what to do when they come to my daycare.
May: Can you share with us some stories that touch your heart?
Sandy: What surprised me the most is that they did meditate on their own. I never ask them to do that at their home. But they did and even asked their parents to join them.
One day I took them to the playground. One boy went inside the play set and started meditating by himself.
Another girl who is 4 years old asked mom that she wanted to meditate after breakfast. She then sat down on the floor and closed her eyes for a few minutes. Her mom was so surprised and sent me a picture of her meditating. I was so happy to see that.
One boy always meditates before he goes to bed. He asked him mom to turn off tv so he can sit silently. Again, she took a picture of him and sent it to me. These kids are about 4-5 years old.
May:Before we finish this interview, do you have something to say to us?
Sandy: So if you have little kid, I suggest to introduce meditation to them so they can build up this skill and ready to go on with their fast-pace life.