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A question I get asked from time to time is "Would children benefit from meditation?" or
"Can children meditate?" The short answer is "yes". Meditation is of benefit to anyone of
any age. Meditation in this context is learning how to be more relaxed, focused and
develop inner awareness through simple breathing techniques. As well as health benefits it
also allows a person to become more aware of their emotions and thoughts and have more
freedom in how they respond to their environment.

Meditation, with the right guidance can also be the start of a more spiritual awareness in
which the person begins to explore and experience much more of their awareness. This again
is not dependant on age.

When teaching children I believe it is important to differentiate between parental
ambition and the childs actual desire. Does the child actually want to explore and learn
to meditate? The child will get the most from meditation when they want to do it rather
than because their parent/guardian tells them they should. Of course parents and children
alike don't know what they don't know and so I believe the most important thing is that
everyone, irrespective of age, has the chance to explore meditation for themselves and
based on their own experience.

What I have found over the years is that children are naturally very able at noticing
amazing things within meditation. They may not want to sit still in the first place, but
when meditation is taught in a way which appeals to them, making it a fun game, then they
tend to show natural talent and ability. In Manley P. Hall's book, "The Occult Anatomy of
Man" ISBN-13: 978-1258118532, he explains how a child is naturally more aware of the
subtler energies and also more able to notice stillness on the inside. It's a fascinating
read written many years ago. At first people may be put off by the word Occult, but this
is an old book and in the time it was written people had more knowledge of language.
Unfortunately in modern times the meaning of "occult" has taken on a more negative
connotation. In reality it means "what is hidden" and that's all. Practically speaking
anyone can develop their awareness and what he alludes to in the book is the spiritual
transformation a person goes through as they develop in life. The short version is
that, without meditative practice most people will devolve spiritually as they grow up and
older. Often though it is in later life that they start to question and have an enthusiasm
to explore. Ironically it is this very enthusiasm and awe of the world which children have
and which many adults have lost, which makes for a great meditative attitude. If we were
more like our children, questioning, asking why, not taking anything for granted and not
judging or dismissing things then we'd all be better able to let go into meditation and
explore more.

So if a young person wishes to explore meditation then I am more than happy to help. The
obvious proviso is that the child must be accompanied by their guardian or parent. The act
of exploring inner awareness and becoming more energetically balanced through breathing
techniques is a natural process in the same way a child learns how to walk. Perhaps we
could all learn to be a bit more childish in our lives and certainly we can all learn how
to notice and benefit from inner stillness.

Posted by Mark Zaretti at 13:45

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