While teaching our daughters Buddhism and meditation we discovered a glitch along this journey; the bad thoughts that creep into our heads during our silence. I am not going to fool anyone, last year was the pits. My husband and I were finally able to accomplish a few goals through our turmoil, and we eventually moved on to meditate successfully. However, children have a much more difficult time moving on from hardship. Tears well up easily when they are given a moment to silence themselves and just let their thoughts be.
I had explained to both girls that meditation is about recognizing their thoughts and releasing them. Richard came up with a useful idea he borrowed from a Dharma & Greg episode to help them release their bad thoughts. If we cannot seem to just release the bad thoughts and they become persistent, then we are to visualize that thought, create a gigantic bubble around it, and blow it away. What a brilliant idea! Each girl was ready and willing to put forth that visualization technique during meditation this week.
In addition to the bad thoughts, I also discovered that our daughters were struggling with the many big words and phrases used in the book How to Be Compassionate. It seems that it was much more difficult for them to answer questions if I read the entire section straight through. My new plan was to ask a question after I have read a paragraph or two. This would allow them an opportunity to answer the questions and retain the knowledge before continuing on with the remainder of the section.
And, would you know it? It worked!
It seems that our session in Buddhism this week was quite successful. I received positive feedback. Even from our youngest who hated it last week. She said that it was much better this week and was willing to do it again next week.
I guess she was finally able to “blow away” her bad thoughts.