Meditating WITH Your Children

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Practicing meditation with your children is a powerful way to connect and support healing.  With extended time at home, we need this more than ever!  The key is to be creative and flexible.  Depending on the energy of the moment, you can call upon different techniques.  

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When you stay tuned in, you will become aware when you need to bring a meditative practice to support the energy of the house.  The key to doing this is to maintain your own daily self-care practice!  Otherwise, you will be too distracted to tune into the subtle shifts that might lead to breakdown / smackdown.  Remember parents, our energy is reflected through the energy of our children!  Our energy DIRECTLY impacts our children in every moment.  You can learn such self-care practices through my Coronavirus Prevention page and consider joining the next class of Dragon’s Way Qigong.  

In addition, many of us have become used to going OUT to classes at yoga studios and centers for meditation.  Practicing your meditation and healing exercises in the presence of your children is a powerful way to teach them by your example!  In addition, it elevates your practice because you must learn to center yourself even if there is a bit of chaos around you!

The Vibe is: TENSE

If you sense that the energy is tense you can consider bringing in a moving meditation to shake things up.  In some instances the right music and a dance party may be perfect but in others this may create more chaos.  In those tense/chaotic moments, a more channeled moving meditation is needed.  

My fave is “Shaking the Tree!”  In Five-Element Theory, Wood is the essence of the system that helps us process stress, tension, frustration.  When Wind comes through, the trees respond by staying rooted in Earth but shaking their branches in all directions, sometimes even subtly bending at the trunk!  Also, the Wind creates all sorts of sounds!

Start by squating down to the floor.  As you rise up shake everything, up, up, up, flinging the arms into the sky.  As you do this movement also allow the voice to rise up making a yelp, scream, any sound that wants to come out!

Enjoy this Video tutorial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OakgNXU7QSA


The Vibe is: Fear, Worry, Anxiety

If fear, worry, and anxiety are the vibe of the moment, breathing exercises, the Second Energy Gate, and hands at prayer pose are soothing and calming.  

There are many meditative breathing practices; however, I prefer Spirit Gate breathing.  In this practice, focus is placed upon the navel.  When you breathe in, draw the belly in.  When you breathe out, push your belly out.  The navel is a Spirit Gate.  This magical button connects you to your genetic line as well as to a time when you were in perfect alignement, in utero, with all of Nature.  

For our children, it is a beautiful way to remind them that through navel we are always connected to one another!  This breath will help calm and center everyone.  It can be helpful to practice by having your children place their hands over their navel, or if they are lying down place a stuffy on their belly.  

Click the link below to hear more on this powerful Spirit Gate from Grand Master Nan Lu of The Tao of Healing.

https://youtu.be/XlY3_HbDjzA

You can learn the Second Energy Gate through the link below.  Place the palm of the right hand on the center of the chest at the level of the nipples, place the left hand over the top of the right hand.  Make a connection with the chest and begin to circle.  After several minutes, switch directions of your circle.  This Gate connects us directly to our Heart and is relaxing and calming.  This is a great practice to do together at bedtime or if a child awakens in the middle of the night.  

The Four Energy Gates

The first energy gate is impactful for all ages.  The other three gates for children over age 7.  This is due to meridian development.  

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Creating a Daily Practice

Beyond bringing meditation to meet the moment, it is also important to establish a daily meditative practice with your children.  Again, creativity and flexibility are the key!

Create a sacred space, or as my daughter calls it a chill zone, for your meditation.  Allow the kids to help you bring in images, object, colors.  You can even encourage them to create their own personal chill zone!

Create a time each day.  Without a schedule, a wait till later mentality can show up and you will lose the opportunity.  I recommend you start with 10 minutes MAX!  For us with our new at home life, we have chosen 11:55-12:05.  Feel into whatever time of day is best for your fam.  

I recommend you choose the Coronavirus Prevention exercises or The Four Energy Gates as the intention of these energy exercises is to boost immunity.  I personally have adapted the timing to two sets of eight.  You can see the example in my version with the kiddos below.  Please see the “adult” version to master the movements for yourself first!

In general, I find I can connect the kids to the movements with greater ease if I integrate music and allow them to walk around our sacred space while practicing.  

After the movements, you can consider closing with a few moments of holding the hands in prayer pose.

I also encourage you to integrate a brief practice at bedtime to connect and support a restful night sleep.  Energy Gate Two and Spirit Gate Breathing are a perfect bedtime practice.

DON’T FORGET TO BE FLEXIBLE AND HAVE FUN!

No one will want to join you in a practice if you become a meditative drill sergeant!  Be flexible with the structure, location, and encourage your children to suggest what they would like to integrate into the practice.  Intuitively each and every one of us, including our children, know exactly what we need to do to support our energy moment to moment.  At some point we disconnect from this intuition.  Now is the time to connect back in!  

Your intuition may reveal that meditation is: screaming, singing, running outside, hugging a tree, banging our head on the floor ( gently : ), eating a special treat, watching a movie, listening to music, creating art, writing, breaking objects or throwing eggs at trees (if they have expired!), throwing water balloons….I could go on and on.  The wisdom is within each of us.  We just have to be crazy enough to listen and honor it!  

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Children are naturally imaginative.  The pandemic is calling us all to tap back into this powerful gift.  With our intuitive Heart “we can create heaven or we can create hell” Grandmaster Nan Lu.  Create time to tell stories of your past adventures and experiences as a family.  Begin by sharing yourself: the time, the space, the sights, the smells, the feeling and then invite your children to do the same.  Close your eyes and be there!  This recollection can bring peace and reawaken flow to the present moment.  Even in the midst of a pandemic!


Family Friendly Version of Qigong for Coronavirus Prevention

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Qigong for Coronavirus Prevention


The Four Energy Gates : Please note that Gate 1 is the most impactful for all ages.  This is due to the state of meridian development.  Above age 7, the other gates can be impacted more by this practice.



Taoist Emotional Cleansing

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All of us were born with a natural ability to allow emotional energy to flow; however, at some point we disconnect from this inherited power.  Observe how children express tantrum energy with great ease moving from floor pounding (sibling punching) frustration, to a flood of tears, and a return to joy and play.  We can choose to create a practice of taoist emotional cleansing daily to exercise this gift.  Create a safe space where you can express yourself without limit.  The car works beautifully!  

Phase One: Move the voice

During phase one allow your voice to move.  Tune into yourself, focusing on your tension, frustration, fear, anxiety.  Then manifest an image of what this emotional energy looks like within your mind.  Finally, freely allow sound to be released.  This may begin as grunts, howls, hisses, yelling, and screaming.  Go easy allowing the energy to flow out of the throat.  Our throat is a sensitive energetic location.  If you feel stuck in your throat or develop hoarseness, practice Energy Gate One and drink mint tea (two bags) with honey.  If you wish, you can put on a song the evokes your frustration and anger.  I personally love “Shake it Out” by Florence and the Machine.  

Phase Two: Allow tears

"One tear drop can wash away a thousand years of sadness.  One tear drop can welcome a million years of joy” Taoist Proverb

Tears are alchemy.  We take the invisible energy of emotion and we transform it into visible matter.  We then release this matter, cleansing the body.  Allow yourself to bend forward or crouch on the ground covering your face in your hands.  This position helps the tears to rise.  Again, allow yourself to envision an image of your emotional energy within your mind.  If you wish, you can put on a song that evokes tears.  I tear up anytime I hear the work of Max Richter

Phase Three: Smile / Dance

Now that we have released emotional stagnation, we can move to a new level of peace and joy.  Allow your smile to come from your Heart.  Observe yourself in a mirror so you can feel the difference and see the difference when you smile in this way.  If you feel moved to do so, put on joyful music and have a little dance party with your beautiful self.  

Learn more on the Taoist Emotional Cleansing:

https://www.tcmworld.org/taoist-emotional-cleansing-practice/


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indyhealingcenter@gmail.com  Melissa Laborsky, MD 2014