Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Toddler, My Meditation Teacher

I try, try to meditate at least five minutes a day. Lately, with all our travel, household woes (algae in the pool and oven door that came off when my husband and I were trying to move the oven to attack the ant problem, to name a few) and sicknesses (sick toddler, sick infant, sick husband = stressed and about to go nuts mama) things have been off schedule and rough. Finding five minutes to myself has been impossible.

This morning, desparate for a chance to collect myself and get grounded so that I could be a better mama and person and not be so short-tempered and scattered, I sat on my meditation cushion and told my toddler I was meditating for five minutes and he should do it too, with me. "All you do," I told him, "is sit real still, be quiet, and listen to your breath."

Silence followed. It was too silent, if you know what I mean.

I opened my eyes. Arlo was standing in front of me, two inches from my face, with a big grin on his.

I laughed out loud, then explained again how to meditate and invited him to sit with me for five minutes. I resettled myself - eyes closed, hands resting on my crossed legs with palms facing up, mind on my breath.


"I meditate like this" he said, jumping like a kangaroo across the room. "I meditate like this, Mommy!" Pure glee that only a child knows was completely written on his face.

Hhmmm, I thought. He might be on to something. Perhaps meditation is more than perfect attendance on the meditation cushion? Of course I'd done walking meditation before, but that was at an official meditation retreat. Why not jumping meditation, in the living room, where you are perfectly in the moment, breath and movement aligned. It was about presence, right? If I could find presence in the mundane acts of each day - diaper changing, washing dishes - then wasn't I achieving the point of meditation?

I'm a work in progress and I have so very far to go. But thankfully I've got a two and a half year old guru to help me along the way.

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