Empathy and Compassion

Someone posted this link on our facebook page and zenmoments_headerI thought it was one of the most beautiful and challenging videos I had watched for a long time. Zen Moments >>>

This teacher, through his own ways, is giving children the opportunity to

  • recognise their feelings, let them come to the surface and pass
  • to feel the feelings of others
  • to know what feeling empathy and compassion is
  • and speaking the truth to oneself as well as others.

So many amazing life lessons in one classroom!

It made me think about why we teach children meditation.   Perhaps our motives (as the adult) are to help our children  behave better and to be more polite and kind.  Perhaps we want them to do their homework, or to go to sleep when we ask them to.  Whilst these benefits are wonderful – perhaps we should also  consider that by  teaching them meditation, children learn to recognise, feel and be present with their emotions.    Meditation can teach them awareness of their feelings so that they aren’t ruled by them as they get older ( can you think of any adults you know who fly off the handle at the slightest thing?)

Processing Change

Often when we have big changes in our lives, we forget that children are experiencing them too through their feelings and thoughts.  However we might think they are too young or small to be affected by these changes.  A change of home, someone in the family dying or with ill health, parents divorcing etc etc.  When these things happen, children feel not only their own feelings but they also feel the energy of the feelings of people around them.  They observe the tears, unhappiness and pain that people experience and they usually feel helpless and unable to express what they are feeling.  Sometimes as adults we forget to ‘check in’ to see how children are when these changes take place.

Buried Feelings Coming to the Surface

I had an interesting conversation with someone recently who told me that her daughter was quite young when her husband (the girl’s father) had died.  They thought she was okay and coping until a year later, almost to the day, she  started having anxiety attacks and didn’t want to go to school.  When they sat down to chat about it – all these emotions about her dad dying came pouring out.

Meditation and Emotions

Meditation isn’t a fast track way of processing strong emotions and feelings nor deferring them.  But it is a way to help us learn how to recognise them as they happen and to accept them as normal for whatever circumstances we are in.  I often think that meditation teaches our children that they have permission to feel and think what they are feeling – that it is okay.  That they are simply being human.

If we chat with children after a meditation to find out what they experience we might find that what they want to share is a reflection of what they have had to process – parts of their lives they didn’t understand or are trying to make sense off.

Whilst this video isn’t about meditation per se, it is about teaching children awareness and of being aware of themselves and their feelings in each moment and sharing this so they can live with more empathy and compassion for themselves as well as others.

I was really inspired by this video and I wanted to share it with you.

Namaste

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.