Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Adventures With A Wiggly Buddha
My son has started kindergarten and is a few weeks into it so far. He's doing well, but finds himself in trouble every once in a while for being "wiggly". I take that to mean that he can't sit still when he's supposed to.
I Googled "wiggly kids" and got back a plethora of ADHD stuff, which astounded me to say the least. I don't think that he needs Ritalin (methylphenidate); he needs to learn to sit in stillness, or relative five-year old stillness. Ahhh, this is something that I can show him how to do.
Every morning before school and at night prior to bedtime the two of us retreat into our home's little tatami-matted meditation space. He climbs up onto a cushion, easily folds his legs underneath himself, and places his tiny hands in the cosmic mudra. There we sit, slowly counting our mutual breaths. When he moves or "wiggles" we quietly start over. After a while he settles into it and sits there waiting for the next breath to appear.
When he's done he gets to sound the gong three times, bows in gasho, and quietly walks out of the room.
Last week he came home with a perfect report card. He was not spoken to once for being "wiggly". This week we're on the same trajectory.
No, I don't think a five-year old is going to grasp the Diamond Sutra any time soon, but he can learn to sit in stillness, to know what it feels like simply to sit and pay attention to what's in front of you. What a great life-skill!!