I wrote the book, Am I Still The Ocean?
as an understated way to introduce the concept of meditation
to children and families. Having,
along with my wife, raised two children, I know that there are
times (think bedtime) and stress events for every child and every
family. It is my firm belief that having a skill set that includes
regular meditation practice would help decrease many of the
undesirable behaviors, anxiety and family disruption, that are
experienced, as well as increase positive coping
outcomes, if meditation was more widely practiced.
Meditation is a practice in which an individual uses a technique –
such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object,
thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and
achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
Meditation is practiced in numerous religious
The word meditation carries a lot of baggage in our society. Images
of Buddhist monks sitting in silent stillness, Hare Krishnas
chanting, incense, spirituality… are
some of the vague common ideas many people subconsciously have with
regard to meditation. I’m a strong proponent of meditation. A
meditation advocate, if you like, and I’d like to make this first
blog post an overview of what meditation is and in upcoming posts,
discuss the benefits, and introduce easy techniques to try alone or
with your families.
I like to say the meditation is to the brain, as working out is to
the body. If you meet someone new and say, "I like to work out."
What does that tell the person? It’s a statement that says, you
like to do something, presumably on a regular basis, that in
someway moves and benefits the body physically? But that’s it. You
may, go to the gym, run on a track, do martial arts, etc. there are
many ways to "work out", each with their own goal. Likewise, the
statement, “I like to meditate.”, only indicates that you do
something, again presumably on a regular basis, the benefits the
One important issue to address upfront is that meditation may or
may not involve some aspect of spirituality. Some meditation
techniques are designed to increase or enhance one’s innate
spiritual essence and indeed many religions use meditation.
Meditation can increase feelings of connection with one’s Divine
Self, one’s Creator, or with some other spiritual goal. Meditative
contemplation is one technique that can be used in this context or
not. This may be a goal for you or it may not. This author and blog
will make no value judgment on the goal or reason you choose to
That being said, more and more, especially as science continues to
validate meditation benefits, many people are finding meditation
useful in a myriad of other ways. For example, athletes using
visualization techniques while in meditation, others with sleep
difficulties, anxiety issue, those who desire greater creativity
and focus, and the list goes on.
In coming blog posts, I will discuss what impact meditation can
have on children and families. I’ll introduce short techniques and
meditations that you can try. I’ll offer links and resources to
where you can learn more. I hope you’ll join me and find the
journey of interest and value.