As the music got louder, the swaying and thumping got wilder. After all, it was the New Year’s Eve 2020 and nothing short of crazy partying could do justice to the special night. Our gang comprised of four kids and four adults with no parent-child mapping; hence the dancing, screaming and jumping around was completely unsupervised and unlimited. After almost three hours, when the energy levels had receded and playlists almost ended, the kids lay around on the sofas – quiet and exhausted. The few-minutes-before rowdy gang now barely uttered a word, like the noisy rain drops on a tin roof suddenly going quiet after the heavy cloud has passed. Sensing the stillness in their tender minds and bodies, I proposed “Lets meditate for a few minutes”. Surprisingly, the kids agreed and the next moment we were all cross-legged yogis sitting on the floor in one big circle. The excitement in their faces and recharged bodies seemed to hold great potential for converting the meditation session into a laughter yoga session. Nevertheless, I gave out the instructions and started playing Dance of the Swans from Black Lotus. And what followed was a really interesting observation worth sharing here !
‘ 1..2..3 seconds ….smiles …giggles …laughter …nudging …rolling ….music paused. In a serious tone, I request them to focus on the music and not open their eyes or touch anyone. Music resumes…silence ensues for 20 seconds …smiles …giggles …laughter …rolling on the floor…music paused. Gathering all fake sternness, I warn them “If anyone creates disturbance this time, I’m gonna walk into my room, lock the door and meditate in peace. You are free to do whatever you like here.” Luckily, it succeeds in procuring their promises to maintain absolute stillness this time. How cute they all appear, clutching their throats and mumbling “I promise”😊️ But I am not allowed to smile in the moment, playing the role of a strict teacher, you know.😉 The third and final attempt begins at one of the most difficult mind games that even grannies and grandpas shy away from. The music of flute starts flowing again, and so do spurts of giggles. But the promises remind them to control their monkey minds and be disciplined. Eventually, the calmer mind wins over. After two minutes, everyone is sitting composed, and oh yes, the group meditation has finally begun! It comes to an end after a good 7-8 minutes, post which everybody is smiling peacefully.
It is such a new and totally unexpected sight watching the bright serene faces of kids who just had their first taste of meditation. Now comes the time to listen to their experiences. The eldest of all, Khushi(~12 years) says “I felt like sitting in a forest with some musicians playing a melodious tune far away, and it was so calm and peaceful. I really liked it”. The youngest one, Som(~6yrs) quickly follows stammeringly “I felt like entering into a video game where I slept peacefully and was watching a beautiful dream”[Honestly I can’t make much sense out of his words but his cheerful expression quite makes up for the lack of it]. Shreya(~9 yrs) speaks up next “I felt like meditating in an isolated place with many rishis and my mind was so calm. I am going to do it everyday now”. Ishu(~9 yrs) quips in “I felt like being in a forest overlooking a beautiful lake, and it was so relaxing”. The one thing common in all their narratives is the feeling of peace and serenity their little minds have experienced, and the fascinating worlds to which they had been transported. ‘
You might suspect those could be fabricated or borrowed tales, but having looked into their eyes, I can totally vouch for the truthfulness in their words. Those few minutes of stillness in their vibrant bodies and control over their fickle minds certainly deserves great applause and appreciation!👏 They may not be mature enough to voluntarily develop it into a regular practice, but I am glad that they had an enjoyable beginning. And when the first taste of something is good, chances are high we will go for it when given a second opportunity.
Being cities away from them, I never raised the topic of meditation since that day assuming it would bore the kids. However, I was taken aback by pleasant surprise when Khusi exclaimed during our last call that she has started doing a few minutes of meditation along with her sister everyday !
Now, I am so reminded of my first taste of meditation about 10 years before. My mind went void and I felt like existing tinily in the vast dark infinite space and gradually my being started dissolving into it (Though that didn’t persist for long. After a few days of continuous practice, my ingenious mind had discovered ways to put the meditative time and state to great use by thinking of most important matters like people, job, love,food,travel, current affairs…. and what not 😎. Thank God! Swamiji came into my life and inspired me to consciously develop the art of meditation the right way😇).
What I can clearly correlate between my own experience and that of the kids is – for a while, we all witnessed a state of peace and union with ourselves, none carrying any person or possession with us on this short trip.
After all, isn’t that what meditation is about? Shutting the doors and windows of your apartment on an ever-noisy over-crowded street to embrace the soft, calm, comforting vibes of your own space? Indeed the most precious ‘Me Time’ it is !
Do you remember how your first meditation session felt like? If you can – soak in the feeling for a while and flash your beautiful smile!🙂 If you can’t – perhaps you started way too early for your memory to trace back, kudos to you give yourself a pat on the back!👍