Mindfulness for children

Last week, on a surprisingly mild weekday evening, I went along to my six year old cousin’s karate class. Family and friends are invited along to see their progress, and how classes are structured.

It’s a small group class for 6-7 year olds, with mixed abilities. The Sensei guides his students and teaches importance of honour, focus, stillness, purpose, and respect. Quite formidable – he made me think I ought to stand to attention, just being there in the ‘audience’!

As they practiced sequences, he said something that was both striking and true, “everything is on purpose”… I zoned out momentarily, to ponder those words, and I realised this goes beyond a children’s karate class and extends to us all. If you have children, or young nieces/nephews, siblings, family, godchildren etc, you will understand what I mean when attempting to explain the wonder and joy in their eyes when they are running around, experiencing things for the first time, or telling stories all about what they’ve been able to learn that day!

They don’t have to attend mindfulness/meditation workshops, or sign up to too many classes, in order for them to see and find the simple pleasures in life. I wonder how much more extraordinary our lives would be, if we adopted their perspective, and saw each facet of life as an exciting adventure or new experience. 

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