Today, as a Vipassana student leader at the NYC Dhamma House, I learned:
… the reason I don’t know how to solve a Rubik’s Cube is because I don’t know the simple algorithm, said a cute 6th grade girl?
What sixth grader says algorithm?
Seriously, do sixth graders say algorithm?
… because I speak fewer than 3 languages, the 4th, 5th and 6th grade girls I hung out with today likely felt sorry for me. They were too mature to say so.
… I can’t fold origami for shit.
… Rachel, in thick, but trendy blue glasses, a seemingly shy Burmese 4th grader (until she busted out her dance moves!), said her favorite subject is literature and that she enjoys realistic fiction best.
Weird, in 4th grade I had a Phonics workbook and the subject was Reading.
… When asking a super smart kid for help, they don’t in fact feel proud, they feel sad. For me that is.
… Kids meditate better than me.
I know. “Better” is not a word we use in meditation, but for real … these kids barely squirmed.
From 10AM to 4:30PM, we sat for a full 2.5 hours! My knees hate me.
No more than 30 minutes at a time, with stories, video instruction, and Q & A, but still … they respected Noble Silence in the meditation hall, no problem, and took there time on the mat very seriously.
I learned that kids want to learn, and not just the nerdy ones. Especially when they’re given a list of amazing motivators: better focus, more control over emotions, better student, better athlete, happier, more creative.
One, difficult to reel in, little girl from the Bronx said she wanted to learn how to meditate to get to the “spirit realm” like they do in the cartoon Avatar.
Whatever got you here, honey …
It reminded me how we limit our children because we think they can’t sit still, but the great thing about kids … they have so much less to UNLEARN.
And most of meditation is unlearning old patterns of repetitive thought.
We had 7 young girls and 6 young boys, most with no meditation experience at all.
But they all had two things in common: curiosity and willingness.
More than I can say for most adults.
They were smart, but they were still goofy and awkward and rambunctious and loud. And if they can do it, we can. All of us. No excuses.
I leave you with this: If you have kids, sign them up for a course. They have them all over. For real, I was so inspired by these kids today. They are gonna do great things. I just know it.
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Kat Hurley is a transformational author, speaker and personal development coach, making over motivation @The Year of Magical Dreaming. For the full 411, visit kathurley.com, yo!