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Buddhadharma : Win 2012
WINTER 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 21 helpful to take advantage of the right opportunity, such as when your child is open and asking to learn. These are parenting tips—not wis- dom tips, but experiential ones. How you want your children to be, be your- self. What you want them to do, do yourself. The compassionate qualities you want your children to both experi- ence and express, feel them within your- self. Express them toward your children and in their presence. That is the way to communicate the essence of the dharma. ZENKEI BLANCHE HARTMAN: My first suggestion is to take good care of your own practice so that you are cultivating qualities such as patience, listening to your children attentively, and respond- ing from your heart. Cultivate the four immeasurables—loving-kindness, com- passion, empathetic joy, and equanim- ity—so your children can notice and appreciate that something interesting is happening with you as you practice. If you practice with a sangha, your chil- dren may also notice that your sangha friends have some of these pleasing qualities as well. I was somewhat older when I began to practice, and my children were older as well. Friends of mine who intro- duced their children to the dharma at a young age found it helpful to spend time with them at retreat centers and residential practice communities where they were introduced to the experi- ence of sangha and brought into closer relationship with nature. Some centers, such as Green Gulch Farm, also provide children’s programs that help introduce meditation and mindfulness practices in a fun and kid-friendly way. It’s important that meditation not become a chore for children. In Thich Nhat Hanh’s community, family retreats introduce children to some engaging ways of doing meditation. For example, children collect pebbles and then on each breath place a pebble from one pile to the next pile. They chant with their breath, “In, out, deep, slow, calm, ease, smile, release, pleasant moment, wonderful moment.” They also do an orange-eating meditation, peeling an orange and eating it section by section very mindfully, feel- ing, smelling, and tasting the orange at each stage of the process. The Coming of Age Program for young teens here at San Francisco Zen Center has been very good for that age group. Norman Fischer, who was the program’s first mentor, has written a book about it called Taking Our Places. At home you can also find oppor- tunities to share the dharma with your children. One of my dharma friends regularly chanted the meal chant before family meals and read her children sto- rybooks about the life of the Buddha and the Jakata tales. She also created an environment of practice, with altars in the children’s rooms and elsewhere in the house. My friend’s children have since grown into exemplary adults. I deeply respect the thoroughgoing atmo- sphere of continuous practice that she and her husband shared with their chil- dren and continue to manifest. How you want your children to be, be yourself. What you want them to do, do yourself. That is the way to communicate the essence of the dharma. — Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche Learn to make daily life a source of growth, inquiry, and trans- formation. Be part of a dynamic Buddhist center in downtown Berkeley, CA and make a real contribution to the world! Use your best skills and learn new ones: non-profit manage- ment, academic research, school administration, sacred art, event planning, cooking, documenta- ries, websites, and more. Classes in traditional Dharma, medita- tion, Tibetan yoga, and Nying- ma Psychology. Free room and board in a beautiful community setting, small stipend, 6-month commitment. Dharmavolunteers.org firstname.lastname@example.org Berkeley, CA Dharma Work at Work-stuDy opportunities Berkeley Dharma Way Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, ISSN 1499- 9927, published quarterly. Subscriptions: $28 US, $36 CDN, $39 Intl. Mailing address: 1790 30th St, Suite 280, Boulder, CO 80301. Central Business Office: 1660 Hollis St., #701, Halifax, NS B3J1V7 Canada. Publisher: James Gimian; Editor in Chief: Melvin McLeod; Editor: Tynette Deveaux. Publication mailing address: 1790 30th St, Suite 280, Boulder, CO 80301. Headquarters: Shambhala Sun Foundation, 1660 Hollis St. #701, Halifax, NS B3J1V7 Canada. 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