Wednesday, December 21, 2011


 Read to children to introduce them to meditation, with drawings to colour up later.

What is the difference between a railway stationmaster
and a meditation teacher?
Answer at the bottom of the last page.
Meditation is a special way of paying attention. We practise meditation to
train our mind to be more attentive in daily life because being more attentive we will be brighter and happier.

 What is the mind? We call mind to the part of us that does all the thinking and the planning and the remembering.

 When we want to meditate we find a quiet place where we will not be
disturbed for five or ten minutes.

We sit like the Buddha, crossed legged on a cushion with the back straight but not stiff. We pretend to be a tall and strong mountain, steady and comfortable.
We close our eyes.

Then we start to pay attention to the breath coming in and out of our nostrils.
We notice air softly touching our upper lip on the out-breath. We notice cooler
air going in on the in-breath. Sometimes the breath is fast and sometimes it is

Sometimes it is deep and sometimes it is shallow. We just watch it; we do not
try to change it in any way. Our only task is to stay relaxed and keep
watching the breath as it comes in and goes out with no other thought in our

Simple isn’t it? Yes, but not easy! Soon we find that we are thinking of
something else. It is not our fault; this jumping about is what minds do naturally,like monkeys on the trees.

Meditation clearly shows us that the mind is always changing. So what do we
do? We bring the attention back to the nostrils, softly and with kindness, again
and again.
Little by little we can train our mind to be more able to stay with the breath
for longer and longer. We just have to practise a little everyday, well, most
days anyway.

Training the mind is like training a dog. You know how lively a young puppy is.

One minute it can be chasing a butterfly

The next it has dived into the dustbin to see what he can find, ugh!
It will get into all sorts of scrapes. Just like our minds, a puppy doeswhat its nature makes it do.

So we train our puppy with patience and kindness. Teaching it games,
and tricks,and to walk on the lead so it is safe.

Training it well makes our puppy a good and happy dog that everybody loves.

Training our mind is the same; we have to be just as kind and patient
with ourselves. When we meditate we learn to keep attentive to
what is going on here and now and not jumping about from yesterday
to tomorrow and back again, like a puppy chasing a butterfly.

The answer is: The stationmaster minds trains while the meditation teacher trains minds.
The best way
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