Family Meditation Groups
The most powerful way to develop the spiritual path of all your family members — yourself, spouse, your kidlets, the dog, possibly your in-laws (definitely the in-laws) — is by doing it with others. Friendships are essential to spiritual formation, especially for our children.
Start by finding a meditation or Buddhist center near you to see if they have a family program (We have a list of some programs here.) If they don’t, ask them to start one. If that can’t happen, then you might gather some other, similarly-intended families together and start meditating on a monthly or weekly basis.
A number of resources are provided here to help you and/or your local center with developing a family program. But, lots of questions might come up along the way. Feel free to contact us with questions, and we’ll post answers here to share with you and others.
Start a Family Meditation Group
If you can’t find a meditation center in your area that supports families on a regular and ongoing basis, then why not start your own little practice group? Your spiritual path and that of your children will come to life if you can get together with at least one other like-minded family and, if possible, several more. Notably, their own path will also become more three-dimensional by connecting with you. Thus, starting a local family group is true generosity and kindness to others.
The group can be incredibly simple, yet it will be powerfully effective. Here is the basic recipe:
- Meet once a month, possibly weekly, ideally on the weekend, in someone’s home or the commons/common room of someone’s condo or housing complex. (See Meeting Venue Ideas below.)
- Gather the families together in a circle.
- Have children sign up for ceremony parts. (See Family Circle Ceremony below.)
- Have a small, child-led opening ceremony (See Family Circle Ceremony below): sing a song, light a candle, ring a bell.
- Kids gather for their 45-50 minute class, with one or two parents teaching.
- Remaining adults gather for a 20-30 minute meditation, followed by discussion.
To this you can add:
- A snack before or potluck after
- Weekly reading for the adults
- Hiring a teacher for the kids
- Concluding with a closing circle of reunited families
That’s it! That is all you need.
Family Circle Ceremony
Sample family ceremony, courtesy of the Mindful Families of Durham (a Buddhist-inspired meditation community for parents and children in North Carolina) which you can adapt for your own purposes:
Sample child signup sheet for leading the ceremony, courtesy of the Mindful Families of Durham:
Meeting Venue Ideas
- Largest living room of one of your members
- Commons in housing community of one of your members
- Local private school (the Mindful Families of Durham pays $50/hour for use of a building at a local private school)
- Local public school (you may need liability insurance)
- Local library common room
- City/town parks and recreation department
- YMCA or JCC
- Faith traditions that don’t use their building at the time you need (Muslim, Jewish, Seventh Day Adventists often don’t meet on Sundays)
- Unitarian, Unity, and Episcopalian Fellowships: especially open to meditation/Buddhist groups
- Local mall
- Local university or community college
If you need meditation supplies such as cushions, benches, bells, or singing bowls, you can order them online from one of the stores we have listed on our page for Schools, Teens, Apps, Supplies »