Why is Vipassana Cool?

I’m about to serve on my first Children’s Course. I worked with kids for several years, but that was over 6 years ago. Now I’ll be engaging kids in a dhamma environment for the first time. I know that one of the secrets to keeping kids out of trouble is to keep them busy, but how can you do that in a course environment. What if the kids decide that meditation is boring and uninteresting? My secret to exciting kids has always been to figure out what makes something cool, so what makes Vipassana cool?

In my experience, Vipassana is subtle, requires patience, and takes a lot of time and effort. That does not fit a child’s description of cool. Learning to relax and discover truth could be fun, but what will the kids make of the precepts? I’ve pondered whether children would find meditation intuitive and deeply meaningful because they haven’t had a whole lot of life to get in the way of their thinking yet, but that seems unrealistic.

My guess is that kids will be kids, and I’ll spend most of my focus discovering how to transform my old mentoring tricks into dhamma appropriate techniques. I’ll probably learn more about myself than anything else, and the kids will do what they always do. They’ll soak up the truth of everything that’s happening around them, store it in a place inside them, and someday in the future they’ll pull it out and do something with it. Hopefully I can help contribute to planting a positive seed. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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