Probably like many others, I am in the midst of my new year’s kick to meditate more. So yesterday, I found myself diligently sitting down to meditate even though Iris, my little eight month old girl, was up and running around (and I was the only one home looking after her). I set the timer for a modest fifteen minutes, and for the first five minutes, Iris, a few feet away from me on the rug, kept to herself and I settled in.
Then she crawled over to me and began using me as her own private Mt. Kilimanjaro. So I hoisted her up on my lap and she joined me in my sit. She sat peacefully for about three or four minutes, then she got squirmy. Because I was meditating, and because I had settled in a bit, I could feel the energetic quality of her squirmy-ness so sharply. She was restless, frustrated, and uncomfortable–suffering in her little baby Iris way. So I spent a few minutes trying to console her, while ostensibly maintaining my “meditation.” I petted her head, massaged her arms, hoisted her back up into a healthy meditation posture on my lap. This phase did not last long. I wanted to soothe her, to relieve her discomfort, but I could only do so much. I could run my hand along her hair, try to hold her firmly in my lap. But ultimately, the trick was to just let her go. Then she was happy again.
Clearly it’s best for me to find my formal meditation time when little Iris is asleep. But I am curious about other people’s experience meditating with babies, or little ones. I like the way how sometimes, when I’m meditating, Iris likes to just look at me a while. I like the energy that a sit, even a short ten, fifteen, or twenty minute sit, injects into the room. I want to keep sitting, even when she’s awake. It’s important to keep sitting even as our life situations change drastically. Does anybody have any stories to share on the topic of meditating with babies?