Gillian Eames, the preschool teacher at the Middle Way School in New York, put music to Carolyn Kanjuro's book Sit With Me. The song teaches the seven points of meditation posture.
This video recording (1hr) is of Shugen Roshi's talk at the Middle Way School in January 2024. Shugen sat with students and parents to talk about impermanence, one of Middle Way Education’s core units of inquiry. He focussed on the importance of cultivating equanimity in the context of recognizing the impermanent, always-changing quality of all things. He also fielded questions from parents and students, who wanted to know things like “how did the Buddha have fun?”
This lunch ritual is loosely based on ōryōki, a Zen monastic eating meditation that places an emphasis on service, generosity, and appreciation. It was developed by Noa Jones and Catherine Fordham for the Middle Way School of the Hudson Valley. Shared mealtime is an opportunity to foster a healthy relationship to food, enjoy each other’s company, and create a harmonious environment at the table. Creating a consistent mealtime practice can help children feel more focussed and be more present with their food.
We want to set children up for success when introducing them to meditation practices so playfulness is on order. The Monster Parade: A Book about Feeling All Your Feelings and Then Watching Them Go by Wendy O'Leary with illustrations by Noémie Gionet Landry (Bala Kids 2022) is a wonderful and playful way to approach the idea that feelings and thoughts are fleeting.
Vesak is a day when Buddhists around the world commemorate the birth, enlightenment and death (parinirvana) of the Buddha. We think it’s a great day to encourage children to make simple offerings— flowers, incense, and candles—and to abstain from eating meat for the day or do life-release. Maybe host a birthday celebration for the Buddha!
Sit with Me is our go-to book during the first weeks of school. Carolyn Kanjuro's delightful rhyming verses invite children of all ages to learn the seven points of posture. The character Justa Bug describes posture–from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet–with a spine straight like coins stacked on a plate and shoulders back like a vulture in flight.