By Jonathan Kaplan, Ph.D.
I should have known better. I should have known better than to meditate while my young kids were prowling the house. I thought that I could sneak away and steal 15 minutes, only to return as a refreshed, stress-less dad. Ah, well. I was about 4 minutes into Sharon's breath meditation (Track 2 on the Real Happiness CD), when I was discovered by my oldest boy.
I paused the meditation track, and explained that I was listening to a guided meditation. He wanted to join me, and sat next to me. He's meditated with me previously (and I led a meditation session with his class at school last month), so he's familiar with what to do. "Just listen to the woman on the CD, and do what she says." I advised before we settled into our sit together. I closed my eyes and tried to feel my breath, even as I heard him squirming next to me. Sharon spoke for a couple minutes on the track, and then lapsed into silence. My son quickly spoke up, "Is it done, dad?" "Shh," I said. Then, I heard his little brother calling for him, followed by running footsteps to our spot. "Ta da!" yelled his brother, swinging open the door. "Whatchadooin?"
"We're meditating," said his brother. "We're listening to this lady, and you're bothering us!" "You want to meditate with us?" I asked. "Shoor!" he shouted, and threw himself on top of me. Sharon continued to talk us through the meditation, while each child wriggled and giggled. We didn't even make it to the nine minute mark before I decided to call it quits. Then, we devolved into a brief wrestling and tickling session (I wonder if they do that in the monasteries!)
Sometimes, the present moment doesn't arrive precisely as we expect...and it can still be pretty fun.
Later, once the kids were in bed, I revisited the meditation, and got 15 minutes to focus on my breath. I was sleepy during the meditation, and I might have dozed off for several seconds periodically. Once it was over, I did feel more energetic, though. Nice.