Play and Mindfulness with Children
Playing with babies is a great way to meditate.
My son is a little over six months old and something that took me a while to understand about him is that everything is new to him.
Anyone can tell you that. But it’s weirder to see it in practice. Everything is new. Sunlight is new, and it’s wondrous. The artwork on the wall at the coffee shop is a masterpiece. Even the way that the couch is shaped is astounding.
Well, everything used to be amazing. I even remember when I came home from college to the house I grew up in, and the neighborhood I played in as a child. It seemed different, sterile almost. But I know it was just as beautiful as I remember… I may not have been paying attention as closely as I did when I was a kid.
Because that newness fades after a while, but not actually. It’s relative to the amount of time we’ve been alive. The sunlight is still just as beautiful, the moon is just as mysterious. We’ve just seen the sunset and moonrise so many times that it’s routine at this point. We don’t even notice anymore.
Sometimes when I’m playing with Dezi, he’ll pick up some object he’s never touched before. And he’ll marvel at it, and ponder about it, notice all of it’s intricacies, curves, angles, and textures.
And sometimes I’ll join in for this. We’ll examine, for instance, a teething ring together. And I’ll pretend like I’ve never seen anything like it before. And kind of like when you say a word over and over and it loses its meaning, this technique makes a known object become subtly foreign, and sometimes I even notice new things about it.
It would be tiring to live this way, which is likely why babies sleep so much.
But it’s a reminder that if we found beauty in it once, beauty can be found again.