(Portland Vipassana Hall)
In a time of worldwide social transition and upheaval, more and more people throughout the world are seeking concentration, purification and peace of mind through the practice of Vipassana meditation. Vipassana means "to see things as they really are" and is a logical process of mental purification through self-observation. Many come to Vipassana later in their lives, wishing they had found this technique sooner because it is so effective.
The ideal time to begin the first steps of this mental training is in childhood; children as young as eight years old can easily learn the technique of Anapana meditation. Anapana is the first step in the practice of Vipassana meditation. It is the observation of natural, normal respiration, as it comes in and as it goes out. Anapana is a simple technique that helps develop concentration of the mind. It is easy to learn, objective and scientific. Observation of the breath is the ideal object for meditation because it is always available, and it is completely non-sectarian.
Besides helping them to calm and concentrate their minds, Anapana helps youth to better understand themselves and how their minds work. As they learn to calm and concentrate their minds, they gain mastery over their impulses and actions. Young people who have started practicing Anapana have realized many benefits. Their ability to concentrate becomes enhanced, their memory gets sharper, their ability to comprehend a subject improves and they become calmer. In general, they feel they have a practical tool to use in the face of any type of adversity or challenge.
There are two courses offered, grouped by ages. The children's course is for children ages 8 to 12 years old. The teenagers' course is for teens ages 13 to 17 years old. Courses are generally two to three days in length. One-day courses may also be offered.
Do you know of a group of children or teenagers who might be interested in attending a course in your area? One-day Anapana courses for children or teens often take place at churches, schools, libraries, etc... For information about arranging a course, please email the Children and Teen Course coordinator.
If you would like to get email announcements about children and teens courses offered in your area, you can subscribe by filling out a short form at: Children and Teens Course Announcements.