Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to Talk to Your Parents About Meditation

 Last Sunday, I was video chatting by Skype with my mom and dad in Argentina. We try to do that every week; in reality, it happens once a month. My husband came to say hello to them for a few moments. There’s only so much they can communicate, since my parents do not speak English and my husband’s Spanish is too basic for him to say much of meaning to them.

After that we had a few minutes of general chat and talked to each other's pets on Skype. Then my dad asked me where my husband went so I told him. He went to meditate.

Mom & Dad: Speechless

Mom & Dad: Still speechless.

Me: He went to the living room to sit and meditate.

Dad: How does he do “that”?

Me: Well, he just goes to the living room sits and pays attention to his breath.

Dad: Does he do it with eyes closed or open?

Me: In general with eyes open, but he likes to close his eyes sometimes.

Dad: Is he seating on the floor?

Me: Yes.

Dad: How is he seating?

Me: He crosses his legs. He sits in 2 little cushions we bought for meditation.

Mom: (Still saying nothing, a little uncomfortable as she notices dad’s curiosity building.)

Dad: What is meditation? Is it getting rid of bad thoughts?

Me: Not necessarily getting rid of thoughts Dad, but noticing what’s happening in your mind, becoming aware of what is taking up space in your mind, and by paying attention to your breath, simply relaxing in the moment, without being pulled in different directions from thought to thought.

Dad: I think I do that too. I have to. Sometimes I can’t stand your mother or my clients and I am tired of fighting. I have to accept things as they are instead of getting upset. Now I am in a better place than before. I just realized that my mind was killing me.

Me:  Dad… that’s good. But you can try to explore meditation not necessarily as a means to fight less with mom or clients, but as a way of taking care of your mental health in general. You could see meditation as an opportunity to train your mind. It’s creating a new healthy habit in your life. It might take time. But as you practice more gets stronger, like building a muscle. You might notice that you feel more relaxed or less inclined to confrontation because you are more centered and you can see thoughts as they are without necessarily reacting to them. Think of meditation as a conversation with yourself. It’s a time where you create more space within yourself.

Dad: Sometimes I converse with God. I don’t ask or pray. I just simply talk.

Me: (holding the tears back) I do that too Dad. Meditation can be just that. Your time where you talk to God. The times were you communicate. Some people like to meditate with God in their minds and hearts, whatever idea of God they have. But a lot of people too meditate without the religious theme. They simply follow the breath. They stabilize the mind. And that is very helpful. Personally, like you, I like to talk to God.

Dad: I should do that more often.

Me: Well, I think you have to create a habit dad. You and I, we both like to wake up early, so that is a very good time, when mom is sleeping, before you go to work, when you are having your coffee. That could be your quiet time, Dad. Just a few minutes. It doesn't have to be anything special. Just a few moments where you can take time for  yourself. If it helps you, count the breaths from 1 to 10. And then you start again. That way you bring awareness to your breath and that helps you to relax.

Dad: It makes a lot of sense.

Next morning by text:

Me: So did you meditate?

Dad: Yes, a little. It was good. I liked it.

Me:  :-) I will send you more info about meditation later. Have a nice day, Dad.

Adrian Molina is a yoga teacher, writer and meditation practitioner living in New York City. He developed the Warrior Flow style of yoga and teaches at Equinox fitness centers, in private sessions, and at retreats. He shares inspiration and teachings frequently on his web site Warrior Flow, his Facebook page, and his Twitter feed


  1. Que lindo fue leer esto :-) estas ayudando a tantas personas

    1. Gracias Juli. Nunca es tarde para empezar a meditar. :)


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