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Teach Children to Meditate

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Each child in his tender years should be taught meditation, should be instructed in meditation. False teachings against sex should be abolished, and meditation should be taught. Meditation is a positive door; it is a higher opening. A choice between sex and meditation must be made, and meditation is the superior alternative. Do not condemn sex; teach children to meditate. Being opposed to teaching children about sex only alerts them to its existence. And this is a highly dangerous approach. Later, it leads to the perversions of immature sexuality. As yet, when no door has opened, when both the doors are shut, when the energy is still safe, either door can be pushed open – but this constant harping against sex is like knocking on sex’s door. A supple young plant can be bent in any direction; it can also bow humbly of its own accord.  But as it grows, it hardens. If you try to bend it then, it will become misshapen, it will break.  The case here is the same.

It is very difficult to attain a state of meditation when one is older.  Older people trying meditation is like sowing seeds after the season is over. The seed of meditation can easily be sown in children, but man, as he is, only shows interest in meditation towards the end of his life. He is anxious to meditate then – when his energy has ebbed when all the possibilities of progress have dried up. Only then does he inquire about meditation and yoga. He wants to reform himself when the die has already been cast when the transformation is very difficult indeed.  A man with one foot in the grave asks if anything can be done to attain freedom through meditation. This is strange. The notion is quite mad.

This planet can never be at peace until we launch a journey into meditation in every young mind. But it is futile to try this with people who are at the end of the road, with people who are in the evening of their lives. Even if it were to be attempted by them it would demand enormous effort and, also, would not be too many advantages. But it could have been achieved had it been attempted earlier in life when it does not call for so much effort.

So the first step towards the transformation of sex is to begin meditation in small children – to coach them to be calm and to keep their own counsel, to teach them to be silent and to enlighten them about the state of no-mind. Although children are already calm and peaceful by adult standards, if they were guided in the right direction and taught to practice reticence and serenity even for a little while each day, a new door would open before they were fourteen years of age. Then, when sex rears its head when the energy wells up and are about to spill over, it would flow through the new door that has already been opened. They would already have realized the serenity, the bliss, the joy, the timelessness and egolessness of meditation long before the experience of sex. This familiarity would prevent their energy from moving into the wrong channels; it would divert it onto the right path.

Instead of teaching the tranquility of meditation,  we teach children to abhor sex.  ”Sex is sin, sex is dirty,” we say. We tell them it is ugly and bad;  we say that it is hell.  But name-calling does nothing whatsoever to alter the actual situation. On the contrary,  children become curious; they want to know more about this hell, about this evil, about this dirty thing that makes their parents and teachers afraid and panic-stricken. They look anywhere and everywhere for the answer; they are anxious to understand what the commotion is all about. And within a very short time,  children come to know that their parents themselves are engaged in the very same pursuit; day and night, their parents are doing the very thing they are not allowed to know anything about. The instant and automatic result of the discovery of this fact is the end of their admiration for their parents. Modern education is not responsible, as it is generally believed, for the great decrease in the reverence for parents; the parents themselves are to blame for this. Children quickly observe the paradox; they soon come to know that their parents are completely submerged in the very thing they are being taught to hate.

Children are very acute observers. They see that your night-life is different from your day-life, that your preachings and your practices differ widely. They see what goes on in the house. Despite what father calls ”dirty” and mother calls ”bad,” they see that the same things are afoot at home. They understand what is happening and, this being the case, lose all reverence for their parents. Parents are tricky, hypocrites, the children conclude. And remember, children who have lost their faith in their parents will never be able to develop any faith in God. Children have their first glimpse of the faith, their first glimpse of God, through their parents. If this faith is shattered, they will surely grow up to be atheists.  Children have their first recognition of God in the righteousness of their parents, and if that proves to be illusory, it will be difficult to turn those children to God. The rapport between them and God will be broken because their first deities betrayed them because their mother and father proved to be dishonorable.

Today, the modern younger generation denies the existence of God, ridicules the idea of liberation and calls religion humbug, not because they have searched for themselves and therefore arrived at their own conclusions, but because of this betrayal by their parents. Their parents have exiled them to the lives of cynicism. This feeling of betrayal has come about because sex has been wrongly represented by their elders.  It should be openly explained to them that sex is part and parcel of life, that we are all born out of sex, and that sex is also part of their lives.  This will help them to understand their parents’ behavior in their proper perspective, and when they grow and experience life for themselves they will be filled with reverence for the honesty of their parents. The beginning, in a child, of this faith and reverence will lay the foundation for religious life. Children today suspect that their parents are hypocrites; hence the present ideological clash between the younger and the older generations. The suppression of sex has separated husband from wife and has set children against their parents.

We do not need this repression of sex; clarification of sex is the need of the hour. As soon as children mature, as soon as they inquire, parents should lay the principal facts of life before them in a palatable manner. This ought to be done before children become unnecessarily or harmfully curious before they begin to nurture unhealthy attractions that can lead them to satisfy their curiosities in wrong quarters. Otherwise, as is the case today, children find out what they want to know, but they find it out from the wrong people, they find it out under abnormal conditions and through dangerous practices. These ways are detrimental and ruinous. The results of pain and torture them for the rest of their lives, and ultimately a wall of shame and secrecy exists between children and their parents. Parents never know about the sex lives of their children,  just as children are ignorant of the sex lives of their parents. The alienation that results from this game of hide-and-seek is very dangerous indeed. Children must be properly educated about sex; they must be given the right education.

Secondly, children should be taught to meditate – how to remain calm, serene, silent; how to reach a state of no-mind. Children can learn to accomplish this very, very quickly. Every home should have a scheduled program to help children move into silence. And that will only be possible, when you, as parents, also practice with them.  A daily hour of sitting silently should be compulsory in every home. One should even do away with a meal if necessary, but an hour of silence must be observed at all costs. It is wrong to call that house a home where an hour of silence isn’t observed daily. It can not even be called a family. A daily hour of silence will conserve energy. And then, at the age of fourteen, it will surge in a tide and push open the door of meditation – that state of meditation where man touches timelessness and egolessness, where he glimpses the soul, where he glimpses the Supreme. A meeting with that summit before the experience of sex would put a stop to the mad rush after sex; the energy would have found a better, more blissful, more exalted path. – OSHO

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