Shortly after the Organic Garden Sangha began meeting at our home last October, our children Emily, 7, and Ben, 4, said that they would like to start a Sangha for kids. “What will we call it?” I asked. “The Kids Sangha!” Emily replied. The Kids (and Family) Sangha meets on the ﬁrst Saturday of each month. It is very informal and a joy for the families that participate. The older children lead the group in mindful walking, inviting the bell, mindful gardening, petting the cat, singing, and mindful eating.
In honor of the Buddha’s birthday, we bathed the baby Buddha in our green turtle “swimming pool.” We offered ﬂowers, leaves, and gravel (representing chocolate chips!) from the garden and ladled gardenia-scented water over the Buddha. Emily read us the Two Promises; then we sang a song and enjoyed apple slices. After, the children played together while the parents socialized.
Our three-year-old friend Caitlin Kelly said her favorite part of the event was the Buddha’s bath. Emily’s favorite part was picking ﬂowers, and Ben enjoyed pouring water on the Buddha and eating apples. Our favorite part is sharing our mindfulness practice with families with young children.
Bruce Hilsberg, True Commitment of the Heart, and Karen Hilsberg, True Serenity of the Heart, are OI aspirants who practice with their children Emily, Serene Sunrise of the Heart, and Ben, Joyful Spring of the Heart, in Culver City, California.