Meditation & Mindfulness for Children

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Summer meditation class for 9 and 11 year olds

June 2016

I am looking for a class for my kids to learn meditation this summer. They are 9 and 11. Thanks

East Bay Meditation Center has Family Meditation once/month on Sundays. My son and I really like it. JB

Mindfulness / Meditation Youth Group in East Bay?

Dec 2015

My husband had a great experience being in a Church youth group as a pre-teen and teenager. However, today, we are both much more drawn to mindfulness / meditation practice and associated lessons than church sermons.

Mostly we have a home practice and very occasionally do retreats or evening classes. We have a daughter now (age 6) and would like to be a part of a more centered community. Our goals:
1) a space where our daughter can connect with others on a more thoughtful level than what is common in modern kid / preteen / teen life.
2) a community (inter-generational?) that has some stability, thoughtfulness, opportunities for real conversation or ''depth''.

In the Oakland/Berkeley East Bay area, are there any mindfulness / meditation ''communities'' you recommend where there are regular group gatherings and a special program for youth? We are interested as a family, and especially interested in a place that has a youth group component. seeking intergenerational mindfulness community

Try the the East Bay Meditation Center. They offer a monthly family meditation class on Sunday's.

Our experience was very positive. The instructors will meet with everyone together, and then take the kids as a group and engage them in mindful activities. It was a great place for my husband and me to connect, even if our son was a little wary of the process. I wish they held classes more than once a month, and we plan on returning. And fees are based on sliding income. Mindful mama

Mindfulness Class for Kids

May 2015

I am looking for a way to introduce my daughter to Buddhism and practicing mindfulness with other kids her age, a class or camp. She is 11. It can be either in the east bay or marin. Thanks.

Many mindfulness programs leave out the Buddhist part but as a Buddhist with a young child I recommend a more overall program. The purpose in Buddhist meditation is not just to relax but to progress down the path to benefit others.

There is a program I have not personally checked out but looks very good Though we practice Tibetan Buddhism I have considered putting my almost 9 year old in this program but it conflicts with another activity we are involved in.

The center we practice at is in the Santa Cruz mountains and is Tibetan Buddhist. There are many children in the community but the only Child specific program happens as a part of our summer retreat you can go to or more specifically to %2018-26 to learn more. Buddhist Parent

My son has taken Vipassana meditation classes and enjoyed it. They have children's classes - no cost. meditation mama

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes for parent & child

Feb 2015

If you know of any MBSR classes that are geared toward families with children please let me know. This family would like to find ways to help reduce problems with anxiety for both parent and child. They thought it best if the whole family could learn together. They would consider private classes if not too expensive. Does anyone have a recommendation for something, preferably in the East Bay? What are people's experience with Spirit Rock for something like this? Thank you for your suggestions.
needing to worry less

It was not geared towards families in particular, but I've taken an 8-week course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction from Bill Scheinman in Berkeley, and can't recommend it highly enough.

It was life-changing for me. I was worn out from struggling with anxiety and frustration; learning how to breathe and embody non-judgmental awareness under Bill's gentle, kind tutelage helped me do a complete 180. I now have a daily meditation practice, and the positive effects of the class in every area of my life is amazing. The class in Berkeley is convenient, too: Monday nights at Harmony Yoga on Shattuck. It cost me $375. It was worth $375,000+.

Bill is a gentle, down-to-earth guy who could offer you recommendations if his courses are not for you. Also, after I took his class I engaged a lovely gal to work for six weeks with my 11-year-old son, introducing him to mindfulness techniques and yoga. She came to us, and it was much more convenient and effective than a scheduled class. He and I can now use the same vocabulary and approaches to problem-solving. Her name is Leyna Roget, her email is leyna [at]

Please check out Leslie Butterfield will lead you and / or your kids on personalized mindfulness classes over Google + or Skype in your own home, on your own schedule! We did her 8 week intro class in the fall, and liked it so much that we have continued with another session. My 10-year-old son loves it. FYI, she is on a month-long retreat during February, so you won't get an immediate response, but she'll be back in March. She has a series on videos on her website you can check out in the mean time. Her contact info: leslie.mindfulness [at] More Mindful

There is a fantastic MBSR class in Oakland offered by Dr. Domonick Wegesin. He trained with the original developer of MBSR, Jon Kabat-Zinn. Domonick's MBSR course, called ''Minding Your Mind'' is 8 weeks long and focuses on introductions to meditation techniques, relief of anxiety, and grounding techniques of movement/yoga. See: Oakland Mama

I didn't see this listed in the responses so thought I'd mention. If you're a Kaiser member, they offer the course to members for a very reasonable fee. Check through their Health Education Dept. currently taking MBSR through Kaiser

Private mindfulness/meditation-heavy yoga for 8yo

Nov 2014

I'm looking for a patient private yoga instructor for an 8 year old who needs help with self-calming and staying ''in the moment,'' not too far from North Berkeley. An emphasis on mindfulness and meditation with gentle poses. Thanks!

Vlad Moskovski teaches Mindful Meditation Classes and also Yoga Classes through the Albany Y. He has a website and I believe he will do private lessons too.He is a very nice man. Ellen

Although we've just been working on mindfulness-based meditation, Leslie Butterfield has been great. She's been very patient and helpful with my 10-year-old son, and seems great with kids. She teaches privately online by Google Plus, Skype, etc. I wasn't sure how this would work, but it is fabulous because we can choose the time that works best for us and be comfortable in our own home. Check out her website: Good luck! S

Mindfulness class for anxious kid

Sept 2014

I am wondering if anyone can recommend a mindfulness class for kids in or around Berkeley? I think my anxious child would benefit greatly from something like this, but haven't been able to find anything thus far.... MindfulMama

I would recommend Eve Decker. She lives in Berkeley, is extremely knowledgeable and has a gentle approach. Super experience working with kids! Carolyn

I don't know of any mindfulness classes but I do know a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher who offers sessions and who also happens to be a therapist specializing in teens & young adults. She's in SF, you can check her out at: or email her at [email protected] - good luck! Debbie

Mindfulness for kids is exactly the objective of Bear Pose, a new kids yoga company in Berkeley; have you heard about Bear Pose's classes? They teach yoga to kids and families through storytelling and music, so while the classes are very grounding, they are also fun and full of games and animal poses for kids. The classes are very engaging. Family yoga in particular is a really special experience! Email or check for the class schedule. Mindful Family

Meditation for Middleschooler

Nov 2011

My 11 year old son gets himself worked up and then can't calm down to solve the problem. I'm sure that his dad and me getting frustrated isn't helping but we can't really relate to wasting the time freaking out that you won't get ready or finish homework, thereby ensuring the negative outcome because you didn't spend the energy trying to get ready or finish the homework. It doesn't happen every day, but often enough. He holds it together no matter what in public, but at home, not so much.

We're thinking that some meditation might give him some tools to better understand what's happening physically and emotionally so that he can control it. We're willing to drive to classes (like at Spirit Rock although that seems like it would be a pretty late night for him). We'd consider yoga as an alternative if meditation is not available or convenient. My ideal would be a class that parents could also participate in (did I mention we get really frustrated!), but more interested in a class which middleschoolers really like which may definitionally preclude parental involvement. Ok, so then simultaneous classes would be amazing, but again may be a pipe dream. Need to be a more om family

I would try Ojai Yoga Center at El Cerrito Plaza. They have a child class coming soon. Also with a wide range of yoga and meditation classes for all levels, including adaptive classes for those of us who aren't so limber anymore. em

Call REALM Charter School in Berkeley. The # is 510-809-9800. They have a mindfulness meditation program for their middle/high schoolers. I don't remember the name of the group that is teaching it, but they can give you the info. The kids also do yoga as well during the week. anon

Yes there are many paths to what you are trying to accomplish. Check out the book, The Whole Brain Child, by Daniel Siegel. He is at UCLA and is all about brain health. This book has practical ways to help children understand how their brain works and leads them into these uncomfortable states of being. Then has useful suggestions on parenting thru these problems. another struggling mom

Meditation class for 6 year old

May 2006

I'm looking for a meditation class for my 6-year old son. He's been diagnosed with a neurological disorder similar to ADHD, and becomes easily frustrated, angry and excited. His therapist thinks meditation would be very beneficial for him, but didn't have any recommendations. I checked the website but didn't see anything. Thanks for any suggestions. Trying everything

I would suggest calling the meditation centers in the area and look into someone to work one on one with your son. Maybe both of you could receive meditation instruction and make it a part of your daily/tri-weekly schedule. I would also suggest unplugging him if he is plugged in to videos, tv, computers, etc. When I consider meditation (I've been meditating daily for 10 years and lived in a buddhist community for 8 of those), I think of grounding oneself through one's breath, connection with one's body and one's place. I can't help but feel that the electronic world ''messes'' with that connection, especially with sensitive children. Kids can only meditate for short periods of time but there are many he could try. Touching the earth meditation is one that comes to mind. Thich Nat Hahn has worked alot with children and has written many books. Check out Parallax Press. Also, in my opinion, gardening and time in nature can be very grounding. I'd be happy to talk to you if you would like to contact me. Nancy

There is a Buddhist Temple in Lafayette, the Buddha Gate Monastery, where they have Saturday morning classes for children. They're not continuous, so you may have to wait for the next round to start, but the nuns are lovely. Our school visited them this year, and they were so generous and warm, and taught the kids how to meditate in a very abbreviated instructional period. We've been thinking about visiting them again, it was so sweet. I also think Spirit Rock in Marin has family events. calming the mind

It's Yoga Kids (located in the Presidio of San Francisco with plenty of free parking) offers yoga for kids of all ages and abilities. Classes for each age group include a time for calming down and relaxation with a guided visualization or meditation appropriate by age. The first class for kids is free. Call 415.561.0900 or visit Michelle