Information for Parents

Children by nature want to explore and learn new things. Nowadays, because of the media and a living environment that has become hectic and complicated, their senses are often overloaded with numerous impressions. We want to give children the opportunity to bring their attention to themselves within the silence of meditation, and discover their mind with all its hidden ability and latent potentialities.

Anapana Meditation is a practice of concentration and awareness. It is a prerequisite preliminary exercise for Vipassana Meditation, that is only offered for adults, but it can also be independently practised. The object of the meditation is the natural breath. The effort is, to become aware of every breath as it enters and leaves the nose again. Experience has shown that children from the age of 8 years master this exercise surprisingly well. And they enjoy it, so that many want to come again.

Back home the children can keep on practising just as it suits them. Time and again it is reported that the benefit also reflects in their behaviour and attitude. Children themselves say, that meditation helps them to concentrate and improve memory. With the meditation they receive a tool which helps them to deal with fear, rage, stress and the pressure of growing up more easily.

General Information

Courses for children and teenagers have been part of the regular course schedule at Vipassana centres throughout the world for many years. In Dhamma Sumeru they take place around four times a year (2 courses in German and 2 courses in French). The children come alone or in small groups.

The courses start in the afternoon of the arriving day and end around lunchtime of the departure day, with either one or two full days in between. After arrival the children first of all have time to get to know each other and have some tea and cookies. In the evening there is an introductory talk in which the special prerequisites and rules for staying at the centre and for the course are pointed out. After that, all go together into the meditation hall to get the first instructions for Anapana Meditation.

The following days begin at 7 a.m. with some morning exercise or gymnastics. The guided 20-30 minutes long meditation sessions are spread over the whole day and leave enough time to play, read, do handicrafts, sports or just to relax. During the joint meditation in the hall, complete silence is kept with no talking. The day ends around 8.30 p.m.

Accommodation and supervision

The children sleep segregated in shared rooms with other children of the same age. Parents who apply to give service during the course, are accommodated separately if not explicitly wished differently. They have different meditation and meal times and work as helpers in the kitchen, house or garden. In general a team of experienced helpers looks after the children.

Course Finances and Application

In keeping with the Vipassana tradition, all courses are run solely on a donation basis, and are therefore free of charge. All expenses are met by donations from those who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of the meditation for themselves, wish to give others the same opportunity. In this spirit, children and parents may give a donation at the end of the course if they wish.

For better planning and processing applications in time, we would appreciate it if your child could apply at the latest two weeks in advance of the course.

What does your child need for the duration of the stay

  • Comfortable and loose clothing
  • House shoes and separate outdoor shoes
  • Rain gear (raincoat, umbrella)
  • Toiletries
  • 1 Bed sheet of 90 x 200 cm
  • 1 Duvet cover 165 x 210 cm
  • 1 Pillow box 65 x 65 cm

Please do not bring

  • sleeping-bags due to hygienic reasons.
  • mobiles, computers, CD/mp3 players, books, games or similar things to the course.

We thank you for your understanding.

May all children and all grown ups find peace in themselves and be happy!