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Bodhi Leaf    Upcoming Children/Teens Anapana Courses    Bodhi Leaf

Children and Teen's Meditation Courses in California

New Children and Teen's Old Student Program

This program is only for children and teens who have already taken a one day or weekend children's or teen course. Advance registration is required.
This program is conducted at South Bay Vipassana Hall every last sunday of the month from 2-4PM.

To sign up send an email to childrens-courses@mahavana.dhamma.org with following details.
Child's first and last name:
How many children/teen courses completed:
Date of last course:
Paren't email address:

I, _____________ (Parent Name), give permission for my child _________(Student Name) to participate in the Anapana old students' program at South Bay Vipassana Hall.

Parent's Name (as signature):



Bodhi Leaf    Introduction    Bodhi Leaf

Dear Young Friend,

Children/Teen's one day meditation courses are exclusively for children and teens between the ages of 8 to 17. Children interested in a course must read the code of conduct and timetable below very carefully and complete the required medical emergency form and application form. Parents must complete the permission form and return it with your application. After we receive your completed application and permission forms, accepted students will receive a letter of welcome to attend the course.

During a children's course, you will learn how to practice Anapana meditation - awareness of respiration - along with the five "promises" or precepts. These courses have been specifically designed for children. You will have the chance to practice Anapana meditation with guided instructions in the meditation hall for periods of up to 30 minutes. These sessions are mixed with story and discussion sessions, break periods and games and art activities throughout the day.

In the words of some children who have completed similar meditation courses at other Vipassana centers around the world:

"I learned that I like meditating because it makes me feel relaxed."

"I like this course because I like playing outside, playing with clay. We also did tie-dye. I also like this course because it seems like Iím at home and the food is so good"

"At school if I need to concentrate on what the teacher is doing or saying I can use Anapana. And if I am mad and angry I can use Anapana."

"I think meditation is very important in this busy world because it helps us to maintain a stable state of our mind and also it helps us to do our work with right understanding."

Adults who have completed a ten-day course can apply to volunteer during the children's and teens' courses. Help is needed in the kitchen, as well as with leading activities for the children.



Bodhi Leaf    Code of Conduct    Bodhi Leaf

Code of Conduct for Children/Teen's Course

Learning to practice Anapana meditation is very valuable because it helps you to become a better person. Practicing Anapana meditation will help you to train your mind to become concentrated and calm. This will make your mind strong so that you will be able to avoid doing or saying things that are hurtful or harmful to yourself and to others. This strength of mind will help you to feel happier and more peaceful. Practicing Anapana and learning to concentrate will help you to become the master of your mind.

To help you succeed in practicing Anapana meditation it is important that you do your best to follow the instructions that you will be given during the course. While you are at the course, it is also important that you agree to follow the Code of Conduct written below. In the same way that a house needs a good foundation to support it, so the practice of Anapana needs a good foundation. This good foundation for Anapana is built by following the Code of Conduct. It will help you to avoid performing actions that are harmful or hurtful to yourself and others.

During the first meditation session at the course you will be asked to repeat the following five vows or precepts. These are written in bold and underneath each is an explanation. Please read them carefully so that you will understand what you are saying when the time comes:

  • I shall abstain from killing
    I promise to try to treat all beings kindly and not kill them or harm them in any way.

  • I shall abstain from stealing
    I promise to take only what is given to me and not take anything which belongs to others without permission.

  • I shall abstain from a life of misconduct
    I promise to treat other boys and girls as if they were my brothers or sisters or best friends.

  • I shall abstain from speaking lies, harsh words, backbiting, etc. which will harm others
    I promise to speak truthfully, kindly and gently, and not to tell lies or to say hurtful things to anybody or about anybody.

  • I shall abstain from taking any intoxicant
    I promise not to take any alcohol, drugs or intoxicants, but to keep my mind clear.

At the bottom of your application form you will find a question that asks if you agree to try to follow this Code of Conduct while you are at the one-day meditation course site.



Bodhi Leaf    Timetable    Bodhi Leaf

One-Day Course Timetable

Time Period Activity
9:00 Course Registration Begins
9:30 Welcome and Orientation talk for children and parents
10:00 Course begins in Meditation Hall (Anapana and the 5 Promises)
10:45 Activities
11:15 Meditation Hall Activities
12:00 Lunch/Rest/Activities
12:50 Meditation Hall Activities
1:50 Activities
2:20 Meditation Hall Activities
2:50 Games/Snacks
3:20 Meditation Hall Activities
4:00 Break
4:10 Closing Discourse and Metta
4:30 Course Ends
4:30-4:50 Cleanup


Overnight Course Timetable

Time Period Activity
12:00 - 2:00 PM Course registration / Lunch / Children settle in dorms
12:30 PM Lunch is served
2:30 PM Welcome & orientation talk for children and parents
3:00 PM Course begins in Meditation Hall
3:45 PM Activities
4:15 PM Meditation Hall & Checking
5:00 PM Dinner, free time
6:00 PM Meditation Hall
7:00 PM Games
7:30 PM Meditation Hall (Review Discussion & Open Questions)
8:30 PM Back to dormitories
9:15 PM Lights Out


7:00 AM Wake up & physical activity
7:30 AM Meditation Hall
8:00 AM Breakfast & Activities
9:30 AM Meditation Hall
10:00 AM Activities
11:00 AM Meditation Hall & Checking
12:00 Noon Lunch, Writing / Drawing Activity & Clean-up
1:15 PM Meditation Hall Closing Discourse & Metta
2:00 PM Clean-up Dormitories
2:30 PM Course ends after clean-up





Bodhi Leaf    Register / Apply    Bodhi Leaf

Step 1:   Read the registration guidelines before applying

  • Please read the Code of Conduct for Children/Teen's Courses before applying.
  • Please read the Parent / Guardian Information before applying.
  • Please leave all writing materials, books, games, cassette players, etc. at home.
  • One form per course
    Submit a separate form for each course.
  • One form per child
    Each child must submit their own application - one form per child.
  • Changing courses
    If, after submitting a course application, you wish to change your original course date for a different one, please submit a new application.

Step 2:   Fill out and submit the application

  • Children/Teen's courses require pre-registration.
  • To apply for a course, please completely fill out the application on the main schedule page of the center where the course is held.
  • After we receive your completed application form, we will review the application and contact you.
  • If you have any questions, please email childrens-courses@mahavana.dhamma.org.



Bodhi Leaf    Information for Parent or Guardian    Bodhi Leaf

The childrenís/teen course at the California Vipassana Center offers young people between the ages of 8 and 17 an introduction to Anapana meditation, which is a practice of the observation of natural breath to concentrate the mind. They will learn to practice Anapana and begin to take their first steps on the path of Dhamma. The entire path of Dhamma, rediscovered and taught by Gotama the Buddha more than 2500 years ago, is a universal remedy for universal problems and has nothing to do with any organized religion or sectarian tradition. For this reason, it can be practiced freely by all, in any place, at any time. Its practice does not conflict with any race, community or religion and will prove equally beneficial to one and all.

Young people who have started practicing Anapana have realized many benefits. Their ability to concentrate becomes enhanced, their memory gets sharper, their ability to comprehend a subject improves and they become calmer. In general, they feel they have a practical tool to use in the face of any type of adversity or challenge.

During the course, there will be meditation instructions as well as other activities such as games, art, and storytelling. The children will be divided into groups according to their age for many activities. They will be assigned group leaders who will personally accompany and assist them throughout the course, providing support and guidance as needed.

The intent of the childrenís/teen course is serious. It is not appropriate for children/teens who are unable to follow directions or to participate in organized, self-modulating activities. It is also not appropriate for children/teens who are unable to understand the meaning or purpose of the daily schedule and Code of Conduct. Students attending the course will be asked to maintain silence for extended periods of time. Segregation of the sexes will be maintained at all times in the accommodations as well as in the meditation hall and during much of the course.

It is not mandatory that a parent or guardian accompanies your child/teen to the course. For a residential course: Parents or guardians who are students of Goenkaji or his assistant teachers are welcome to stay at the center and participate in work projects. Since parents or guardians will not be participating in the course, they will follow a separate schedule. They will also be accommodated separately from the children/teens. Only those children/teens who feel comfortable staying in separate accommodations from their parents are encouraged to attend. We ask that parents and affiliated adults refrain from communicating with or contacting their children/teens throughout the course.

Parents or guardians who have not completed a ten-day course with Goenkaji or his assistant teachers are welcome to stay with their children/teens during registration, but should then leave the center until the course is over. There are numerous hotels, motels and campsites in the area.

In a one-day offsite course, parents or guardians are asked leave the course site after registration and orientation is over and come back at the end of the course. Before applying for the course, please make sure that both you and your child have read and understood the Code of Conduct and Sample Timetable.



Bodhi Leaf    Serving a Children/Teenís Course    Bodhi Leaf

Adults who have completed a ten-day course can apply to volunteer during the children's and teens' courses. Help is needed in the kitchen, as well as with leading activities for the kids.

To apply to serve a children/teenís course, adults need to apply and be accepted to the course. Additionally, adults must have a background check to be at on site during a children/teen's course.

To Register for serving a Children/Teen course: Apply on the main schedule page of the center where the course is being held.
All adults onsite during a Children/Teenís Course must complete and submit these forms one week prior to the start of the course.