It isn’t common for a family in the Philippines to practice meditation, especially because it requires discipline.
But a young couple—Mike and Weng—and their children Kristine and Krishna, have been practicing meditation for several years now.
It was six years ago when Mike and Weng took up the Raja Yoga course. Curious, their daughters Kristine and Krishna, then ages 8 and 11, soon followed suit intrigued by a poster their parents displayed in their room, the red light and the incense they used for meditation.
Kristine found these interesting and wanted to know what the poster showing a point of light meant.
After introducing the practice to the children, the daily meditation for this family has become simple.
For Krishna, meditation is “relaxing, concentrating, and thinking that you are a soul and then connecting to God.”
Mike elaborates: “Think about the original qualities of the soul (peace, love, power…), remember God, then take power (from God). If there is power, the vices are ‘burned’.”
With such a practice through the years, Mike feels protected from negativity and from his old negative habits. “Anger, that used to be somewhat normal, was reduced.”
Kristine agrees. Krishna observed a more physical change. She said, laughing: “He became younger looking.”
Mike recounted how he would look at their old pictures before the family started practicing Raja Yoga and he saw a marked difference. He saw this as the result of being positive. “The face, the eyes lighten up.”
Weng said Raja Yoga helps erase friction in the family and saw it as a tool that kept her away from doing what is not good. “I have more patience now,” she said.
Laughing and joking a lot with each other during the interview, the family shows how they have become friends. They do most things together, but the meditation they practice at home is more personal, done individually and without needing to remind each other to remember God.
“It is better for each one to have their own effort … with freedom to practice on their own,” Mike explained.
“Automatic,” said Weng of their meditation practice.
Their lifestyle includes a vegetarian diet. “Not once did we eat fish and meat,” Mike said and credits each one who helps remind the others of the recommended food.
They all agreed that better health and younger looks have been the physical rewards of their diet shift. Since they love to travel together, the family packs “their kitchen” so to speak, bringing along plates, utensils, rice cooker, and food to cook to ensure they keep their diet. It’s a practice that was “easy and not easy,” initially but they’ve gotten used to it.
Cooking their own food also has its own benefits. Their experience taught them that when they ate outside, they had headaches,” Mike said.
Lately, the family has gone into sports and for Mike, meditation plays a key part in this activity. “Before we train, we meditate first, stabilizing the mind first.”
Apparently, this has worked effectively. During one of their first marathons, Mike and Kristine both won first and fourth places, respectively.
The girls found more benefits especially in school. For Krishna, “If there is a problem in school, I face it with calmness. I can do the requirements more because I am more concentrated.”
Their father said their being positive has helped them.
They said there was also more happiness in the family as a result of their meditation.
Asked if they were ready to take on meditation as a life-long practice, they said yes.