FCM Family and Teen Programs
The Florida Community of Mindfulness welcomes families with children and teens! The presence of young ones at our practice center indicates a vibrant and lively community. Infants, children and teens are always welcome in our Meditation Hall and Fellowship Hall under the loving supervision of their parents or guardians, with special attention to keep the littlest ones quiet during meditation. There are couches and a kitchen down stairs from the Mediation Hall if you have to leave during meditation, but a little gurgle or baby sound is dear and well received! We are family friendly!
Family Program for Children During Sunday Sangha
The Family Program is committed to fostering mindfulness, understanding and compassion in the lives of our children and their families by providing a safe and mindful environment with activities inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village tradition. The Family Program is generally offered during the school year two Sundays a month during Sunday Sangha, from 10 am - noon in the Education Building at the Tampa Practice Center. Please check the FCM monthly calendar for dates. Pre-registration is not required, but please plan to arrive by 9:45 the first time you attend to fill out paperwork. Paperwork must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. For children accompanied by a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other adult a form signed by the parent or guardian is required. Please download the Family Program Registration Form ahead of time and bring it on your fist visit after it has been read and signed by the parent or guardian. Please also discuss any allergies, medical alerts, or special needs with the Family Program Coordinator. To ensure safety and wellbeing of all children on our campus, please read the following FCM Campus Rules for Children and discuss them with your child.
Activities are provided for Lotus Buds (0-5 year olds) and Dharma Buds (6-12 years olds) as described below.
Lotus Buds - 0-5 Year Olds
Sunday mindful care and play is offered for children under age six. We call these younger children our “Lotus Buds.” Activities include free play, music, stories, movement and art. For the comfort and safety of your child, we ask that an adult (parent, guardian or grandparent) remain in the Education Building to participate with them.
For FCM members, who attend regularly with their children, the option is offered, on a case by case basis, to leave children under 6 years old in the Education Building while parents (or grandparents) attend all or part of Sunday Sangha in the Meditation Hall. Please discuss your child’s needs with the Family Program Coordinator to reach a mutually agreed upon arrangement, based on the comfort level of the child and the availability of adult supervision, as well as to discuss possible ways that parents can participate with other parents in providing cooperative care during Sunday Sangha and other events. To ensure quality supervision and care, check in with the Family Program Coordinator each week before leaving your child in the Education Building, as the number of adult supervisors available to care for your child each week may vary.
Dharma Buds - 6-12 Years Old
Sunday meditation and mindfulness activities are offered for children ages 6-12, from 10 am - noon in the Education Building one or more Sundays per month during the school year. Please check the FCM calendar. This program includes gentle meditation and other fun activities in an environment of mindfulness and loving kindness. Inspiration comes from the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village tradition with activities including mindfulness practice, art, music and movement. The name “Dharma Buds” was chosen by our inaugural class of children to refer to this age group.
Two Promises for Children Ages 6-12: The Two Promises, to develop understanding and compassion, are the mindfulness trainings or Buddhist ethical guidelines for children, developed by Thich Nhat Hanh. They are an integral part of the Children’s Program. Once or twice a year children will be offered additional classes to learn about the Two Promises and discuss what it means to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. They will then have the opportunity, if they choose, to receive transmission of the Two Promises in a formal ceremony with our Dharma teacher. The children receive a Dharma name and a certificate to remind them of their promises.
For more information on the Family Program please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Mindful Teen Program
The FCM Mindful Teen Program supports mindfulness practitioners in their teen years who, inspired by the teachings of Zen master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hahn, aspire to cultivate mindfulness and compassion in their lives. The Teen Program typically meets on Sunday afternoons following Sangha, once a month at the Tampa Practice Center. Please check the FCM monthly calendar for dates and times. In the spirit of inter-being and inclusiveness, we honor the diverse spiritual/cultural roots and religious traditions of our teens.
No pre registration is necessary. Registration forms must be signed by parent or guardian the first time teens attend. For teens that carpool or are accompanied by an adult other than their parent or guardian, please download the Mindful Teen Program Registration Form to bring that has been read and signed by the parent or guardian. Please also discuss any allergies, medical alerts, or special needs with the Teen Program Coordinator.