Youth and Family Practice

Clouds in Water’s Youth and Family Practice was created as a way for families to dedicate themselves to acting responsibly, compassionately, and morally. In this practice, parents have a chance to express their concerns, learn about dharma-centered activities for families, and meet others with similar interests. They are also encouraged to try new ways of incorporating spirituality at home that support the well-being of family life.

Raising children in a spiritual tradition gives them the foundation they need as they grow into teens and young adults. By starting early, parents and caregivers have the opportunity to create lifelong patterns that aid children as they mature as well as developing tools they may find useful if they experience difficult times ahead. 

Youth and Family Practice emphasizes present-moment awareness (aka mindfulness), compassion, and practical Buddhist teachings to help navigate life at all ages and stages. 

Zen Family Practice is for both parents/caregivers and their children from birth to kindergarten (older siblings may also attend). This program is based on the early childhood family education model: adults and children begin each class together and then separate: adults have a teacher-led discussion group and children enjoy a snack and free play to build friendships and peer group relationships. Families come back together for story time, guided meditation, and a farewell game and dedication. No registration required. Zen Family Practice is currently on hold during the Pandemic.

Youth Practice Grades 1-6

We are currently hosting Grades 1-6 in person every other Sunday from 9:00 to 10:45 AM, while the parents/guardians are in the zendo for the Sunday service. For the children, we do the first 40 minutes or so as a sort of interactive slideshow with various group activities. We have a Zoom option for the first part, for those who need or want to participate remotely. You can can get something of an idea of what we do from our resources page: https://cloudsinwater.org/youth-practice/interconnections/. The second 40 minutes, for those who can come in person, are mindful activities such as art, games, stories, or outside activities, where the kids can choose what activities they’d like to join.

Masks are required for everyone who is participating in-person, both children and adults. All teachers and volunteers are vaccinated.

The Youth Practice Grades 1-6 dates are:
Every other Sunday from 9:00 - 10:45 AM.
2021: Oct. 3, Oct 17, Oct 31, Nov. 14, Nov. 28, Dec. 12 (community Rohatsu ceremony).
2022: Jan 9, Jan 23, Feb 6, Feb 20, March 6, March 20, April 3 (Buddha's Birthday ceremony), April 17.

Registration is required. To register, contact kikan@cloudsinwater.org.

Teen Group Practice (grades 7-12) Teen Group is a combination of basic Buddhist teachings, fun activities, and social time. We practice inclusivity, self-awareness, and basic values such as honesty, patience and compassion, as they relate to teen life. Although we will practice some Zen forms, you need not consider yourself a Buddhist to attend. Pre-registration* is required.

If you have questions, contact Kikan Michael Howard at kikan@cloudsinwater.org.