Q: How can I teach my child the value of keeping the Five Precepts?
A: The best way to teach your child is to hold the precepts yourself. Children learn by imitation. When they see their parents are happy and content living within the guidelines of the precepts, they won't question the value of holding them, they will see it. Another good method is to read the biographies of monks, nuns, and virtuous lay-persons aloud to the children. Hearing from Mother and Father how wise and good people gained great blessings and benefits from their cultivation of the precepts plants an impression of the necessity for a moral life-style deep in young peoples' consciousness. As they grow up they will turn to the models of righteous behavior as they need guidelines for choices in their adult lives.
Q: If a child is not filial, what can a parent do to bring out his/her respectful nature?
A: First try being a filial child to your own parents. "A picture is worth a thousand words." When your child sees you respect your parents and serve them with patience, and with kind concern, your son or daughter will absorb the lesson and will imitate it in his treatment of you. If, instead, you habitually treat your parents with harsh words, or impatience, or if you have send your elders out of the household to institutional care, then the child will learn that behavior as his standard, and no words you say to the contrary will change his first impression of the model of filial disrespect that you demonstrate.
Q: What is the main purpose of meditation?
A: Meditation benefits all aspects of life. If you study, run a business, or try to keep a home in order, then daily meditation will increase your concentration, will reduce stress, and will improve your health. If you want real wisdom, and ultimate liberation, you need to meditate on a regular basis for a long time. This is also the way to end the question of birth and death.