It became clear to me on writing my previous post, Why Children Are Gateways to the Miracles of Life, that my children ( I like to think ALL children) are in a more natural connection with a God-like perception of life, than I am. My daughter’s tears of joy seeing the beauty of wolves on a documentary, showed an openness to the inherent miracle that life is that I hope and pray I can relearn through spiritual practice.
Such was the wonder, gratitude and appreciation I felt for my daughter’s presence in that moment, it brought up many reflections for me in examining my views of life.
Truth Rocks Me to my Core
The reflections of this experience have rattled my concepts of parenting to the core.
In my Zen Clan Leader Manifesto I include the line, “Be your kids wisest teacher and humblest student.” This begs the question of me as a man: what of any real worth do I have to teach my children?
Do I teach her all my values and beliefs, despite the fact that it is from the bondage of these very belief systems that I now struggle to get anywhere close to experiencing God as Aine so naturally flows into?
So Who is in the Best Place to Teach the Other?
Who is teaching who? Diverse spiritual teachings speak of the need to go beyond the conceptual mind to achieve union with source energy. Union with source energy being the pinnacle of human experience and my mind being jam-packed with concepts, I am getting a clear feeling as to who is in the best position to teach from.
My children, for now at least, teach from their beingness in the moment where they sojourn with God. I teach predominantly from concepts about God and life. Let’s just say masters like the Dalai Lama teach from one of these places and it is not mine!
The Traps of Teaching from the Egoic Mind
The egoic mind is the conceptual mind. The mind that constantly labels every experience with thoughts, creating concepts of life. Where my mind looks at wolves and appreciates them intellectually, Aine looks at them and feels their essence, the heart of who the wolves are at their deepest level.
This egoic mind collects a library full of facts, opinions, concepts, and values from life experience, calls it truth, and then pretends that everyone else should see life from this stand point. The great risk here is in feeling like you know everything, yet nothing understand, as a Tibetan Buddhist master Sogyal Rinpoche puts it.
I can teach my children my vast array of concepts of the world, but do I understand anything of the sacred depth of what I teach?
Coming from the humility of accepting I am not yet as in touch with the profound beauty of life as my children are, I ask myself this: “What is it of true value that I can teach them about, beyond the facts and concepts of life?”
A Father’s Greatest Lessons to his Children
The following are what I consciously choose to teach my children directly. The heart essence of each teaching comes from a humble attempt to allow them to live untainted by my limitations, and follow their inner truth to manifesting their highest potential.
“Dear Aine and Yelena:
1. Your Life is Your Teaching
I aspire to have my life as my greatest teaching to you, relying more upon my conscious presence than my verbal guidance to teach. However, please use my inevitable mistakes as life-changing lessons for your benefit. Your life is your greatest gift and message to the world.
2. You are Free-flying Spirit
You are under no obligation to make sense to the world. Following your heart will make infinitely more sense when you look back on your life many years from now.
3. Let each soul walk it’s own path
Enjoy the miracle of your own existence whilst allowing others to enjoy the miracle of their own existence. Loving kindness with total acceptance of others is your greatest gift to a person.
4. Use Your Own Emotional Compass
If in doubt, trust what your heart and body tells you is perfect for you. To follow this above the opinions of others is the surest path to happiness and ultimate success.
5. Success Only Ever Lies in the Now
Be passionate and enthusiastic about your life in the moment, not ever worrying about the outcome. If you judge your greatest success as feeling positive emotions on the inside in the ever-present Now, then all outer goals will flow into your experience with ease.
6. Suffering is an Indicator, Not a Dominator!
When you suffer, you are resisting what is, trying to avoid the experience. Negative emotions are simply indications that you are not connected to or following your hearts direction. When a fuel gauge in a car shows up empty it is not personal, no more than when our emotional system indicates we are empty on inspiration in the moment. Negative emotion merely tells us we need to refill our inspiration levels.
7. Above All, Love Yourself
You are a miracle of life and fully deserving of your own love. Self praise is the highest praise when built on a foundation that all beings are equally as beautiful, miraculous and deserving of love. Only by loving yourself unconditionally can you unlock this love for all others.
8. Mistakes Are Signposts to Excellence
Learn to love having made a mistake, as all evolution comes from these sacred experiences. Accept the mistake, recognise what you can do differently next time, and celebrate your fresh step to happiness and excellence.
9. You Have One Responsibility
The one responsibility you have is to remember you are response-able, or able to respond, no matter what life presents you with. This is your greatest freedom; being able to choose your attitude in any situation thus painting your own masterpiece called life.
10. Live Your Dreams into Reality
You can be, do, or have whatever you want in life if you set your mind completely on it. Faith is the master key to opening up the treasures of the universe.
11. Feed Your Body and Mind Good Stuff
Your body and mind adapts to whatever you feed it with. Feed it with consciously chosen healthy foods, fun exercises, and positive thoughts and it will gift you a happy, fun, and healthy life in return.
12. Love Education
Education is not about the mindless collecting of what others tell you is important to learn. It comes from the Latin word educare, which means ‘to draw out that which lies within you’. Learn what excites you, inspires you, and stirs up the passions of your soul. Unlocking enthusiasm is the only true aim of education. Enthusiasm comes from the Greek entheos, meaning ‘the God within’.
13. Grow Greener Grass This Side
Focus on growing the greenest grass you are able to grow on your own side. Be content in knowing you have done YOUR best. Doing so you will find yourself feeling you have the greenest grass in the world…. without ever needing to compare with the other side.
14. Protect Yourself with a Loving Army of Friends
Protect yourself by forming an army of loving, positive friends. Having an attitude of loving kindness to yourself and others is the path to creating the strongest army!
15. Never, EVER, EVER give up!
Know that you have an infinite power to keep going. Falling down is no failure. Just dust yourself down, get up and take the next step towards happiness, no matter how small. Never Give Up.
All my love, Dad”