How to destroy your children’s spirituality – or not!



Kids have a bad deal if we don't guard them against some of the horrors of this world.  The task of parents and teachers is challenging.

Throughout our lives we are in one of two states. 

We are either a drop thrown up by the Ocean, in which we see the world as me and 'it'.  

Or through meditation, or some other unitive experience, we are in a state of having (temporarily) laid down the burden of separate, egoistic self in favour of just Self.

“The birds have vanished from the sky,

and now the last clouds slip away.

We sit alone, the mountain and I,

until only the mountain remains.”

(8th Century) Chinese poet Li Po

Many I suppose pass through this world without the awakening that is represented by access to the unitive, non-egotistic state.  Many are called, few are chosen.

Parents have the challenging task of using the 'world of dualities' to create the individuation of the self: hot-cold, nice-nasty, acceptable-not acceptable, loving-not loving, green-not green, me-not me etc.

The more challenging dimension is to not allow 'individuation via dualities' to tip over into permanent, unbridled egotism.

Even more important is the enabling, encouraging dimensions of self that are the foundations for true spirituality in the adult.  Of course every child, thank God, is different.

Stillness is one.  Quietness is one.  Sensing the magic of a wondrous phenomenon – a horse, a cloudscape, a rushing brook another

I recall that Eckhart Tolle says that as soon as we label something – say a tree – the child never really sees that phenomenon again – at least in the sense of it's total, magical reality.

I think that is true if all we do is provide labelling answers.

To (merely) label is to dismiss.

To (merely) label is to reinforce dualities and only dualities.

When we say to a child, "In the tree there are whole wolds of animals, and water systems and capturing of sunlight." we are creating a relationship between the child and tree-ness that is not limited.  The tree is then a possible gateway to Wholeness, Oneness and an experience of laying down the burden of self in Wonder, Awe, Astonishment, Amazement.

The horrors of our celebrity world and the constant bombardment of noise to ensnare and then sell, sell, sell is one of the worst horrors waiting to capture our children for Mammon – leaving them for an adult life without the basics of true spirituality – something we should work to prevent.

Much in early life is simple: hugs, reading every day, laughing and games –  but another is also easy – vocalising our own inner spiritual dialogue:

"Sitting and having a cup of tea stops me from too much busy, busy, busy."

"I love being near a horse – I love the twitches, the breath, the horsey smell, the munching of grass – horses are magical."

"Sometimes I wonder about all the life that is in and around and beneath that beautiful tree!"

We don't even have aways to ask such key questions as, "What do you think?" or "What do you like about elephants?"

Sometimes being authentic in and through ourselves is the best we can be, and therefore do, for our children.

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