Wisdom of a Child
Finding Perfection in Being
Last year at the Whole Life Expo I met one of the speakers who asked me, "Who is your spiritual teacher?" and I said, "My daughter Anahita." He was pleasantly surprised. Then he said, "I guess I never looked at that aspect of spirituality in life."
I have learned some significant lessons on unconditional love and spirituality from my daughter Anahita. One day, when she was about two years old, we were waiting in a car at a stop light and she said, "Baba, there is a bad man sitting in that car." Now that statement got my attention. I asked her, "Sweetheart, what made you say something like that?" and she responded, "The man is smoking." I pulled the car over and had an interesting conversation with her saying, "The man is doing a bad thing, he may not necessarily be a bad person." You may wonder how effective an intellectual conversation with my two year old daughter would be, but what I have to share with you now is really mind-boggling. Approximately six months later, one day when I came home and heard, "Anahita was a bad girl today." Immediately my daughter came up to me and said, "Baba, That is not true, I was not a bad girl, I may have done bad things."
We must learn to separate the being from the doing, if we want to exercise and experience spirituality in our lives.
We live in a society which values the doing more than the being. If the child does something good, our tendency is to say, "Good boy or good girl," instead of, "good job," as if the child were "no good" until doing something good.
Our society also tells children, "I'll love you if you do this for me. I'll love you if you bring home good grades..." and so our children are made to understand that they don't matter unless they perform. Thus they become a human-doing instead of human-being. We need to give our strokes first for their being and then for their doing. Only then will we be able to enhance spirituality in humanity.
One of the most fundamental steps in spirituality is to understand that there are no bad people on this planet. There are only good people, some of whom do bad things.
Even though my daughter is my spiritual teacher, I must admit that I have also been blessed with the reflections of each and every child who has touched my life. It is my distinctive pleasure to share, from my heart to yours, some lessons of spirituality that I have learned from children.
Spirituality and perfection
"There is only perfection in our being, but only progression in our doing." Small children are very receptive to trying anything without being concerned about the success or failure of their doing. They naturally believe in the perfection of their being and in the progression of their doing. At birth, you are created perfect because there is no second you, but no matter how great a job you do there always will be some room for improvement. Thus, there is perfection in our being, not in our doing. Once we understand this concept, the pursuit of perfection will no longer be an inhibitor, it will actually become a contributor in our lives.
Spirituality and meditation
"When we live our life in meditation, we will have no need for medication." The prevailing concept is that spirituality comes by doing meditation, but children have taught me that spirituality is in being meditation. In other words, ":Spirituality is in being the connection, not in making the connection."
"Meditation is confirmation of unification with creation." It is this unification which brings peace and tranquility during the process of meditation. Many think that we either need to isolate ourselves or dedicate a specific slot of time to enjoy the benefits of meditation. Why not enjoy the peace and tranquility in each and every moment of our lives? That is the state of being meditation. This happens when we accept life unconditionally. When we do, we find that fear and hate disappear, only love appears in our life. And where there is love, there is peace, we live in ease and there is grace. In other words, there is no disassociation from ease, what we call disease, nor any disassociation from grace, what we call disgrace.
Spirituality and judgement
"A non-judgmental life is for human beings, not for human doings."
There is a story about a little boy who went for a haircut with his father and the barber asked him, "Young man what kind of hair style do you want?" and he said, "just like my father, with a hole in the middle."
There is so much to learn from the wisdom of our children. It is because they make no judgements before they accept someone. To them it doesn't matter what size, shape or color you are, they just love you and accept you the way that you are.
It is important to understand that judgements play a vital role in shaping our lives, but judgements also create a lot of relationship challenges in our lives. So how do we live non-judgmental lives?
By directing our judgements on the doing, not on the being. It is important to make judgements about what people do, but it doesn't help when we make judgements about what people are. In other words, our judgements should allow us to shrug the doing and still hug the being.
Spirituality and unconditional love
"Love may be harvested at different levels, but it is always manifested at the same level. That is the level of spiritual consciousness."
This happens when we give with passion and live with compassion, and when we focus on the best and let go of the rest.
The following story exemplifies my concept about this spiritual consciousness. My daughter Anahita likes to go to McDonalds and she also enjoys playing hide-and-go-seek. McDonalds we hardly visit, but hide-and-go-seek we play all the time.
One day we were famished, so we decided to grab a sandwich at McDonalds. At McDonalds as I was approaching the order counter, I turned around and Anahita had disappeared. After a few moments she reappeared pretending to play hide-and-go-seek with me. Now I had made it very clear to her that she was not allowed to play this game in public places.To emphasize that point, I decided to bring her back home without buying a sandwich. So what do you think a five year old child who enjoys going to McDonalds would do In a situation like that - jump, roll, scream, plead, yell.... not this child. To my surprise she was not only calm and relaxed, but what was truly amazing is that when we reached home, she told me in a very loving way, "Baba, you did not get a chance to eat a sandwich at McDonalds, I will make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for you, so that you don't go hungry."
That was the first sandwich that she ever made! I was truly touched by the spirit of her unconditional love and acceptance. I thought that I was trying to teach her a lesson, instead I got a lesson of my life time. And the lesson here for all of us is this: our children will love us unconditionally when they are young. However, we need to make sure that when they grow up and know better, that we have given them sufficient reason to continue to love unconditionally. And this will happen by understanding that spirituality comes when we transform our barriers of love into carriers of love.
Whole Life Times, June 1997
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