To see the world with clear eyes, I must first look inward. Once I have severed identification with what is outside of my essential Self, I am able to look outward in a new way, while maintaining the inward focus. This must be renewed again and again as an act of will, fueled by a longing for true freedom.
One of the recurring themes in fairy tales is “discernment.” Take the separation of the “lentils from the ashes,” in Cinderella– a theme that is repeated in other fairy tales in one way or another. When children are told these stories, they internalize the meaning. This becomes medicine in their lives as they enter the world with all of its inbuilt challenges and terrors. If we wish to truly give our children a “leg up” in the world we will feed them a diet of traditional fairy tales that we ourselves have reflected upon and told (or read) with our full presence.
We are all here to love ourselves and each other. It’s that simple and that difficult. What we hold in common transcends surface differences in viewpoints, and when we hold that more dear than our differences, something amazing will happen.
We all love our blessed Pachamama (Mother Earth). Even if we have forgotten this love, it can still be recovered. This will be the salvation of the human race. Take care to cultivate this openness of heart, and and include all our relations, even those with whom we disagree. Hold fast to what we have in common.
“The Sufi is he whose thought keeps pace with his foot – ie, he is entirely present, his soul is where his body is, and his body is where his soul is. This is the sign of presence without absence. Others say on the contrary ‘He is absent from himself but present with God’. It is not so…he is present with himself and present with God.
We do not want merely to see beauty… we want something else which can hardly be put into words- to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.
~ C. S. Lewis
This morning I have been thinking about children and nature. It began when I watched the formation of bubbles in the milk I was heating for my chai. All my attention was on the bubbles, and I felt quite happy!
When children are encouraged to mindfully observe nature and the natural phenomena in their daily lives, they bloom into being unfettered and secure individuals who are able to understand and appreciate the relationship of all things animate and inanimate.
A grounding in the active use of the senses with a sense of wonder and respect is the gift of this kind of attention. Of course, this requires adults who have the time and the inclination to make this a priority. How we convey this will depend on each parent’s inclination– little songs and stories can be part of it. But always a sense of joy and wonder. It seems such a small thing, but it can make all the difference.