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April 30, 2009

Finding Wisdom

In his webcast conversation with Oprah Winfrey a year ago Eckhart Tolle offered profound advice to parents saying,

The most important thing is your own state of consciousness at home because the children absorb from you, your predominant state of consciousness. And if you can be present with children at home, present means to give them full attention. When you are present, you don’t want anything from them. You just give them attention, which could be listening. It could be watching them as they play. Now many parents don’t do that. They give them attention, but it’s always wanting something. They say, ‘Do this, don’t do that. Now this needs to get done.” So that is what I call form-based attention.

That has its place, of course. The children need to brush their teeth and need to tidy up their room. This is fine. It has its place. But more is needed. Your child wants to be acknowledged in his or her being. So it’s vital to give the children conscious attention at home. Give the child space to be. Doesn’t need to be long, just a few minutes every day. Be there, be present for the child. That’s vital.

The thing that fascinates me about these observations is that I do not believe Eckhart Tolle has ever been a parent. I doubt he has ever read a parenting book, or watched an instructional video on how to be a good parent. Yet intuitively Eckhart is able to present a beautiful and wise picture of the key to good parenting.

What Eckhart Tolle has done is open deeply to reality. He has discovered in the depths of his being a source of wisdom that makes it possible for him to speak truth about topics that, on one level, he may know almost nothing about. When we pay attention to life and listen deeply to the truth within, the wisdom we discover will apply to every realm of life. Eckhart’s insights for parents can apply to many more circumstances than just childrearing.

In so many areas of life we become focused on problem solving, attempting to modify circumstances or behaviour so that situations can be forced to fit some prescribed model of how we have determined they should be. We do not really listen. We do not pay attention. We do not listen for the wisdom the circumstance itself has to teach us. We want a particular result and so we fail to open deeply to reality as it is. We settle on superficial “solutions” that deal only with symptoms and often do violence to the true underlying causes.

We need to listen to our children. Their behaviour is always a form of communication. In every circumstance of our lives, we need to ask what is this situation trying to tell me. What do I need to learn from these circumstances? These are the questions that lead us to an open accepting spacious place in which we will find wisdom.

1 comment:

Triskit said...

YES!! Love this message Christopher.Thanks.