How to Raise Enlightened Children
The Key to Raising Enlightened Children
The Right Way to Raise Children
Children’s Yoga, meditation and spiritual growth is certainly a topic I am eager to explore more here on Mastery of Meditation, and I think there is no better way to kick off this important subject, than by discussing what is the absolute key in raising enlightened, exceptional children. Children who can fulfill the true purpose of life of Self Realization.
To answer this question, of how best to raise our children such that they will not be dominated by their ego’s and thus, have a deep connection with their True Nature, I found the above quotes of enlightened master Jean Klein very insightful and helpful.
The following excerpt is from his great book, The Ease of Being. It consists of 2 questions and Jean Klein’s answers to them.
The Right Way to Raise Children:
Q. Can one raise a child in freedom from the “I”?
A. To free the child from an image, you must first be free, free of all qualifications – particularly from the image of being a father. Preserving the father-image arouses the need to fulfill all that defines a father and, in turn, your child must fulfill all that defines his relationship to you. Then there is a kind of mutual imprisonment.
Only when the contact is no longer between two images, but between being and being, is communion possible. Then we speak of love.
Q. If there is complete acceptance, one dosen’t question?
A. If there is acceptance, there is no longer any question. But acceptance is not a a passive position. On the contrary, it is highly alert, attentive, active. You are totally aware of all you accept. In accepting things there is intelligence, and in this intelligence you are completely appropriate to every situation, to every living being. You stop adding fuel to your ego, to your fathership. And then your child is free, for your observation remains constantly fresh. In this freedom, he grows.
When you are aware of your child, when you are open to him, you know exactly what he needs, for there is immediate understanding of his way of communicating, of his movements, and so on. In other words, projecting stops. We can even say this openness is love.
Highlights on How of Raise Enlightened Children:
So the one thing that children need, is your simple, unadulterated egoless presence and attention. It is the most important thing for them to have, and is the key to providing them the right atmosphere to grow freely and fully. Here are some important highlights of what this translates into.
- No Ego Distortion: Being empty and quiet within means you are going to be all there to act as required by the moment, without any ego related distortions. So your emphasis is not going to be on yourself, but is going to be on the needs of the children in that given moment. How many times do you see the pressure of a parent’s ego play a role in how they act towards a child? A simple example is that of an embarrassed parent who needlessly scolds an upset child to be quiet, instead of providing a kind, attentive ear.
- Full Attention: A parent’s mind, busy with the petty drama of their own ego, can often simply ignore or disregard a child. How irritated do we get, when we are ignored? Why do you think it does not bother the little child? It is important to be fully present and give the child all the awareness he deserves. In the same way, a parent consumed by the pleasure of their activity, whether that be a TV show, a song they enjoy or a rare quiet moment, can often react harshly towards a child looking to be heard or attended to. Missing that TV dialogue is no big deal, try not to miss a word your child says. When the child receives this kind of attention and caring, he grows in confidence and the natural flow of his expression is strengthened and encouraged.
- Less Anger & Irritation: Very often anger, impatience and irritation towards a child is due to the mood of a parent or various ego related circumstances. I know it’s hard, but try not to let that happen. Try to establish yourself in calmness and emptiness as best you can. Take a few deep breaths (give yourself a timeout if necessary :-). Your violence, verbal or physical, towards the child, has far reaching affects. They have very fertile, innocent minds and such traumas leave deep and painful impressions.
- No Image Building: This of course is the crux of what Jean Klein is saying above. He is saying that the image in the child, of a son, comes as a response to the image of the father projecting on him. In other words, when you play dad, instead of just being a Witnessing Consciousness, he then is forced to play and build the son image. These images then grow in influence over the relationship and instead of the relationship being established in openness, love and moment to moment awareness, it becomes an interaction between the two images. The more the images are in play, the less connected one is to one’s Natural Self and the less communion and love there is.
Conclusion of The Right Way to Raise Children:
I have two little boys, four and a year and a half, and boy am I glad I meditate :-D. If you have not tried this approach of just being established in the Witnessing Consciousness when interacting with your children, I suggest you experiment with it. You may notice a radical change in your relationship with them and also in how your children respond to you. Children are dynamic and the best way to be with them, is to just be with them. Open, aware, in the moment and without the burden of who you think you are or should be.
Other Resources on Raising Exceptional Children:
If you have not yet gotten started on making babies, you might be interested in reading about our adventures in doing so, in the article How to Make a Baby the Right Way – With Illustrations.
Also, for those in the process, the article Ayurvedic Diet and Nutrition for Procreation may be of interest.
You are right about the assertion/non-assertion of ego regarding competition. Unfortunately, the world is run by the ego at present.
We have tossed around the idea of home schooling as well when our kids are older, but not sure we would be able to manage it. I am sure it requires some serious commitment and devotion on the part of both parents to pull off successfully.
Interesting thought with regard to competition. The root cause may simply be in the assertion or non-assertion of the ego. I would say the solution here would lie with helping children discover what they love to do. It is perhaps then that simply doing may be enough and the eye would not be fixed always on the rewards.
We have started home schooling (it is probably misnomer, I would like to call it home learning) my son this year. As you know he is in 4th grade this year. He was getting bored in school as he was way ahead of the pack even in that gifted kids program. His teacher told us the same thing. So, after discussing with him we decided to try home schooling this year. Last week went very smoothly and he is very happy that he is able to get what he wants done in addition to curriculum.
It is a misperception by parents/people in general that the world is very competitive. Since everybody thinks this way the world becomes competitive. We need deprogram ourselves that it is not competition, but collaboration that keeps the world moving. Take the live bacteria that live in our body that help the internal ecosystem in balance–it is collaboration, not competition.
I would be more than happy to discuss this with you further! :-)
Love and Light,
Absolutely perfect. I am eager though to enter into the schooling discussions one day as well. Given the little ones are going to spend the majority of their formative years in our schools, it is important we change some of the ego-centric emphasis that the current system is ingrained with.
A gem. It is all about “letting go” of all concepts and images and of “letting the child to just be.” It does not mean indifference, but setting the boundaries the child does not hurt him/herself in anyway. And, respecting the child and treating the child as an embodiment of divine intelligence. Right now, all schooling assumes that the child does not have the intelligence, or the child needs to be taught how to think intelligently. Moreover, public school system is geared towards producing “worker bees.” (that is for a totally different discussion. :-) ) But, when we approach the child as an embodiment of divine intelligence, then the whole approach changes. For this to happen, the parents and teachers should first realize that they are embodiments of divine intelligence and let go of the attitude competition that produces that a “dog eat dog world” :-)
The key with regard to roles/images, I think, is that they interfere with perception and response in a way that prevents the accurate perception from taking place, and the best response from taking place. In other words, we look from the image and act from the past, rather than be open to seeing the situation as it is and acting in the way that it demands.
Not sure if that explains it well enough, but I will write more on this topic for sure so stay tuned.
Yes it’s very interesting. More to come on this topic for sure, as it’s close to many of our hearts. Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts on this topic.
I really enjoyed this article, Anmol. There’s a lot of discussion among spiritual leaders about whether or not it is possible to raise an ‘ego-less’ child… and whether an ego development is necessary and required for a child.
In raising my son, I can say with certain that I am not certain what is the truth in this regard. :) Even as a silent observer, I can see his ego developing as he expresses his boundaries and learns what he “likes” and “dislikes” at only 18 months of age.
That said, I have never really identified with being his “father.” I tend to generally think of myself as more of a partner or guide. The way I figure is if I love uncoditionally, and as you write in #2 – pay attention, then from those two things I’ll intuitively know and understand what my son needs.
Of course, this is only the first 18 months… I’m very curious to see what happens over the many years that follow.