Raising Conscious Children

“It is our role to watch, read and interpret our children very carefully, honor them, and honor their traits, honor their likes and dislikes and comfort them with thprobe knowledge that, “Our role as your caretaker is to help you find the thing that you are best at.”

Thom Knoles

Episode Summary

Parents know what’s best for their children. Or do they?

Parents and other primary caregivers often have trouble distinguishing the difference between who we want our children to be, and who they came here to be. Often that difference is vast, and difficult to know, especially when the path of the child has so many unknowns to it.

And let’s face it, most parents or guardians have trouble understanding what their own path is, let alone determining what the path of their child ‘should’ be, so thinking we know what’s best for our children is a bit too much to expect.

In this episode, Thom tells it like it is. He reminds us that it’s not our job to shape or mold our children, but to provide an environment where they can shape themselves. Nature always wins and she always leaves clues, so let’s surrender our preferences and learn to read the clues, and teach our children to read them, so they can evolve according to Nature’s agenda, rather than our own.

And if you aren’t a parent, or don’t plan to be, please listen in anyway. We all have a role in nurturing the next generation, and we can all learn from the wisdom of the Vedic worldview.

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Episode Highlights

01.

Raising Enlightened Children

(00:47)

02.

Our Contributions for the Future Generation

(02:15)

03.

Foresight for Future Generations

(03:28)

04.

The Custodian of the Consciousness of the Youth

(05:27)

05.

Where Does Consciousness Come From?

(06:33)

06.

Lord Buddha and the Hallway of Mirrors

(07:52)

07.

8 Million Lifetimes as a Human Being

(09:16)

08.

Such a Thing as Suffering

(10:36)

09.

The Quickening

(12:04)

10.

A Checklist of Unfulfilled Desires

(13:30)

11.

I’m Beginning to Forget

(15:14)

12.

How Can the Grownups Help?

(16:33)

13.

The Mis-takes That Adults Often Make

(17:51)

14.

Vicarious Enjoyment

(19:10)

15.

The Primary Mission of Adults as Caregivers

(19:58)

16.

Dharma, One’s Personal Role in the Evolution of Things

(21:01)

17.

“I’m Not Here to Tell You What to Do”

(22:15)

18.

“What is My Highest Nature?”

(23:49)

19.

You Don’t Know Who These Children Are Yet

(25:34)

20.

We Don’t Force Our Children To Meditate

(26:13)

21.

Teaching by Precept

(27:14)

22.

“We Have This Problem Child…”

(28:27)

23.

“My Parents Don’t Listen to Me.”

(29:51)

24.

“Do You Trust the Way You’ve Raised Me?”

(30:52)

25.

Awakening to the Wisdom of the Children

(31:58)

26.

Help Them Do the Experiments

(33:16)

Jai Guru Deva

Transcript

Raising Conscious Children

[00:00:47] Raising Enlightened Children

[00:00:47] Today, I’d like to talk to you about raising enlightened children. This, in fact, is the title of a longer seminar that we hope to hold sometime in the near future, which will be in a retreat setting, raising enlightened children. And although I will speak for at least half an hour, a little more, this then will be some kind of a preview of coming attractions.

[00:01:12] First of all, let it be said that this is not something that concerns only people who are biological parents or guardians or adoptive parents. This has to do with the entire community, because it is incumbent on all of us, whether we have children in our household or not, to be aware of the principles by which we are going to bring into, usher into the next generation, a greater degree of enlightenment in the children who have been brought into this world.

[00:01:46] It is a very important thing, because if we take an approach, as I’ve sometimes heard people take, “Well, I don’t want to have children. I don’t want anything to do with children, because who would ever want to bring children into this world as it is today?” and the kind of washing of one’s hands of all of this really is not a socially responsible approach, given that children, in fact, to whomever they’re being born, are being born by the tens of thousands on a daily basis.

[00:02:15] Our Contributions for the Future Generation

[00:02:15] We can see the astonishing speed with which births are taking place in the world. And whether we approve or we don’t approve of the speed with which humans are procreating, it nonetheless is incumbent on us to make our very best contribution to the group effort of bringing the highest level, highest caliber, of consciousness to the next generation.

[00:02:38] And each of us makes our contribution in whatever way we make it. We make our contribution in our interactions with children, whether we are doing these interactions in a very conscious way or in close proximity, or whether they are just happenstance interactions. It’s not possible to circulate in the world and not come across a member of a more juvenile age than you might find yourself to be.

[00:03:06] And so, it is important for us all to consider some of the principles of bringing enlightenment to a higher level in the entire world around us. But particularly with reference to this talk, being able to bring the best that we can bring to the next generation. We can’t simply write off the next generation and say, “Well, I’m not going to have anything to do with them.”

[00:03:28] Foresight for Future Generations

[00:03:28] For those of you who are in touch with the news about current affairs, about climate warming, that is going on all over the world, the primary concern for most of us really is not even something that we’re going to experience in our lifetime, but in the lifetimes of generation after generation of human beings to come, and they may well, as Greta Thunberg said, look back at us and say, “How dare you leave us with a world like this?”

[00:03:58] Also, there’s some positive things to think of. I took a beautiful walk in a large park in New York City recently, and I love visiting the large central parks of all of the major cities of the world and looking at the enormous planted trees, some of these trees, 80 feet, 100 feet, 150 feet in height, which were planted a hundred years ago or more by people who knew that planting those trees in their lifetime, in those parks, they were never once going to see those trees any higher than their own shoulder.

[00:04:34] The foresight of tree planters, people who, in their lifetime, are not going to enjoy the planting of gardens and trees beyond simply shoulder height, or perhaps five or six feet high, trees strategically planted in places, and with the creation of trusts and governmental protection, to protect the land on which these trees are being grown, all for the future.

[00:05:00] None of those people in their lifetimes are ever going to see the park, and yet those parks are there for us to enjoy.

[00:05:07] So somebody in our past had amazing foresight and thought of future generations. I laud this. I think that this is something, the almost unspoken gratitude with which we should find ourselves having for people who have had that kind of foresight.

[00:05:27] The Custodian of the Consciousness of the Youth

[00:05:27] But now we need to talk about the potential for raising consciousness in a way that allows attitudes and approaches to the young population to be there as a cultural custody into the future generations, generations after generation, the custodianship of the consciousness of the youth.

[00:05:50] I think one of the most important things that I learned in spending time with my master, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and his tradition going back so many years, and with all of his affiliated musters, because living in India and seeing the way in which the masters of a tradition who, by the way, are mostly celibate monks, and who have no children of their own.

[00:06:15] Nonetheless, their attitude toward children, and their attitude toward the rearing of children, and generational attitudes that have been passed along for thousands of years, very striking differences to the way in which we commonly see children being raised in this generation.

[00:06:33] Where Does Consciousness Come From?

[00:06:33] So, let’s start with a few ideas and a few principles. First of all, it’s important for us, from the Vedic perspective, to have a deeper understanding of where children come from. Now, I know all of you know how, biologically, children are produced, so we don’t need to go into that detail and how they manage to make their way physiologically onto the earth.

[00:06:56] Where does the consciousness come from? Let’s spend a few moments taking an exploded view of the Vedic concept of what is the cause of the arrival of a consciousness into a body onto the earth. From the Vedic perspective, none of us has really been here for the first time.

[00:07:19] There is an evolutionary process that makes its way up through the species. As individuals are evolving and evolving, an individual soul, or an individual spirit, we’ll use the word consciousness, individuated consciousness, just to avoid crossing lines with cultural understandings of the word soul, or religious understandings of that word, an individuated consciousness makes its way from nervous system, through nervous system, through nervous system, ever increasing the sophistication of its repertoire of experience.

[00:07:52] Lord Buddha and the Hallway of Mirrors

[00:07:52] When Buddha, Lord Buddha, gained his Nirvana, his enlightenment, he described a moment which was akin to looking down, “A hallway of mirrors.”

[00:08:04] What does that mean? You stood sometimes with a mirror before you, perhaps combing your hair or something, trimming your mustache or whatever you’re doing, brushing your teeth, and, in certain circumstances, there may have been a mirror behind you as well.

[00:08:17] And what you see when you look up is a long hallway of mirrors, one reflecting through the next, with you in it. There’s a face. There’s a back of your head. There’s another face. There’s another back of your head. There’s another face, another back of your head, going on, as it seems, infinitely.

[00:08:32] There was even a scientist once from the Victorian era who decided that he wanted to have a look down that hallway, drilled a hole in a mirror, and put in that hole a telescope, because when you’re standing inside the hallway of mirrors, your own head, and your own reflection blocks your view.

[00:08:47] So he decided to have a very brightly illuminated room, drilled a hole in a mirror, and stuck a telescope up against that hole. So he could look down the hallway and see what he could see, with magnification, without himself blocking the mirror. Very interesting.

[00:09:05] What did he see? Just mirror after mirror, after mirror going on and on until it all went dark, and there just weren’t enough photons of light to illuminate what was at the end, no matter how much the magnification.

[00:09:16] 8 Million Lifetimes as a Human Being

[00:09:16] All right. Well, getting back to the subject of Buddha, he described this as a hallway of mirrors, looking back in time in the direction of all the lives through which that individuated consciousness had been, all the nervous systems in which it had resided, going back to the very beginning, and in his case, he decided to stop with his experience of his individuated consciousness, and its repertoire, and its experiences, as it were in a blade of grass.

[00:09:45] And moving from the blade of grass into a more sophisticated plant, and another more sophisticated plant, and then finally making the jump into the animal kingdom, and then working its way up through more and more sophisticated nervous systems until, eventually, the human level was met.

[00:10:03] And then experiencing, and hold onto your seats, 8 million lifetimes as a human, and then finally making his way into that human condition, where he found himself as the Crown Prince of North India.

[00:10:18] The man whom we refer to as Buddha, once upon a time, had been the Crown Prince of North India. That area of North India now, and what we today refer to as Nepal. Nepal in those times, in Buddha’s times, was also part of India. There were not distinct boundaries between the two.

[00:10:36] Such a Thing as Suffering

[00:10:36] And then, as famously he did, growing up as the Crown Prince, discovering that there was such a thing as suffering, and then coming out of his entitlement to become the King, abdicating the throne, leaving behind his family and going off in the search for enlightenment, spending years investigating what kind of method could gain the highest enlightenment.

[00:11:00] And when finally he found it, and found the method that suited him, then practicing it diligently, a day came while sitting under a beautiful spreading tree called the Bodhi tree, when he arrived at that heatless, smokeless, effulgence, that state of consciousness in which anything desired could be known, and one of the first things that came to him was seeing all of the lifetimes in which he’d lived, right up to the present moment.

[00:11:28] So this is the Vedic concept as expressed in Buddha, but also it’s expressed in many, many places. And those cultures, all of whom, if you trace back the origins of their thinking, go back also to the Veda.

[00:11:43] All of that Eastern philosophy, as we call it, Eastern philosophy all the way from Japan and the farthest Eastern reach of what we refer to as the east, and then coming all the way back to modern day Afghanistan, which was also under the influence of the Vedic worldviews up until only a few hundred years ago.

[00:12:04] The Quickening

[00:12:04] And so, that whole Eastern style of thinking about where you come from, all owes its origins to the Vedic perspective of the evolution of individuated consciousness.

[00:12:16] The individuated consciousness gains a desire to come out of the disembodied condition in between physiologies and to enter a body, and according to the Vedic worldview, somewhere around, and it’s not identified as an exact second, but somewhere around the fourth month or so of gestation, the mother, the human mother feels a movement, a very distinct movement, and of course, movement has occurred prior to her perceiving it, but this is an easily perceived movement.

[00:12:47] The idea there is that individuated consciousness has moved permanently into the housing of the body at around about four months. And this communing between the individuated consciousness, now in the body permanently, and the mother, is referred to as “the quickening.”

[00:13:07] To quicken means to bring life into a thing. This is a use of the word quick that is different to speed or velocity you heard in the King James’ versions of speech, the quick and the dead. That doesn’t mean people who can move fast and then people who can’t and die as a result.

[00:13:24] Quick means those who are in their bodies, and the dead obviously are those who are no longer in their bodies.

[00:13:30] A Checklist of Unfulfilled Desires

[00:13:30] We still have a version of this word quick, when we refer to our fingernails. There’s a part of the fingernail, which you can file and trim, but if you go deeper than that or lower on the nail than that, you’re going to reach the quick of the nail. What’s the quick? It’s the part of the nail that has sensation in it. It’s not the dead part of the nail.

[00:13:50] And so the quickening is this phenomenon of the permanent entry into a body of an individuated consciousness, and that individuated consciousness has sought arrival into a human body, based on unfulfilled desires from the past.

[00:14:07] In the past life, at the time of death, there were still a checklist of desires left unfulfilled, desires that were precious to oneself, and also some unfinished business. That is to say, the some things where there hadn’t been completion, where there hadn’t been a better word for, it might be justice, that was left in an unjust state where we have completion and closure.

[00:14:36] If closure is not there and desires are unfulfilled, then when the consciousness finds itself exiting from a body that is no longer viable for whatever reason, then that consciousness spends some time in an in-between experience, where it has a greater access to lovely experiences, continuing on in the state of consciousness, whatever the state of consciousness was, whatever the degree of enlightenment had been at the time of body death, then one continues in that consciousness state for a period of time and then gains a desire to enter a new body, and the things that limit that, we’ll go into and some other place some other time.

[00:15:14] I’m Beginning to Forget

[00:15:14] But there is a degree of choice and a degree of non-choice in what body you end up in, and then you find yourself in utero for about another six months or so, and then birth takes place, and then, for about six months, one is a little baby that is contending with a body that has all of these little spasmodic jerks and things in it, and you can’t quite make it communicate the way that you want, and so on.

[00:15:43] You still have a memory of your mission. You still have a sense of why you came here, and over a period of the first six months after birth, one finds oneself beginning to forget. “I’m beginning to forget the urgent matters that were on my list for which I arrived inside this body.”

[00:16:03] What’s causing us to forget is the natural seduction of being a baby. “Here’s this, here’s that. There’s a toy. There’s this. There’s that,” and so on.

[00:16:13] And eventually, with all of the degree to which a baby is seduced into baby life, by about six months after birth, the baby has forgotten the mission, and has identified utterly simply with a baby body, but perhaps there is an underlying resonance or vibration, or a sense of, “I’m here for a specific purpose.”

[00:16:33] How Can the Grownups Help?

[00:16:33] And now we get onto, how can the grownups help? Those grownups may be the parents, direct most influential people. They might be the caregivers, the teachers. They might be incidental people that the child makes contact with throughout their lifetime. And all of us are going to be playing one of those roles, perhaps predominantly one, and perhaps less dominantly others.

[00:16:59] But each of us will have some responsibility with regard to the kinds of experience a child will have. And so then we have to be aware that shepherding a juvenile consciousness into adulthood is a universal responsibility.

[00:17:18] One of the things that I advise those who are the primary caregivers of a child, is that it’s very important to observe the child carefully and to learn to honor that child, learn to honor what it is that that child seems to want to do, especially if there is a repetitious style of behavior that indicates that the child has particular likes and dislikes, to learn how to teach the child, to honor their own individual traits, their own individual tendencies.

[00:17:51] The Mis-takes That Adults Often Make

[00:17:51] One of the mis-takes that we make in modern culture is to attempt to treat the child as if there’s some kind of a jelly or jello, or a gelatin dish, where you take a mold and mold them into whatever it is that the parents weren’t able to fulfill in their lifetime.

[00:18:09] “I didn’t get a chance to earn a lot of money, so you’re going to be the one who earns lots of money. And after all, I’ll be an oldie one day, and nobody might have any interest in giving me any money, and so you’re going to be the one who gives it to me when I don’t have the capacity anymore.

[00:18:25] “So we better be sure that whatever it is you think you want, let’s set that aside, and maybe you can look into that as a hobby, but we need to make sure you’re going to earn lots of money because lots of money is going to be a guaranteed way of coming out of suffering.”

[00:18:42] And this kind of mistake that we make in foisting on our child, the lack mentality that we might ourselves have not yet mastered in our lifetime, and forcing them into a position of having to think, not about fulfilling their own desires, but somehow fulfilling our desires.

[00:19:04] So as primary caregivers of children, it’s imperative, from the Vedic perspective, that we do not fall into that trap.

[00:19:10] Vicarious Enjoyment

[00:19:10] We also need not fall into the trap of, “I always wished I could have been a ballerina or a belly dancer and, I never got to do it, and so I’m going to get great fulfillment if my child dances ballet,” or “I’m going to get great fulfillment of my child, if somehow I can enjoy vicariously something I wasn’t able to experience, while watching my child experience it.

[00:19:33] “I wasn’t a person who was able to acquire culture, and so I’m going to force my child to acquire culture. They’re going to know all about classical music or they’re going to be great litterateurs and do lots of reading. And my child is going to end up fulfilling desires that I myself wasn’t able to fulfill in my lifetime.”

[00:19:53] This is a trap, and we don’t want to trap our children into this kind of mentality.

[00:19:58] The Primary Mission of Adults as Caregivers

[00:19:58] So if we’re not doing that, then what are we doing? What is our mission as primary caregivers? It’s a very simple thing.

[00:20:06] It is our role to watch, read and interpret our children very carefully, honor them, and honor the traits, honor their likes and dislikes and comfort them with the knowledge that, “Our role as your caretaker is to help you find the thing that you are best at.

[00:20:26] “We have to help you find what it is you’re best at, and we’re willing to do the experiments with you, and you don’t need to worry that this is going to be a trying thing for us, or whatever, because our primary concern as your caregiver is to help you find that which you’re best at that, which you enjoy the most.

[00:20:47] “And if one experiment doesn’t work, we’ll continue our research together until we’ve helped you find it. And once you’v found it you won’t have to worry about, ‘Can I earn money?’ because people who live their Dharma…”

[00:21:01] Dharma, One’s Personal Role in the Evolution of Things

[00:21:01] Here’s the Sanskrit word D-H-A-R-M-A, Dharma. Dharma means one’s personal role in the evolution of things. The evolution of everything. What is it which, by doing that thing, or that spectrum of things, is going to be the highest and best use of your consciousness inside of the human physiology?

[00:21:24] And the very best and most relevant socially, the most socially relevant behavior in which you can engage, bringing your gifts, accentuating your gifts, letting those gifts blossom and come into being, and this is Dharma.

[00:21:39] Dharma. What is your Dharma? Sometimes when you read the word Dharma, if you look it up in the Oxford dictionary, it will refer to it as duty. But this is a very, very poor translation of the word Dharma.

[00:21:50] Dharma means what are the laws of Nature that govern your individual existence? What is it that Nature itself has in store for you, if only you can discover your very best talents, your very best gifts, and awaken your ,consciousness to such an extent that you can bring those gifts fully to the whole of humanity, to be able to bring to humanity the best of what you are?

[00:22:15] “I’m Not Here to Tell You What to Do”

[00:22:15] And so, as a primary caregiver, it is my role to regularly reinforce with the children who are coming up under my guidance, this concept. “I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m here to find out with you what you’re going to be best at. What is your Dharma? And it doesn’t matter to me how long it takes for us to do all the experiments to find it. We will find it, and we’ll find it together.

[00:22:44] “And you don’t have to worry about, ‘Oh, am I going to be able to earn money?’ because I, your primary caregiver, I will look after you, and I’ll look after you until you find this thing. And when you do find it, Nature will support you in every way. Money will be the least of your concerns.”

[00:23:02] The people who have found their Dharma get naturally supported, not only by the forces of Nature but also the forces of humanity. Humanity itself rewards people who live relaxedly and enthusiastically within their Dharma.

[00:23:17] So this is our role as caregivers, whether we’re primary caregivers, occasional caregivers, or we’re just winking at a child who’s smiling at us from the stroller while we’re buying our vegetables at the vegetable store.

[00:23:28] There has to be that, from the elders of the community, the honoring of that individuated consciousness, which has come to the earth, wanting to gain the highest and best repertoire of experiences that will bring that child into social relevance and into a relevance to themselves.

[00:23:49] “What is My Highest Nature?”

[00:23:49] Of course, the highest desire, the greatest desire of any individuated consciousness, is to discover the true nature of the deepest truth of Self, not just fulfill certain desires and get them behind you, get them off the checklist, but actually the ultimate desire, which is knowledge of the Self.

[00:24:10] “Knowledge of my highest nature. What is my highest nature?”

[00:24:14] Again, Vedic worldview tells us that deep within us, at the source of thought, in the field of Being, is our highest nature. Knowledge of That, capital T, knowledge of That is knowledge of the Knower.

[00:24:30] We know that knowledge has organizing power. This is a fundamental tenet of information theory. Knowledge has organizing power. Very true.

[00:24:41] Since knowledge has organizing power, what would be the level of organizing power to have knowledge of That, capital T, knowledge of That, by which all other things are known? Knowledge of the Knower. Knowledge of the Knower is knowledge of That by which all things are known. This has infinite organizing power.

[00:25:02] And so, the highest and best experience also needs, in grades, to be revealed to the children who come under our care. And that is to be able to establish themselves in Being, establish themselves in the bliss of the experience of the infinite potential, the home of all the laws of Nature inside them, the field of infinite creative intelligence inside them, and to be able to regularly tap into that and bring that out, and let that be lived in their life in fullness.

[00:25:34] You Don’t Know Who These Children Are Yet

[00:25:34] And so if children show a natural inclination to tapping into that experience. And, we don’t force it on them. People often say to me, “Oh, I’m a meditator. And mummy’s a meditator, daddy’s a meditator, and our children, we want our children to meditate.”

[00:25:49] And I always say to the parents, “Take it easy. You don’t know who these children are yet. A child comes to you from their own evolution. It may be that they were a lifetime meditator in their previous lifetime. We don’t even know exactly who we’re dealing with. Let’s find out who we’re dealing with, rather than thinking about how you can foist meditation onto your children, and force them to meditate twice a day.”

[00:26:13] We Don’t Force Our Children To Meditate

[00:26:13] Something which I would never be a party to as a teacher who, asked by a parent to do something like that, certainly if children began to show worthy inquiry. One of my children, I won’t name it, I have lots of children, but I don’t want to name this particular one, some of you know this child, learned to meditate at a very early age, four years of age, and never stopped meditating from that time till now.

[00:26:35] And so that’s one possibility. Others of my children, I think all of them have learned to meditate, practice it from time to time, rather sporadically, but with great encouragement from me, but not overly encouraging, not like, “Oh, you meditated. Oh, that’s good.”

[00:26:50] Just taking it easy. And they say, they meditated, and you just say, “Fantastic. What would you like for breakfast?” They know what I think about meditation. I don’t need to be, in an exaggerated way, jumping up and down for joy because they reported they meditated once or twice, here or there.

[00:27:06] Again, whether implicit or explicit, we are not in the business of forcing our children to practice Vedic Meditation.

[00:27:14] Teaching by Precept

[00:27:14] If they show an interest in it because we have become exemplars of what it can do, because we are preceptors, someone who teaches by precept, by example, is someone who inspires in others the desire to get whatever consciousness state you’re in. They want it, because it’s so evident that whatever it is you did to get in the consciousness state you are in, might be something they’d like to try and see if they can somehow be like you.

[00:27:40] And so, how is it that we inspire our children to practice Vedic Meditation? Let’s be sure we’re really practicing ourselves. Let’s be sure that we’re really advancing that knowledge in ourselves.

[00:27:51] Those of us who are listening to this, if you’ve not yet learned Vedic Meditation, then it’s incumbent on you to do whatever you can to do that, and really awaken for yourself that very enviable consciousness state.

[00:28:03] And those of you who are practicing it regularly, presumably you may have the enviable consciousness state that would inspire questions from children.

[00:28:10] We shouldn’t have to proselytize our children. We should be alert to their needs. We have our own mission to help them find what they’re best at and help them get placed in that, and to do all the experiments necessary to show them that we honor them.

[00:28:27] “We Have This Problem Child…”

[00:28:27] One child was brought to me by parents once. She was quite young, about 16. I lived in Australia at the time, and the parents were Vedic meditators. They’d learned to meditate with me a few weeks before, and they said, “We have this problem child, and we want to bring her to you to have a talk.”

[00:28:43] And I said, “All right. I’ll talk to her.” And they said, “Well, we’d need to talk to you first about what we want you to tell her.” And I said, “Well, that won’t be happening. If your child, who is a minor, agrees to come and spend some time with me, then it’ll be my job to give her guidance at the level that is open and transparent. I’m not here to carry out the parents’ agenda.”

[00:29:03] And they said, “Oh, all right, let’s just tell you what the problem is.” And I said, “What is it?” “Well, she’s 16, and she wants to get on an airplane and travel to the rock concert at Coachella in California.” These people lived in Sydney, and I said, “Oh, all right.”

[00:29:17] And they said, ” And we’re against it. Because they have drugs there and they have, some bad people go there too. And we’re not too convinced about the value of having Coachella in the experience of a 16-year-old.”

[00:29:28] And I said, “All right. Thank you very much. I’ll take a note of your concerns. Do I have your permission to talk to your child for half an hour?” “Yes, you do.” And they waited with bated breath outside the room while I had a little chat to this child, and she was a very ingenious child, and she and I spoke for a while.

[00:29:44] And she said to me, “You never once asked me if I practice meditation.” And I said, “I’m not really all that interested.”

[00:29:51] “My Parents Don’t Listen to Me.”

[00:29:51] I said, “I’m actually just interested. If you feel like you ever want to do anything like this, I’d be more than happy to make arrangements with your parents for you to come and take a course, but, you’ll let me know. I have full confidence in that. You’re intelligent enough to make it known. And so we needn’t talk about that right now.”

[00:30:05] She said, “My parents just don’t listen to me, and they don’t really show me that they really understand what I am and who I am.” And I said, “All right.”

[00:30:14] Well, after about half an hour, we had our talk, and she felt ready to then bring the parents into the room. And she brought them in, and the parents sat down, and she looked at her parents, and I said to her parents.” I’m going to ask you, when your daughter begins speaking, to give her 15 minutes where you promise me that you’re not going to interrupt.

[00:30:31] You’re not going to interrupt either facially by making facial gestures or hand gestures or words or anything. You’re just going to sit quietly and let her say her piece. Can you agree to that? 15 minutes, that’s all we need. After that 15 minutes, we can have a conversation where everybody gets 15 minutes uninterrupted to say whatever they want.”

[00:30:52] “Do You Trust the Way You’ve Raised Me?”

[00:30:52] And this little girl, 16 year old, totally floored everyone. When she had her 15 minutes without interruption, the things she opened up with was something I’ll never forget. “When are you going to show me that you trust the way that you’ve raised me?” Dead silence. And she didn’t say another word, and there was silence, silence, silence.

[00:31:20] Both of her parents began tearing up, and then she spoke a little bit more. And she said, “Because if you don’t trust the way that you raised me, I have to ask you the question, mother, father, why should I trust the way that you raised me if you don’t trust it? So that’s my question for you. When are you going to show me that you trust the way you raised me, and if you don’t trust the way you raised me, why should I trust it? These are my questions for you.”

[00:31:47] And I just said to the parents, after a few minutes, they looked a little bit flummoxed, and I said, “It’s probably good now for you to all go home and have a little bit of a discussion.”

[00:31:58] Awakening to the Wisdom of the Children

[00:31:58] It turned out that her parents decided, not only could she go to Coachella, but they should probably go with her, but to let her have her own experience, and give her the freedoms that she needed to be able to be a child of 16, going on 17, in an environment, musical environment, but they would all stay together in the same place.

[00:32:20] And after they came back from the musical experience, evidently they all just had the most fabulous time, and to this day, it’s one of the pivotal moments in all of their experiences. And after that, nobody ever wanted to go back again. It was kind of like, “been there, done that.” What a remarkable child.

[00:32:38] Now, all children have the potential to show us how wise they are. Are we awake to it? Are we listening? Are we really interested in listening to them, or are we simply interested in telling them what we think they should be doing? We need to be very, very good listeners, and we need to be sure that we, as parents, are exemplars.

[00:33:00] Do we exemplify what it is that we would really love our children to become, or are we simply pressing down the jelly mold on a bowl of jello and trying to make somebody who is a replica of us? I don’t recommend the latter. I recommend the former.

[00:33:16] Help Them Do the Experiments

[00:33:16] Be good listeners. Trust that Nature’s way is evolution. And each generation of humans that come into being are progressively more evolved than the previous generation, if only we have ears to hear it, and if only we have the willingness to listen to what their concerns are and to help them do the experiments, to find their Dharma. This is our role as caregivers.

[00:33:39] So I think that’s enough of a teaser for our longer course, which will be probably in a retreat setting so that we can get this information across in a more full and complete fashion. And I’m sure that lots of questions are going to come out of my rather provocative way of putting things just now in the last 40 minutes. And, I hope that you enjoyed some of these concepts coming from the Vedic worldview, raising enlightened children.

[00:34:06] Jai Guru Deva.

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