Thursday, September 4, 2008

Original Enlightenment

I have always had a different notion about my children than most other mothers I knew. It made me wonder sometimes whether this was the right approach, but there was nothing I could do about it. With four of my five children grown to adulthood, I can only say that for us it was the only way and my children are proof that this approach works. In order to understand it, one would have to understand the master-disciple relationship that was a traditional spiritual arrangement between the enlightened and the to-be-enlightened.

In that tradition, a young adult aspiring to ultimate spiritual development, would first have to be accepted by a teacher. If he then was deemed worthy, he had to serve the teacher for twelve years before any spiritual teachings would even commence. Clean the house, cook, do the laundry - anything the teacher ordered. It was made hard by the teacher to the point that it would seem abusive to Western sensibilities. The point was to accomplish a level of surrender on the part of the student, and a level of love and trust in the teacher, that spiritual teachings would find the proper receptors in the students heart and mind, and ultimately take him or her beyond.

Once in the presence of my children, I somehow knew that they were born enlightened and I could learn from them for a short time until they - as we all must - moved from "original enlightenment" to worldliness, as taught to them by us. "What is an Absence in a young child, becomes a Presence in a sage." Our human life is this spiritual journey which is what my book Here You Are represents "in a nut shell" This is why it has resonated with so many people around the world. It is beyond culture, religion, philosophy or any other belief system.

So I see my children as Buddhas who are my Masters. I surrendered to them the minute I conceived them and this had two effects. It dissolved my selfishness bit by painful bit which was a long and arduous process; and it produced selfless, generous children with backbones, and what people like to call a "moral compass", yet without the moralistic attitude. I raised them from the little helpless bodies and minds to competent adults who not only function in the world, but are enriching people's lives - and they raised me from who I thought I was, to who I AM.

1 comment:

scott said...

lovely thoughts, well expressed