Jan 21, 2011
Jan 20, 2011
Bring to mind right now someone whom you find lovable. It could be a person you have a romance with, or a child, or a dear friend, or a great teacher--someone to whom your heart would leap like a deer in the forest if this person were to walk through the door, someone whose presence is so lovable that a gladness arises on seeing him or her. If you can sense that in a dear friend, then try to seek out the lovableness of a neutral person. Then, finally, when you break down all the barriers, see it in a person who has done you injury.
It's a great key if you can seek out something to love, even in the enemy. Bear clearly in mind that this does not endorse or embrace evil. The crucial point here is to be able to slice through like a very skilled surgeon, recognizing vicious behavior that we would love to see annihilated as separate from the person who is participating in it. The doctor can be optimistic. A cure is possible: the person is not equivalent to the action or the disposition. Moreover there is something there that we can hold in affection, with warmth. That really seems to be a master key that can break down the final barrier and complete the practice.
One way of approaching this is to look at the person you hold in contempt, and try to find any quality he might share with someone you deeply admire and respect. Is there anything at all noble to be seen, anything that would be akin to what a truly great spiritual being would display? Focus on that: There is something there that you can love. The rest is chaff, that hopefully will be blown away quickly, to everyone's benefit. It is as if you could see a little ray of light from within, knowing that its source is much deeper than the despicable qualities on the outside. That light is what you attend to."
--from The Four Immeasurables: Practices to Open the Heart by B. Alan Wallace, edited by Zara Houshmand, published by Snow Lion Publications
Jan 13, 2011
"Children with autism are not learning disabled, they are teaching challenges. The question is not whether they can learn...the question is, can YOU teach?"
I love this little quote. And actually I believe this is applicable to any child.
Every child is unique. The education system however, is very much product oriented. Schools work the same way, trying to educate masses of kids with same type of information.
An end product is a graduate.
I wonder whether this is really possible? I believe any kid is a teaching challenge. Some are easier to approach and some aren't. It is very much discriminating to label them and treat them according to those labels. Labels are only helpful to keep us mindful about the needs. But when we see the person and his label as one... then we start having problems.
Kids are kids whether they share a certain label or diagnosis. They are kids and each and every one of them is different. The question is can we see them beyond the labels we attach?
Jan 12, 2011
The other day, I found myself talking to our 6 year old Mira: “Honey I need you to express yourself with your words. I know that you are upset.......” and I went on and on! I thought it was nice that I was using my 'i' sentences instead of the blaming 'you' sentences. So I was happy with my speech. But then today I met my nonviolent communication buddy, Michele. The conversation we had made me revisit my behavior…
How many times during the day I choose to express myself with words and how many times I choose to just act my feelings out without any verbal communication? I realized that I am no different than my daughter whom I preached on expressing her upset feelings with her words.
So I am inviting you to also ask yourself: as an adult how many times do you choose to use your words to express your upset feelings and how many times do you just act them out in a given day?
Photographer: Arvind Balaraman