Education for Your Child’s Soul: A Yogic Perspective

“Education for Your Child’s Soul: A Yogic Perspective.” Swami Jyotirmayananda. Light of Consciousness Journal of Spiritual Awakening. Vol. 20. No. 4. Winter 2008. With Special thanks to Doris L. for sharing with us… == The subject of educating children is very vital because the future of mankind-culture, tradition, religion, all that is good and sublime-depends upon the way children are educated. Children grow up into adults and adults again become children in the process of karmic movement and its continuous cycles of birth and death. Further, the test of a great culture is the art with which children are educated. If children stay frustrated in a society, if they undergo mental torture, if they are not given normal circumstances for higher development and for understanding what is good and evil, then such a society is in a state of degradation. It is important therefore, to understand what type of attitudes parents must evolve toward their children, towards themselves, and towards their mutual education. A KARMIC RELATIONSHIP Firstly one must have the philosophical understanding that children are spirits in the process of repeated embodiment and it is on the basis of the Law of Karma that parents draw certain souls within their family. So, a child’s coming to a home is not an accidental development. It is backed up by a law. The spirit of the child needs an environment that will fulfill the demands of its karma. Accordingly, the parents have been arranged by nature’s laws. So in a way the child is the (parent of the adult). It is (s)he who selected the parents through whom (s)he is born. According to Yogic thought, a child is learning even when (s)he is within the mother’s womb. Even then the child is receiving impressions. So in Yogic culture a mother with child is given an abundance of good association, satsanga. She is careful about where she goes, the thoughts she entertains in her mind, even the pictures she sees. Parents can mold their children through the environment of impressions. On the other hand, you must realize you are not creating the child. The child has been drawn to you on the basis of karma. Whatever you do is in the fitness of the karmic law. At the same time this does not imply that you simply relax and follow your whims in the name of the Law of Karma. A CHILD IS A REFLECTION OF THE SELF Why is a child so lovable to the parent? How can a tiny creature weighing just a few pounds capture their hearts, entrance their minds, involve all their energy? Why is it that the moment you see a little cub of a tiger or a lion, or any child of any species, the human mind develops such a sense of tenderness? What is the psychology behind it? The answer, in brief, is that every human being wants to capture in his consciousness absolute tenderness, absolute beauty and harmony. That, of course, is God, the Divine Self. coque iphone x But since the urge for realizing the Self is very abstract, the complex mind is unable to understand that urge and nature must present various experiences in human life to promote its development. coque iphone So, when parents love their child, in that love they are trying to capture the love of God. Your child reflects that God, That Divinity in it’s simplicity and innocence. When you understand how your child reflects your aspiration for becoming simple, symbolizing the goal you want to reach in life, you can develop an attitude of adoring the Divine Self in the child. This attitude however, should not interfere with your practical dealings with a child. You must be able to separate your instinctive love from the objective needs of a child’s growth. You should not make the child a tool of your love, nor become attached to and dependent on the form of the child to be happy. If you do so you will stunt their development and not let them grow up as they should. Rather understand that a child exists as an independent personality and one day will walk out of your life as a bird that has wings will fly out of the nest. UNIQUE SENSITIVITY OF A CHILD’S MIND A child, according to Yoga, has their kleshas, their afflictions, in a dormant state. Because the ego and it’s selfishness have not yet developed, there is a unique form of sensitivity that nature has given to a child. In practical dealings with children, parent must understand the sensitivity of the child’s mind and realize how deeply every experience penetrates that mind. You remember clearly many things from your childhood days while things that happened a few years ago, or only a few days ago are forgotten. coque iphone 8 The mind of a child is extraordinarily sensitive. Its sensitivity is mystic. Sometimes the child is reflecting even the things that you feel and think. You may be able to conceal many things from other grownup human beings. You can come from your office tense, tired, and filled with explosions within your mind. You can conceal all that when dealing with grownup people, but when you are sitting before children you are sitting before tiny sages. They perceive your inner state though you have not uttered a word. There is a radiation from you and children are more sensitive to that and they imbibe it. So, it is important that adults consider carefully the sensitivity of the mind of a child. SEE THROUGH YOUR CHILDS EYES Parents must also understand how the values of children are different from the values of grownup people. It becomes important for parents to develop sensitivity into children’s psychology. Not through academic learning, but on the basis of spontaneous love and affection, you must become able to commune with your children and understand them. You must try to see how the children think and how they ae looking at things. You should not impose your realities in a very harsh manner. The Law of Karma can cause great differences among children in the same family. Children born of the same parents may be in totally different levels of evolution. Some children have the potentiality of becoming very great in a particular field while others do not. Parents with insight will be able to guide their children according to their potential and their state of evolution, encouraging them to unfold all their inner talents and resources. Parents should not become upset if the children do not function or develop the way they had excepted, because children have their own right to live and express themselves. They cannot be molded exactly according to the expectations of parents. The parents attitude towards the children should be to present a healthy environment for growth, just as the sun and the rain provide a proper environment for seeds to grow. If proper circumstance are given in a society where various personalities are needed, everyone will fit in to perform a correct and right function. From Divine point of view no one is smaller, no one is greater. Therefore, parents should not imbalance their affection and lean more towards children who are brighter or more like themselves, and begin to ignore those that are not so bright or express themselves differently than parents had expected. THE SPIRIT OF DISCIPLINE Practical insight into how to train children must be gradually developed by the parents through experience. There cannot be set laws. Those people who read set laws from research books become like tinny computers, constantly looking into the books to find out exactly how they are going to react to a problem. Parents must build up an atmosphere of warmth and love and within that atmosphere firmness. Allow the children to taste the joy of your satisfaction when they have done well in meeting your healthy expectations. However, when they have not done something well they must also taste the bitterness of having made you dissatisfied. They long to please you and learn to enjoy promoting your satisfaction. That sensitive way in which children must be handled is the subject of profound understanding and the art of being firm in a healthy manner requires a special intelligence. You should not allow the child to have their way all of the time. You must train and discipline the child and your love for the child should not come in the way of that training. If a child gets into some wrong habits you must discipline them firmly, strongly. Even threats and little pats will do no harm. The children will appreciate your actions in the course of time. coque iphone Parents who are afraid that their children will leave them as they grow if they are firmly treated, have not developed deeper love for the children. If you are in a healthy relationship with your children, you will impress upon them the sincerity of your intentions to such an extent that even though you might have been very harsh at times, they will love you immensely. TRUE SPIRITUAL EDUCATION Spiritual Ideals should be given to children, but since people do not have a healthy understanding of the true meaning of spirituality, they often separate the spiritual from the material. Therefore, you hear so much about the cruelty that occurs when children are trained to become everything that the parents are not. Parents, finding in themselves many weaknesses that they cannot remove, want the child to be perfect, free from all those weaknesses. This type of attempt to build perfection in others without bringing perfection within oneself is an erroneous movement. Children are put into great trouble in the name of making them ethically perfect, training them to be pious, religious. Religion is life lived in a healthy plane. Religion is sincerity. Religion is communion with love. It is important not to adopt extreme measures in any direction and to provide conditions so that the children draw from themselves the inherent power with which they are born. That is exactly the meaning of education. Education is to draw out from yourself what you have. For encouraging aspiration for greater things, all you need to do is awaken an interest in the child. The moment a true interest is awakened, the child will follow that pursuit with intense concentration. If a child develops an interest in Self-realization as the goal, he will start to read books that will help him reach that goal. Therefore, the art for parents is to plant in the child a profound interest then leave the child to peruse it. Just guide here and there. Do not go after every detail. For parents to present higher thought patterns in the environment of their children, certain conditions must be present. Firstly, the parents must have higher understanding themselves and be sincerely working towards their own evolution and personality integration. Secondly, there must not be disharmony between the parents. Thirdly, the parents must not seek too many amusements outside. They must consider that the children provide for them an excellent panorama of experience and they in turn provide an interesting environment for the children. Therefore, do not allow the children to just watch TV day and night. It is a terrible defect in the present civilization that parents leave the children completely at the mercy of mechanized entertainment, and that children grow up cold, calculated and insensitive. Therefore, they bring pain to their parents and pain to the society. Rather, come in contact with the children by telling them stories and parables. participate in their lives and come closer to their world. Education is not limited to just training children how to write and read. Education is sharing your life, allowing a child to imbibe vibrations which are necessary for his growth. Bringing forth children, according to the Hindu tradition, is a powerful responsibility, a powerful Yoga. If that responsibility is not understood, a person should not be a grihasta, a householder, and bring forth children he is not prepared to deal with. coque iphone 2019 On the other hand, if you know the art, you are promoting a Yoga. Your doing good to the child enables you, in turn, to evolve faster. You are not educating the child for the child’s sake alone, but for your sake as well. It is within the perspective of educating yourself that nature has provided a conjunction of a soul – the child – with you. You must help the child unfold under your protection and guidance. When children bloom into wonderful personalities, when they turn towards a life which in universal and truly healthy, and when they become enlightened sages, they benefit themselves, the parents, the forefathers, and the entire world.

Hidden Gems: The Demonstration Village

Hidden Gems: Mati Waiya of Wishtoyo Chumash Demonstration Village

We are long-time teachers and native Angelenas who love to share the hidden gems in our favorite city. In this series, we interview local heroes whose passions and work inspire us.

We interviewed Mati Waiya at Wishtoyo’s Chumash demonstration village on the bluffs in Malibu overlooking the Pacific Ocean, where a stream meets the ocean. We learned how his passion and practice of traditional culture guided him to build a place that inspires, teaches, and brings peace.

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What was your vision for this site?

This 8,000-year-old Chumash village site had become derelict with trash, rusted water tanks, invasive species and excess concrete blocking the water flow in the creek. Twelve years ago, I cleared a space the size of a small plate, arranged some stones into a circle, and made my first offering to ask permission from the ancestors. I came here every day, even if it was for fifteen minutes, to make my offerings and prayers. At first, I didn’t have a blueprint in my mind, but when I framed the first three houses Aps before we attached the tule reeds, It was like, “You can see it’s really going to happen!” We’ve been building for seven years, about half done.

Tell us about the early days at the Foundation.

We finally got the thatching on the first house. My wife and I slept in it. We did a ceremony, woke up
the fire; the fire illuminated the ceiling with a beautiful flame. We came outside and looked back at the
fire. It looked like a heartbeat. We thought, ‘how beautiful, this is how it was, how we lived.’ She and I
put a grill on the fire, cooked some dinner, we could hear seals bark and owls and coyotes call — it was a beautiful starry night — what a life! In the morning we picked up the door flap and you could see the whales migrating and blowing spumes. It was unreal to see this all come alive.

What do you hope children find here?

When kids come here, they get a sense of how Chumash Peoples lived in a paradise — water clean, skies clear, you could see the constellations, and your dream-time was real. You could see whales, dolphins, and grizzly bears. We in the modern world have taken all that away and one day we will regret it. Through this village and our messaging, and dance and story and song, and experience and smell and sound and sight, all these things are how we share a People’s way of life and culture. This connection to culture is what has been missing from the environmental movement.

Our stories of courage empower children with their right to be heard, to have a healthy world around them. No one has the right to take that away from you. Be heard, speak your truth. This will be your world. Maybe one day you will wish for clean energy, no fossil fuels. Our youth will be making the decisions. We must build a foundation, invest in the future we’ll never see. That’s what I believe we do here.

What could we expect at a typical school trip?

We welcome a group of 60-70 students, and break into sessions. They learn a dolphin calling song, they go into a traditional house, they see a tomol (traditional redwood plank canoe). We take them inside one of the aps (traditional round tule-thatched home) and show a power point depiction of whales, dolphin dancers, pelican flutes — how we live as a maritime people — and the impact of pollution and plastic on these resources. We show them some of our native plant restoration, and teach about endangered plants and medicine and the importance of stewarding the environment. I dress in traditional ceremonial Regalia and paint to tell a story about courage — the little kangaroo mouse looking for its courage, Red-tailed hawk and the sun, what would happen if the sun didn’t come out? I use a big drum and they feel it vibrate, I get them up to dance with me, they’re physically involved. They see the history and ceremony, fire, sounds, village, ocean, science, song, language. They don’t want to leave, and we tell them, ‘You have to go now.’

Why is Wishtoyo important?

What we offer is beyond outdoor education. Letters come back with drawings of our village and thanking us for taking the time to teach them to be good stewards of their home. We read them and know — we’re getting through to them! Our culture was almost lost. Look how meaningful it is in this time when this world is really at the verge of destruction.

A little blond child asked me, ‘Mati, how do I become an Indian?’ I told him that inside, if you love dolphins and whales and rivers and you believe these are important, it’s already in you. Children are born pure without influence and they learn by example. We send men to the moon, but here we launch prayers for healing, to remind us of the hurt and suffering going on in the world, to empower youth and innocent kids to have hope besides what they see on computers and tv.

Did you grow up in the traditional culture?

I knew about my native background from my grandmother and great grandmother and family. They were assimilated into working on Rancherias. Being “Mexican” was safer during the end of Mission times and the American campaign to get rid of Indians by any means possible. In school I learned American ways, see Dick and Jane run, white picket fence, stories about the padres being so great, learning English, getting in trouble if you speak Spanish — we learned Spanish because they took away our names and gave us Europeanized names. I also saw my mom and uncle involved in Chumash culture.

What made a difference in your life?

I was trying to be a successful contractor, had a lot of work going, but one day I realized ten years had just flown right by me, and this can’t be what life is about. I took a step back and thought about where I wanted to go. I didn’t want to put my head on my pillow at the end and think, “I didn’t live the life I could have.” I started seeing the Leave it to Beaver world was a big farce. One day I saw an elder, Tony Romero, pope of the Chumash, and I thought, “I know you, you live inside me.” My whole life changed forever.

What happened?

Like I was born in another world, I apprenticed with my teachers for twelve years about the different rituals, coming of age, marriage, birthing, death, seasons, songs, prayers. Kote Lota, Tony Romero and Choi Slo, are my teachers. I was the right age, a young man, someone who could learn. Now, almost 30 years later, you do become that teacher, living that life, dedicated to ceremonies and rituals and songs, and understanding that parallel world.

What do you feel you learned?

Some people talk about god being everywhere. This cultural life is everywhere, whether in language or resources or the practice of song, story, or art. How do you find the realignment, re-identification of the spirituality and beauty of this culture? We can’t blame the white man. How do you drop that weight and be truly free? This is how, by being involved in a culture that is healing and cleansing, not in a culture that has nothing to offer you, not some kind of hope, not something you can’t trust. Sometimes we are afraid to get out of our shells because we always have that armor on because we might not understand what’s going on in our internal world, or in our families.

But when you have the freedom of the land or nature, you live life as it is. We have resistance to being truly free. To be involved in this culture means to be involved with nature and the world that is your future till you die.

What does being on this land offer?

Being in touch with our earth through song, culture, medicine, dance, therapy, harvest. You think of the relationships of grandmother moon and the habitats and the greatest teacher, nature. In the sweat lodge, we heat the stones and offer water and herbs, and the steam comes up and that’s the breath of the ancestors. Being an environmentalist is one thing but being a practitioner of nature is a little different, it lives in you and you live in it. We’ve distanced ourselves from something that really was our understanding of life. Now everything moves really fast. We don’t have that interpersonal contact. I want to read your body language and get your truth. You can go to a sacred area or a mountain or river or island — maybe a loved one is buried there with prayers from a grandmother. With all the diversity of our prayers and loved ones, we have so much to learn from one another. How do the people regain their strength and faith except by taking a step back and looking through the eyes of the ancestors, living in peace with the children and the fragileness of the world and this life? When you live a life in this culture, the spirituality and sacredness and ceremony is so present it’s hard to live a lie.

What should we understand about local history from the point of view of the Chumash?

Don’t dwell on history, that doesn’t really help. If you are talking to older people, you can talk about the brutality of the padre’s time, when they raped our daughters and fed our kids to the dogs to save a bullet. The El Camino Real signs are like swastikas to Jews. Posses were told that we don’t deserve to be on this land, and were paid bounties to kill us. The padres took our whole way of life. The only things remaining from our people are the adobe blocks they made for the missions. This country was birthed in violence, and we were forced to be a part of it. Before that we had lived in harmony for thousands of years, sending messengers up the coast when a whale washed ashore or an animal was caught inviting everyone to share. We’re a dolphin people, a maritime people.

Our culture was taboo, my mother couldn’t practice traditional ways. They took our children away and put them in schools to erase memories of their cultures. But we have oral traditions that connect us with the world that sustained us for thousands of years. Under the ocean along the coast and under a couple of feet of dirt are burials from thousands of years ago of our people. You don’t see one Chumash family living on the Channel Islands today, but those were our lands. We don’t need someone with a degree to tell us how we lived or died. We have oral history. We’ve been living in hiding. How did we stand a chance when we couldn’t speak our own language?

What is a way to restore harmony?

We sing songs and tell stories and go to this resource of life that exists all around us -water, land, earth, things that have been and continue to be helpers of understanding. We have to try to really think of how are we going to make a difference and trust one another. We have to start telling the truth instead of creating an illusion of freedom. We are not free. We are caught up in the illusion of need. We are never satisfied; we are an insatiable people that always want more. To have the honor to do a ceremony is medicine.

Source: Posted: 02/28/2014 5:35 pm EST Updated: 02/28/2014 5:59 pm EST Huffington Post

UCLA Semel Inst. – Meditation

MARCMindfulness Awareness Research Center’s (MARC) mission is to foster mindful awareness through education and research to promote well-being and more compassionate society. The institute offers classes and workshops to the general public, teaching the skills of mindfulness across the lifespan. These classes are offered at all levels including those for the absolute beginner to workshops and retreats for advanced practitioners. MARC also offers a one year certification training for Mindfulness teachers. Of special interest is the variety of classes offered to support mental health professionals


Esalen Institute – Meditation


Our Story

Esalen. The word itself summons up tantalizing visions of adventure, of unexplored frontiers, of human possibilities yet to be realized. There is the wonder of the place itself, 120 acres of fertile land carved out between mountain and ocean, blessed by a cascading canyon stream and hot mineral springs gushing out of a seaside cliff. There is the delicate and subtle Big Sur air of a late afternoon in May, the midnight mist of July, and the drenching February rain. There are October nights so clear the Milky Way can light your walk along the darkened garden path. And always there is the sound of the sea.

And then there are the people — the people who live there and love the land, and the 750,000 more who have come from all over the world to participate in Esalen’s 50-year-long Olympics of the mind, heart, body, spirit, and community, committing themselves not so much to “stronger, faster, higher” as to deeper, richer, more enduring in the fellowship of other seekers.

They come for the intellectual freedom to consider systems of thought and feeling that lie beyond the constraints of societal norms. They come to re-discover ancient wisdoms in the rhythms and tides of the body, and poetry in the pulsing of life itself. They come to rediscover the miracle of self-aware consciousness. Often they come away inspired by a fierce desire to learn and keep on learning through all of life, and beyond.

Esalen is a place with a global reach. In the words of Thomas Wolfe about America, It is a place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time.