When parents and children walk together towards inner freedom – Part 2

- through Henry Oudin

Published on

It is in a daily life lived in conscience and in an attitude of attentive and benevolent listening that parents and children can walk together by learning from each other.

Communicate heart to heart. In the Zen tradition, authentic communication is called “i shin den shin”, meaning mind to mind, heart to heart. It is thus in zen that the transmission from teacher to student. This form of communication is possible when our mind reaches out, leans towards that of the other, to feel it, understand it and send messages to it. It is well understood that such a posture is not compatible with the spirit of judgment, prejudices and projections. On the contrary, it requires a “neutral” quality of welcome, but tinged with benevolence which will encourage encounters. How many labels do we stick to children… Positive or negative, they condition them, restrict them, they do not respect their true nature. Taking the time to observe his rhythm, his tastes and preferences, his talents and his limits is essential for the parent who wants to accompany his child on his way of life. And if he wants his words to carry and enlighten, he must put them into practice himself. If the word of the master is worth gold to the ears of the student, it is because it is the fruit of practice. A good example is worth more than a long speech. The master transmits what he puts into action in his everyday life. Thus the student, the disciple, can receive his word in confidence and rely on him to walk through his own difficulties. A kôan illustrates the “i shin den shin” transmission: “The two mirrors mutually illuminate each other. »

To a pupil who asked him what the nature of the Buddha was, Houang-Po replied: “The toilet brush”.

To meditate :

– Right discipline is neither prison nor straitjacket. It is the cliff from which the child will take flight.
– Getting it wrong doesn't mean you haven't done your best.
– Let him see you give, he will give. Let him see you love, he will love. Let him see you confident, he will be confident.
– The hurtful word that you say to your spouse in front of your child, hits him in the heart.

Live the extraordinary from the ordinary

The practice of Zen is a celebration of everyday life, of what is, of what we do, here and now. Nothing is trivial, nothing is trivial. Everything is practical, washing your bowl, sweeping the yard, preparing a meal… To a pupil who asked him what the nature of the Buddha was, Houang-Po replied: “The toilet brush”. The reply was not intended to mock the disciple, but to make him understand, in the direct and harsh style of the patriarchs, that the hierarchy is an illusion, a figment of the mind, it has no reality. One thinks in this connection of the sentence of Long Chen Pa, quoted by Jack Kornfield in his book After the ecstasy, the laundry (La Table Ronde): “Because everything is nothing other than what it is, we can only burst out laughing”. Such is the treatment deserved, according to Zen, by what we hold to be great things: success, money, honors and even spiritual awakening. On the other hand, it is everyday life, with its cohort of tasks, constraints and fine details, which deserves all our attention because it constitutes the best school of life. It teaches us to care and live together while continually experiencing impermanence. It is in this school of patience, humility and gratitude that we should enroll in conscience, every morning with our children.

To meditate :

– In an orderly room with air and light circulating, the mind attains calm.
– The fault always lies in inattention.
– Our daily actions take place within truth itself. (Master Xu Yin)
– Wasting water and bread is an insult to life.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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