Parenting / Spirituality

Dinner table spirituality


We were eating dinner last night, and the following discussion took place, although I don’t recall what prompted it:

Daughter: “God is everywhere.”

Husband: “Where do you think He is right now?”

Daughter: “Daddy, SHE is right here.”

At 5 years old, she knows more about the true nature of God (and gender assumptions, apparently) than most adults. And I want to stress that while my husband and I do have spiritual practices and beliefs that are present in our daily life, we don’t typically preach them to our children.

There are few things more satisfying to a parent than being astonished by concepts your children are able to grasp at a relatively early age.  Then again, she surprised me a few days ago by reciting the Gokai (Reiki Principles) almost perfectly in Japanese with no prompting by me whatsoever. (We recite it together sometimes before bed. She calls it the “Reiki Prayer”.)

This kid is an old soul and somehow I had the good karma of being her parent in this life.

I am reminded of a dream I had a couple of years ago, where an elderly Indian sage held up a wooden sign to me that said: “There is none but the arhat.” In Sanskrit, arhat means “one who is worthy” and signifies someone who has reached total Awakening. When you witness glimpses of this insight into the nature of reality from someone, but especially a child, it is both soul-opening and humbling.

One thing I have certainly realized as a mother is that my children are my spiritual teachers. Every day, they make me question my assumptions, help me to see my weaknesses and strengths, inspire me to get out of my comfort zone, and motivate me to be present for them with love and compassion.

(Photo credit: Tanaka Juuyoh

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3 thoughts on “Dinner table spirituality

  1. Your daughter is truly a teacher. She has taught me many lessons during our times together. Mainly not to take things so darn seriously, and that blue sharks swimming in the sky and purple suns are perfectly okay 🙂

    Her “I am learning” lesson has helped me so many times in the past year.

    Give that little guru a hug from me please 🙂

    • I learned about an entire hierarchy of bees that she described to me today with specific traits and names. When I attempted to tell Seth about them, she said, “No! Don’t tell Daddy about the bees!!” LOL

  2. Love this. We have something of an interfaith family (Baptist husband, spiritual-but-not-religious me, kids who go to a Presbyterian preschool) and like you, we discuss but don’t preach or direct the kids. Like you, too, I’ve been amazed and impressed by their abilities to grasp the most abstract of concepts in such an artful and loving way that they become my inspiration too.

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