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)