Tools for Mindful Living

On Oct 13 2018, we had our monthly meetup for which 40 parents and kids came together.

We also had a session with Subramaniam Aiya who has been a seeker and a meditation teacher for many years. He is also the father of four children.

A few minutes of silence helped people settle down after a long drive.

We started with questions on anger management and the current scenario that encourages sensory pleasures and how hard it is for children to understand these in the rightlight

Subramanian Aiya acknowledged the questions and shared as follows (summary)

“Dharma is the Universal law. It is not morals according to any particular religion. What we are talking here today is Dharma, not religion. It does not intend offense to any religion or race.

Countries are at war with one another. Each country is equipping defence forces with tax payer money in the name of protecting its interests.

After meditation camp in Jaffna among affected Tamil population, they were able to forgive those who dropped sorties on them as people who were misguided to protect their own interests.

Most of our mind resides in the sub conscious part. It never sleeps. It is always in touch with the body. Mere, pure, bare, just awareness is what we need to bridge the conscious and sub conscious.

For parents who asked questions about anger management, the cure for anger and negative feelings can come from being conscious and purifying sub conscious mind.

Sub conscious part of the mind is in touch with sensations and reacts to those sensations constantly. It loves a good song, does not like an insulting word and so on.

For students, when breath is calm, learning happens for real. Following 5 basic observances and watching the breath can open faculties that will fast track learning. Five observances:

1. Ahimsa

2. Not stealing

3. Not having unhealthy relationships

4. Non lying

5. Not using addictive substances and unhealthy products.

When the child’s mind is calm and at peace, try to tell stories that have values. But if you watch mega TV serials in front of kids and then tell them good stories, it does not work.

Breath is connected to conscious as well as sub conscious mind. That is why it is important for choldren to watch the breath at least for 10 minutes twice a day and if possible, continuously.

When one is afraid, the body shakes. So watching breath calms the body and concentrates the mind.

When I, as a parent, was not able to teach with clarity, I sent kids away to do what they want and observe my breath. Soon clarity is regained and I could teach well.

Teach kids these 5 guidelines in depth and how to observe the breath. All understanding, curiosity and learning will happen from within the child. Also, love and compassion will naturally arise in such a child.

Sending love to family creates stronger bonds.

Wisdom is our birthright and it can be attained through observances and awareness.

There is no case of a direct murder that was ever committed with a calm breath.

Change in society can not come without change in individual. There is no peace possible in the world without peace in the individual. Realizing this will make us work towards inner peace as a priority.”

The talk was studded with songs from different saints about awareness.

A 10 minute guided session on watching the breath was also included in the middle of this sharing.

The session ended with a few minutes of silence.

Footnote: Maharashtra government has trained 1 lakh teachers and 2.5 lakh students in the above 2 aspects under a program called MitraUpakram