Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The ways of the Buddha according to a 12-year old

It is not a frequent occurrence in my daily life when my tween stops talking.  Usually, I say to myself, "what is going to happen next?"  But the other night a very strange thing happened.  He stopped talking to keep calm, to keep his composure, and to change a unhealthy cycle of anger and rage.

All I can say is the insight into a productive and mature response blindsided me and was cause for celebration (albeit a silent one).  When asked where this new technique came from, the young man replied, "the way of the Buddha."  "I learned that Buddha remained calm in difficult situations and I wanted to use that when I did not want to come inside and stop playing."  Now I am no scholar or expert in the history and techniques of Buddha or Buddhism, but I will take this as the gospel truth.

I had only one question for the wise sage of 12 years old who was sitting next to me, "it took you this long to use the technique after months of rage, anger, and confrontation?"  Clearly, that was not asked, it was not the time, nor the place, for a mother's critique.  When Siddhartha was 12 years old, he did not have a mother who "asks too many questions", because like this child, he lost a mother when he was an infant as well.

When I looked at him, starring straight ahead, silent, focused, in command of himself, I am seeing a young man.  When I hear his very deep voice speaking to me, I hear a young man, and when I feel his hand rub my arm just before he doses off to sleep, I feel a young man.  I am in awe that every 24 hours he is still with me and by my side, but he is increasing his stride into a young man.  The interesting parallel is that Siddhartha was reminded of a childhood memory where he attained a concentrated and focused state that was blissful and refreshing.

Later on that evening, after notes were passed to each other about a bowl of ice cream, the silenced thawed and the child-man went to sleep having mastered his own emotional landscape.  He sowed the seeds of enlightenment--may they be cared for, watered, and fed so they can grow with such beauty as the child-man.

mindfulness awaits  . . .

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