5 Lessons All Parents Could Learn From Buddhism

buddhismBy: Krissy Pozatek / Source: Mind Body Green

As Buddhism continues to increase in popularity in Western culture, certain principles have entered the discourse of how to be a better parent.

The ideas of being “Zen” and “compassionate,” and, of course, “mindful” come most readily to mind. But what do these concepts really mean in practice?

As the author of a Buddhist-inspired parenting book entitled Brave Parenting, I’m extremely interested in integrating the powerful philosophies of Buddhism into everyday parenting.

One of the principle goals of my method is to enable children’s emotional maturation and emotional resilience, while also making the everyday life of being a parent a whole lot easier.

Let me say that this does not mean being peaceful and calm all the time. It’s about changing our relationship to the challenges parenting presents. It’s about experiencing all emotions without reactivity.

Here are five essential Buddhist-inspired principles that will help you in your parenting journey.

1. Recognize that a stable mind is a powerful mind.

According to Buddhism, life is constantly in flux. And for that reason, stability doesn’t come from external circumstances, but from the way we relate to constantly-changing circumstances: we can choose to cultivate a stable mind.

Most of us have mental states that rise and fall based on daily events that we perceive as “good” or “bad”: a hug and smile from your daughter is good, while getting stuck in traffic and being late for a meeting is bad.

Buddhism encourages you to meet all events with equanimity. Things just are, and you give yourself a profound sense of power in accepting that. You can teach this to kids by modeling it yourself.

A meditation practice is a great way to develop a stable mind.

2. Invite the concept of impermanence into your life.

In our culture, most of us shy away from the idea that things are constantly changing. We like routine, habit, consistency. But there’s great wisdom in the Buddhist notion that all things are in constant motion, and by extension, impermanent.

Not to get morbid, but death is part of this. All living things die; it’s simply the natural cycle of life.

We can teach this to kids not as something scary, but by acknowledging the natural process of life — whether it is flowers wilting, a pumpkin rotting or leaves falling in autumn.

On a more everyday level, we can learn to accept, rather than fear, change at large. We can teach our kids that change is natural and that the best way to work with impermanence is to be grateful for everyday because every day is different and unique.

Gratitude can be thought of as the opposite of entitlement.

3. Learn to be OK with anxiety.

Buddhists know that because of impermanence an underlying anxiety always exists. Anxiety is not a sign that something is wrong, it is an experience of being alive in an impermanent world.

So this is not a feeling we can “fix” in ourselves, nor in our kids. Anxiety is a normal emotion every human feels and our suffering around it dissipates when we acknowledge and accept it.

4. Simply pay attention to your child’s emotions, all emotions.

Buddhism encourages us to pay attention to life’s fluctuations, and noticing what is. For this reason, emotions are not “good” or “bad.”

Buddhists recognize emotions for what they are: messengers with information about the moment we are in.

Knowing that emotions rise up and fall away, we can teach kids to learn to process their emotions in the most natural way — which is staying present and experiencing them until they pass. Parents do not need to interrupt this process to fix or change feelings.

5. Trust that your child is resilient.

In everyday life, there is loss and disappointment. Many parents today cushion and protect their children from the sharp edges of life, and this is a natural instinct.

However, I challenge parents to allow their kids to have “safe” struggle.

Safe struggles are normal everyday disappointments and setbacks around homework, sibling conflicts, friends, rules, chores, and soon.

When kids are allowed to struggle they are more likely to begin to problem-solve and build up resilience to life’s ups and downs, without needing or wanting to be rescued by a parent.

There is a great Buddhist teaching by Shanti Deva, an eighth century Buddhist Monk. He said something like this: When you walk on the Earth your feet may get cut.

You can either lay down hides of leather wherever you walk, or instead wrap leather around your feet and make a pair of moccasins.

When we hover as parents, we are laying down leather to protect kids from life, rather than teaching them to make their own moccasins so they can navigate their own obstacles and build up their own natural resilience.

What Happens When We Die? From the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

Alaska. Denali Highway. Rays of warm evening light coming through clouds.By: Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa / Source: Spirit Voyage

(Editor’s Note: The following was written for Ad Purkh Kaur on the 17th day after the passing of her husband Hari Simran Singh.)

Sat nam Ad Purkh Kaur,

Today I also noticed that it was the 17th day since Hari Simran Singh’s soul began the next part of its journey. Since you asked, I am grateful to share some thoughts from Yogi Bhajan’s teachings about this process.

Death happens when the breath stops. The physical body no longer has any power to move or to grow, and it begins to decay. The subtle consciousness of the soul begins to separate from the physical body.

But for the first 3-4 days, the consciousness can “hang out” around the body. It may have some kind of attachment still – to the body and to the life.

What Yogi Bhajan calls “privileged souls” have a chance to travel around and say good-bye to those they love, or to visit places that are sacred to them before they leave the earth plane.

In either event, the subtle consciousness maintains a connection to the physical body in those first few days. This is why, in the Sikh tradition, we cremate the body and chant Akal.

To help the soul let go of its attachment to the physical life it had and to be willing to move on.

The next part of the 17 days, the soul has to cross the electromagnetic field of the earth and begin its journey into the realm of the Blue Ethers.

There are four levels of the blue ethers before one experiences absolute and perfect Union with the Divine. Those who have a spiritual teacher or guide get help at this point.

The first blue ether is where the assessment takes place. What were you sent for? How did you do? We all judge ourselves instantly at the time of death. The first blue ether allows a soul a chance to really sit and re-evaluate.

In fact, if there are lessons that did not get finished during life, the soul has a chance, during the 17 days, to complete those lessons under his or her spiritual guide.

This completion of the lessons takes place either in the first or second blue ether, depending on the ripeness of the soul. In the first blue ether, the soul can purify itself.

In the second blue ether, it can continue to get deeper learning. If the soul graduates to the second blue ether, it also has a chance to become a guide for other souls. It can reach out from that place and help others.

The third blue ether is the most refined ether that the human being can access while alive. Deep meditation can open us up to the third blue ether.

The third blue ether is the realm of the master and the angel. So while alive, people who develop the consciousness of a master or an angel (and Hari Simran Singh definitely had the radiance of an angel) have penetrated through to the third blue ether with their meditative mind.

In the process of death, such a soul could navigate those first two ethers fairly easily during the 17 days, and may end up at the third blue ether if it has truly completed all its lessons.

The third blue ether is the realm of the realized, enlightened soul. A soul who can reach out and touch other souls to guide them in the past, present or future.

A soul that graduates to the third blue ether has a choice to make. That soul can decide to reincarnate again – for the purpose of serving humanity.

Or it can chose to go onto the fourth blue ether and just be Pure Radiance. But such a soul will never reincarnate on earth again once it enters the fourth blue ether.

The fourth blue ether is reserved for those incredible amazing Lights that guide humanity with their pure radiance. Like Guru Nanak. Like Christ. Like Buddha. Like Yogi Bhajan.

These souls will never take form again. But their consciousness is so clear and so realized, that they radiate from the fourth blue ether across the centuries giving guidance, hope and love to humanity.

After the fourth blue ether, there is just Pure Union. No separation. Absolute Oneness. And that is the end of the soul’s journey across time and space.

During the 17 days – the process is:

1. Can the soul detach from the body within the first few days? Can it penetrate through the electro-magnetic field of the earth and begin to experience the blue ethers? The chanting we do and the chanting the soul does helps it through this initial process.

2. Does the soul have a guide to help on the journey through the blue ethers?

3. Are there lessons that the soul did not finish in life that it can finish during the 17 days under the guidance of its spiritual teacher in the blue ethers?

4. What blue ether does the soul eventually come to rest in? The first blue ether – they are already deciding their next incarnation based on their debts and the lessons they still have to learn.

5. The second blue ether – they are learning deep lessons, they are guiding others, and they will come back when the time is right.

6. The third blue ether – they are realized beings and simply there to support and guide others. They are deciding whether to come back to guide others in the form of a human, or go on to the fourth blue ether and just guide as Light, Love and Presence.

7. The fourth blue ether – they are sooooo realized they never have to take form again. Their Light is so huge – it will create guidance for souls across a vast range of time.

8. Merged.

This is my best understanding today of this process. Here are some quotes and notes I have in my files on death and the Blue Ethers from the Siri Singh Sahib.

If you want to energetically understand the blue ethers, you can specially meditate on the 34-37th Paurees of Japji Sahib, which are Guru Nanak’s descriptions of these realms.

Death and the Blue Ethers

From the teachings of the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan

“When your mind will be dead, it won’t think or imagine. The mind will go to the Universal Mind. The physical body – all the five tattvas –go to the five tattvas.

The auric body will go to the light. The pranic body will go to the prana. But the subtle body will carry the soul and shall process to the blue ethers. It is a conscious act.” April 2, 1981.

“It takes many thousands and hundreds of thousand of years, trillions of years, for this soul to come out of the third layer of the blue ether. It is not a small thing.

A spot of earth waits millions of years that one day, a man of God will put his foot on it. It takes thousands of years fora mountain to get the wind to work and create a little cave where a man of God will take shelter for a minute. It’s a whole planning.” – July 11, 1975.

“What kind of body a man shall have, what kind of destiny and fate shall challenge it – is all performed at the stage called the third blue ether.” July 9, 1990.

Some things about the blue ethers from the teachings of Yogi Bhajan:

1. The soul begins its journey from the third blue ether.

2. In meditation, we can journey to the third blue ether.

3. The first blue ether is to purify. “The receptivity of the cleansing of the soul to get ready to go back.” (3/22/82) “Where the soul goes for purification.” (7/9/90.)

4. The second blue ether is to get guidance or to guide. “The receptivity of the cleansing to be there and to supervise all other promising souls.” (3/22/83) “Rest and get ready and the account is settled.”(7/9/90)

5. The third blue ether is to become a realized being. “The light of the soul which has to vibrate to relate to all souls, future of that past and that of now, to be liberated.” (3/22/83) “Where transmission to project out or project in is decided.” (7/9/90)

6. The fourth blue ether is to become a super guide from the most Infinite, radiant aspect of consciousness – and it is not on the earth. “The lighted self.” (3/22/83). “It’s the fourth ether from where the soul never returns.” (7/9/90)

7. The fifth stage is Union. “God, Itself.”(3/22/83).

This is my best understanding of these teachings today. I hope this gives you some comfort. Sending you much Divine Love. Ek Ong Kaar Kaur

5 Phrases to Avoid to Live Your Best Life Now! (And the Mantras To Stop Your Thoughts in Their Tracks!)

jumpBy: Ramdesh Kaur  / Source: Spirit Voyage

Living your best life means you are happy, fulfilled, and open to infinite possibilities. When your mind gets stuck in a negative rut, you’re creating negative things over and over again.

Stop your mind in its tracks by eliminating these 5 phrases from your vocabulary. Using the corresponding Kundalini yoga mantra (either chanting them, or just listening to them), will help you change your patterns lickety-split!

1.) I can’t.

This phrase means you’ve given away your power. You CAN. You are the infinite creative potential of the Universe made manifest. (Seem a little high minded? It’s still true. And anything less is you settling.)

Stand in your own power with the mantra Ajai Alai (Click here to find out the full mantra. It’s a doozy, but you can do it! This is the toughest one, I promise…it’s downhill from here!)

2.) I hate you.

This means you’ve forgotten that there is no “other”. All is you. Everything and everyone who comes into your experience is a mirror for you of some aspect of yourself that you are healing.

Take advantage of this opportunity when someone bothers you…and heal that part of you that exists within them, as abhorrent as it may seem to you that this could be true.

Yogi Bhajan gave us two really important pieces of advice: “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.” and “Recognize that the other person is you.”

Love all of yourself, heal all of yourself with the mantra “Ong Sohung.” (I am Thou.) Unifying with All-That-Is creates a wonderful platform from which to live your best life.

3.) I’m not good enough.

Yes, you are. Anything less is a lie you are telling yourself. Snap out of it! You are a magnificent being of light.

Remind yourself with the mantra “Beautiful am I, Bountiful am I, Blissful am I”.

4.) That’s impossible.

Nothing is impossible. But it might be difficult. It will be easier if you remove some of the obstacles between you and your goals.

Try the mantra for removing obstacles in your path: “Aad Such Jugaad Such Hai Bhai Such Nanak Hosee Bhai Such.”

5.) It’s my family’s fault.

Harboring blame doesn’t help you live your best life. Whatever your family has done, and it might have been a biggie, you’re going to have to let it go, so you can fly.

Luckily, there’s a mantra for that. Ant Na Siftee is a powerful mantra to release family karma. It can remove patterns and family issues with the force of a thunderbolt.

So the next time your family is chucking turkeys at each other’s heads during Thanksgiving, try singing them this mantra.

Watch and see if it doesn’t stop everyone in their tracks, turkeys in hands, and mouths hanging open. Plus it will make you feel good, too.

3 Lies You Tell Yourself That Are Hijacking Your Success

ElevatorBy: Eric Taller, Creator of Thought Elevators

Sometimes the only things standing between you and success are a few lies.

In fact, it’s the lies we tell ourselves that most often keep us from our dreams. Maybe we’re afraid of success, maybe we don’t think we deserve it, or maybe we don’t think it’s possible. Whatever the reason, if you get rid of the lies, pretty soon you’ll watch your dreams turn into your reality.

Here are unquestionably the 3 worst lies you tell yourself that are hijacking your success:

1.“I don’t know where to start.”

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: nobody “knows” where to start. Steve Jobs didn’t have anybody telling him exactly which step to take first. Donald Trump didn’t drag his feet because he didn’t know which property to buy first.

Successful people stop telling themselves they don’t know where to start, and they make a decision.

Have you ever heard “perfect is the enemy of good?” This is exactly what that’s talking about. If you wait until you have the perfect plan, you’ll miss hundreds of good plans that could have got you what you wanted.

If you want to see your dreams made real, you’ve got to stop telling yourself you don’t know where to start.

2. “I don’t have any money.”

Listen up: you don’t need money to become a millionaire. You don’t even need to be brilliant. Look at Richard Branson. He started Virgin Records as teenager, when he was flat broke. He’s now worth $4.9 billion. And here’s the kicker: he has dyslexia.

If a dyslexic teenager with no money can become a billionaire, then you can stop telling yourself that being broke is an excuse.

And faster than you ever thought possible, you won’t have to think twice about your expenses – you’ll have enough money to live the high life.

3. “I can’t do this on my own.”

Sometimes you hear about great mentors who change people’s lives, and then you look around and wonder where your mentor is. The sad fact is, not everyone finds one. But here’s the good news: people reach their dreams without mentors every day. Think about it: Whatever your goal, the very first person to reach that goal didn’t have a mentor. So you know it’s possible.

Here’s how to do it on your own:

Make Steve Jobs your mentor. Make Richard Branson your mentor. Hell, make Albert Einstein your mentor.

If you can figure out what they did to be successful, you’ll see your deepest desires come true faster than you thought possible.

Elevator2Actually, success experts have recently uncovered some uncanny similarities in what makes people like Steve Jobs successful…

It turns out, most millionaires, successful artists, and people living their dreams have one thing in common…

…and it’s not “hard work.”

They share a little-known secret about the brain.

If you’re interested, check out this free presentation to see how you can use their secret to make your own dreams become reality.

>>>REVEALED: The Jaw-Dropping Secret Behind Millionaire Success