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How do you teach a child to be spiritual with inner wisdom?

Posted Sept. 21, 2010 by duquem in Open

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commented on today
by RealityOverScience

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What are some ideas as to how teach a child starting at a very young age if you do not belong to an organized religion. Any suggestions?


  • 17 Comments  
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    RealityOverScience Jul 30, 2014

    Model *balance* with consistency. :)

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 30, 2014

    Some believe you can actually teach children.....

    "In Asch's experiments, students were told that they were participating in a 'vision test.' Unbeknownst to the subject, the other participants in the experiment were all confederates, or assistants of the experimenter. At first, the confederates answered the questions correctly, but eventually began providing incorrect answers.

    At the conclusion of the experiments, participants were asked why they had gone along with the rest of the group. In most cases, the students stated that while they knew the rest of the group was wrong, they did not want to risk facing ridicule. A few of the participants suggested that they actually believed the other members of the group were correct in their answers.

    These results suggest that conformity can be influenced both by a need to fit in and a belief that other people are smarter or better informed. Given the level of conformity seen in Asch's experiments, conformity can be even stronger in real-life situations where stimuli are more ambiguous or more difficult to judge."

  • Silverghost Jul 30, 2014

    I missed this one, philosophy, get them to think for themselves instead of others thinking for them. Philosophy as a whole does teach one to think for themselves however this will most likely get them into trouble with various people unless they practice in a spiritual practice to become less judgemental and egotistic. This of course depends on what kind of philosophy one gets into.

    List of philosophical concepts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_philosophical_concepts

    Glossary of philosophy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_philosophy

    Philosophy isn't the only answer of course but many ideological concepts use philosophical concepts within them including spirituality.

    Simple philosophy: http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/inspiration-motivation/philosophy-101-00000000018872/

    Extract: Everything on earth, whether an object (such as a car) or an idea (such as justice), is actually an imperfect copy of an ideal and permanent “form” that exists somewhere, beyond our universe. This is known as the Theory of Forms. The place where all these ideal forms exist is guided by a heavenly force that Plato believed should influence our behavior. (This notion shaped Christianity.) The ideal that was the most important to Plato was moral goodness, which he called “the good.” He believed that we should spend our lives trying to attain absolute goodness, even if we always fall short, because it is the path to happiness.
    Plato believed that the ideal version of love is a meeting of the minds and doesn’t entail a physical aspect―hence the term “platonic relationship.”

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    dustproduction Jul 29, 2014

    I am search back through all the discussions for a historical perceptive of this community.
    This discussion was one of the more interesting ones.
    I won't debate the issue of teaching vs learning beyod the point of saying that we have been teaching spiritualism to children for centuries.

    There are two ways a child learns directly and indirectly.
    I've read that a child's first sense of an other is a mother's unconscious voice and not her conscious voice.
    Can we infer that here that what we currently see in the world is what our children are learning from us and that this is a reflection of our true nature?

  • mysticmuse Jan 09, 2011

    They get it more from what we are than what we say. Maybe to be a supernaturally good person, and not try to hard at at teaching. Share in a spontaneous way without forcing anything. Learning is a joyful adventure. To be full of love and bright thoughts will make things go as well as might be.

    James

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    Giorgio Piacenza Cabrera Oct 13, 2010

    If you have genuine, practical and universal principles they have to believe you more than their peers. Sometimes. a combinaiton of clear structure, hierarchy and authority combined with care, love and playfulness, does the trick. If you walk your talk, this also helps.
    They may or may not have an inborn tendency towards spirituality but don't overwhelm them with expectations as they are going to detest them. Forget about the "indigo children" stuff.
    Working in shared interests and projects also helps children take your values more seriously.

  • frequencytuner Oct 08, 2010

    There are no right or wrong answers. Learn from each other. The unconditioned mind of a child has much to teach you, especially during that first 7 year 'sponge period' where they absorb everything and judge nothing. This is perhaps the greatest gift they can teach us. The key is to perpetuate it by mirroring it back and forth to each other as you both learn and grow together. The 'master teacher' is born within this dynamic balance.

  • Tess89 Oct 07, 2010

    Until the age of seven they are more open/spiritual than we are. So then I would think that you don't need to teach them anything about being spiritual but that they could teach you something about being spiritual.

    After the age of 7, I agree with frequencytuner that if you want your child to use his inner wisdom that you should use it too and that you sjould be spiritual as well.

  • MysticalSadhu Sep 29, 2010

    The mundane world may necessitate boundaries, though the mind, in psycho-spiritual pursuit, must not have boundaries, for it is only this realm where unfettered infinity exists, the solely spiritual realm having a steady constancy we simply must discover, allow, acknowledge in the most subtle realm of our being. The material and sensual worlds are temporal, not lasting, and the mundane intellect comes up with ideas, though they invariably reach their obsolescence and have debilitating influences upon the material world when not modified for time, place and person. In the psycho-spiritual realms these can be treated and operated more ethically as we polish our psycho-spiritual realm. As children we know such already, indoctrinations lead us astray, demonstrating the point being made.

  • Fallensoul Sep 29, 2010

    It depends on what exactly you expect to learn. Spirituality and inner wisdom are quite open topics (as we can see by the comments from everyone), so you'll have to refine your question based on what you are actually serious about learning. For example, do you want to understand and love God and all beings, do you want some mystical experience or to be less materialistic and loving in your life without anything divine etc. These all fit in spirituality. What are you searching for? What is it that you expect to give to your child? Then a teacher can be found the same way you would go about finding a violin teacher.

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    ommadevaki Sep 28, 2010

    I've had the pleasure of raising seven sons. Each arrived with his own distinctive wisdom. When Jason was two years old he said to me, "Who are you?" I said, "I"m your mother." He said, "No really, who are you?" That was a clue that Jason was already in tune with a dimension that I had never known, or perhaps forgotten about. I've come to believe that each human arrives with a goal that will further the growth of his/her soul, and the best way to facilitate spiritual growth is pay attention to the child's gifts and help him to refine those gifts. Jason went to Stanford...he also played for the NFL for twelve years using a zen approach. My child who has Down's Syndrome has a different type of gift, he understands heart. One time when I was reprimanding his brother, he came into the room and said, "What are you two doing? I thought we all loved each other in this house." My advice? Give yourself permission to learn from your children. Empower them to follow their own inner light.

    Before I visited Ananda Mayee Ma in her ashram in Haridwar, India, I thought to be spiritual meant to sit in silence. When I stepped into her ashram I was greetied by a wonderful cacophony of sound: Drums, chanting, people talking above the din....While I gain a great deal from sitting in silence, I have learned that that isn't necessarily more spiritual than clearing my mind and listening...to my child, my husband, my students.

    Peace at the core,,,,

  • Anonymous Icon

    duquem Sep 28, 2010

    All wonderful suggestions.

    Fallensoul, you have a very good point. How does one go about finding a teacher?

  • Fallensoul Sep 28, 2010

    Well, how do you teach a child violin? Get a violin teacher who knows. You cant teach your child something you dont understand yourself or is vague to you. Find a guru who knows very clearly what spirituality and inner wisdom is, without the vagueness - it should be clear and make concrete sense to you and you should have strong faith in the teacher as an authority on the subject, just as you would choose a good violin teacher. For example, the ancient Vedic scriptures of India defines spirituality as a clear understanding of who we are, who God is and what our relationship between God and ourselves are. Good luck!

  • Xiakathy Sep 25, 2010

    Children need boundaries, and to be taught that screaming in supermarkets is not on. That making decisions about whether to buy cake or biscuits is not a tangible learning curve for a xis year old. That having treats in life is a privilege, not a right. And that love is preferable to fear, that's really important and can only be taught by example. Polarities and paradoxes are real things - maybe write little bedtime stories for those. "Once there was a caterpillar living in a tree, and the tree never moved, so the caterpillar didn't ever think the tree was alive...." :) While meditation might be a bit advanced for most modern parents (hopefully it won't always be, but it certainly was for me!) general measures of respect for life and experience (and their unfathomable enormity...!) need to find a place again, or society cannot evolve.... there's that word again......! wonder why E is so important...?

  • Anonymous Icon

    niceast Sep 22, 2010

    NAMASTE
    Children learn by observation and mimicry. If a child sees his parents or peers meditating with satisfaction, he or she will want to attain the same level of satisfaction. Treating children with proper respect for their abilities and needs encourages them to try new (to them) activities to which they are exposed. We have the ability to facilitate our children and grandchildren in their spiritual quests and should encourage them to experiment in meditating. I have given others opportunities to learn the kind of meditation I do and many have taught themselves how to listen to the wisdom within. Learning to quiet your mind first id usually the big problem for youngsters, but when they become quiet, they can hear their Souls speak. Then they will begin to remember what their Souls already know.

  • frequencytuner Sep 22, 2010

    Be that spiritual wisdom yourself. If the child looks to you for guidance your example will be enough.

  • MysticalSadhu Sep 21, 2010

    Acknowledge that it already has such wisdom and lovingly preen them to use it with confidence.

    There are many things we tell our children, both consciously and subconsciously, directly and implicitly. As we move through time to concise moments when we give children a piece of wisdom [we think] appropriate for a given moment, some of the difficulty in conveying such at such moments will have been asuaged if we had done this years earlier. Walking down the street with babe in arms? Speak to it of how to negotiate traffic, show respect for others, and say so very softly, lovingly.

    When the moments, years later, bring the opportunity to teach such more overtly, there will be more profound resonance and far less resistance. The same goes for morsels of wisdom. For many of us Westerners, particularly Americans, we have an aversive balkanization between adulthood and childhood that debilitates our wisdom or even rapport for and with children and childhood as adults. That should surely be resolved, in ourselves and prevented of our children to suffer as well.

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