When children learn mindfulness in the school setting, one of the practices that they learn is something called “friendly wishes”. It is similar to a Buddhist Meta meditation – but for kids. It could go something like this: “I wish all my friends are happy. I wish my friends have a great day. I wish my friends have all their dreams come true!” Meditations like this are meant to help students learn compassion.
When we learn this as children, children grow up to be compassionate adults. Compassionate adults are more inclined towards the spirit of inclusion rather than exclusion.
Inclusion vs. exclusion. It's a big topic in the world. We have presidential candidates wanting to build walls. People wanting to keep other people out of bathrooms. And now, Britain voting to leave the EU...why? A few reasons but mostly because they wanted to control their borders and the flow of immigrants into the country.
You could look at all of this and be sad and scared for the world.
You could look at this and see the uncomfortable and rapidly changing consciousness of the planet.
Think about transformation. Personal transformation is messy. Fear is usually the dominant experience. Fear that we have done the wrong thing. Fear that we are heading in the wrong direction. Fear that we have missed some big opportunity. Fear that we aren't good enough. Fear has many faces.
One of it's faces is exclusion. And we are seeing now, on a global level, fear. Fear coming to the surface and showing it's ugly face of racism and bigotry and ignorance. Fear, maybe changing policy for a little while just to show, once and for all, that is not the road to peace and prosperity for all.
I believe that we are purging our world of fear. Whether this takes 20 years or 200 years, I have no idea. But its coming to the surface to experience and release as not useful.
When I teach yoga to Lily's class, a group of 20 5 year old's, I am reminded that children naturally gravitate towards inclusion. They LOVE friendly wishes. And the more we can cultivate this in our children now – the greater the probability of generation of adults who are grounded in compassion and love. Who don't see race or color or gender. Just humanity. Just love.
Then the magic unfolds. Then the experience of prosperity and equality and peace spreads through the world. It will happen. But we have to plant the seeds now. With our children.
Live in peace. Teach peace.
May all beings be happy. All beings. Whether big or small. Near or far. Seen or unseen. May all beings be happy. May all beings be well. May all beings be free.