It is twenty years since the renowned spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle published his book, ‘A New Earth’. Recently Oprah’s Super Soul podcast has Tolle and Oprah commentating on this book.
I have greatly enjoyed this and recommend it as a free download. In Chapter 4 of ‘A New Earth’ there is an excellent section entitled ‘Conscious Parenting’. Eckhart raises the question of how you bring Being into the life of a busy family. He says that the key is to give your child ‘attention’. He goes on to differentiate between two types of attention – form based attention and formless attention.
Form based attention is always connected in some way with doing or evaluating: ‘have you done your homework? Eat your dinner. Do this. Stop that’. I think this is familiar to all of us parents. What is the next thing to be done can characterise family life. Being, though, can be totally neglected by the ‘cares of the world.’
Eckhart Tolle says that formless attention is inseparable from the dimension of Being; he goes on to to describe how we can enter into this dimension.
As you look at, listen to, touch, or help your child with this or that, you are alert, still, completely present, not wanting anything other than that moment. In that moment, if you are present, you are not father or mother. You are the alertness, the stillness, the Presence that is listening, looking, touching, even speaking. You are the Being behind the doing.
Experience tells me that within this presencing there is a complete intelligence that completely serves the need of the child before you and subtly discloses the next step required in a unitary sense. The moment is enabled and both parent and child are unburdened and free. There is suddenly an expansion of being, a connection and greater energy. In this state there are no edges to our being and a connection with all that is.
This is very beautiful – why not give it a try?