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Parental Positive Instructions

Sharanya Dinesh

Approved ProvenTherapist

Sharanya Dinesh - ProvenTherapist Every Wednesday we have our group meditation. I have been in this practice (called Sahaj Marg) for the last four years and I am still trying to meditate in the real sense of the term. I go early, prepare myself to stay calm and try and treat thoughts like unwelcome guests; this is the instruction we are given. At times I pretend to be a spectator watching a wedding procession from my doorway. I keep telling my mind,”No, don’t gallop! No, don’t wander! No! No! No!” By the time I actually am able to calm myself the one hour meditation is over and I hear the hustle bustle of the others with me! 
An hour flew by with me saying, NO! NO! NO! To my cantering mind! The reins were never in my control and the mind kept saying, ”Neigh! Neigh! Neigh” In reply. It is absolutely disheartening, believe me. I am facing this situation everyday or at least 3-4 times a week definitely where all I do is tell my racing mind not behave as if Michael Schumacher is racing for his last trophy!This Wednesday also I was gallantly bracing myself when out of the blue a sense of calm prevailed over me. I was happy that the horses had decided to take rest and I would be peacefully at peace for the first time in four years. A sudden racket in the passageway jarred me out of my reverie! A mother shrieking, “No!, No!, Abhishek! You should not hit your elder sister!It is not correct! No! No!” I could hear the child guffawing, his shoes making the thumping sound and the didi (elder sister) crying out equally loud, “Ma, Ma See!, NO!!”

It was an eye opener for me! Every word I heard was underlined with no, no and no. The key instruction as to what the child should do was missing. It was a sequence of don’t do this; don’t do that and that and that too! The child did hit the sister and the mother shouted at her best pitch and volume, very callously oblivious to the vicinity, “Did I not say don’t do it! You should not hit your elder sister! How many times do I have to tell you? Why did you hit her? Tell me? Right now!”

I thought, “Hullo!, then tell the child what to do! If hitting is wrong why say it at all! Say what he/she is supposed to do, is it not simpler? Give the next instruction please, and do it soon, before I am forced to come out and speak my mind! ” It is like psyching the child, who is about to appear for an exam with, “Don’t you dare fail dear! Don’t you dare fail?” We are already pushing the child towards doomsday! Where is the need to introduce that word? It is better said, ‘Do well baby. All the best’ and the child is more confident. We send them to the battle field with a sense of failure and they come back with exactly that. Then we pile on to the child with,” failing was not an option! Did I not warn you beforehand itself! You never listen to me, you never sit and study and an endless stream of epithets ensue.” A string of ‘NO’ again! A mother warns her daughter who is about to go for her first party, “Don’t return after 9!” In case the poor girl is delayed, then? Should she run away? Never return home because the mother said so?

In a nut nutshell all I wish to say is, please give positive instruction or nothing at all. We simply confuse the child, the way I confuse my mind’s horses, asking them not to run. All I need to is, ‘Mind, stay, rest, sleep. I need to meditate and I wish to meditate, so please rest.’ And you parents tell your children what they should do! Instead of repeating what they should not do! Good luck to all of us.