Education Issues

Discover Who We Are: We Aren’t Who We Think We Are

Ironically, one of the main things that keeps us from awakening to our true nature is knowledge. We think we know things, and knowing these things keeps us from being awake. Our belief that we have true knowledge keeps us caught up in our perceptions, labels, and opinions, making them appear as realities rather than the biased points of view they actually are. If truth is a matter of perspective, can we call it truth? If situations change depending on how we look at them and on who is doing the looking, can we really trust our judgments to be true knowledge?
Getting past the assumption that we have all the answers is the first step in moving toward a higher, more inclusive truth than the one we currently perceive. In the Far East, they call it neti neti. It means not this, not that. In Western cultures, we call it via negativa, which means a way of nothingness. It’s really about unlearning – letting go of all that we think we know and simply being – without bias or opinion.
People who succeed in releasing their assumptions see life as a passing of events and don’t get attached to anything. They witness events as they pass and don’t claim them, don’t identify with them. Try just observing events sometime, being part of them without becoming them. Experience them without saying, “This is mine,” or “This is who I am,” or “This is my event, this is affecting me.” Instead, attempt to just watch the events that occur. With that detached, witnessing perspective, you’ll find that life becomes much more quiet, much more peaceful, and much more enlightened.
In many ways, it’s like going to a movie. We watch the movie, we enjoy the movie, but we don’t become the movie. It doesn’t become our all-encompassing reality. We have fun observing the story, and yet we’re always aware of a larger truth outside the movie theater. What happens in the movie touches us, but the events don’t so overshadow our sense of who we are that we stand up shouting for joy when something good happens, or consider suicide when something bad happens. We know it’s just a story, just a film. We know that while we participate in it emotionally, on a deeper level we’re just a witness to the movie. It can’t reach into our core so deeply that we forget who we are and become the movie.
Try regarding the events that happen in your life the way you would look at a film. Rather than deeply identifying with everything that’s happening, simply witness the events. That doesn’t mean you don’t take action within your life, turning into an irresponsible or passive observer. It does mean, however, that part of you – the witnessing part, the I am awareness – wakes up and becomes conscious in you, right in the midst of your daily activities. When that happens, even your own actions and thoughts don’t absorb you completely – the greater part of you is always watching a story.
The value of this expanded life perspective is that life doesn’t hurt or overshadow us the way it used to do. Things can still sadden or bring us joy. On the other hand, nothing can shake the deep serenity that we have discovered within. It’s rather like wind, whipping up waves on a lake. Part of the lake – the surface part – is involved in all the drama and excitement of the storm, but the deepest part of the lake is forever unmoved. It remains still. Practice becoming conscious of the deepest part of your own nature, and you will find a stillness and peace that endures in the midst of all the turmoils of living.
Observe your thoughts when your mind chatter says things like “This is mine” or “I’m such-and-such.” Take your mind away from such thoughts to an awareness of your simple being. Witness the occurrences in your life, and experience them richly and fully without identifying with them, without becoming them.
Our minds so quickly want to identify with events: “Because I acted nicely toward that lady in the store, I must be a nice person.” Or “Because I was rude on the freeway when that man cut me off, I must be a rude person.” These are the illusions we’ve become trapped in. “I am” – the deepest part of us – is neither nice nor rude. It is beyond such polarities. It simply is – the consciousness at the root of all thoughts, actions, and experiences.
Let yourself just witness your behavior, both the positive and negative. Rather than identifying your actions as you, let them be. Allow yourself to experience life as a flow. Go with life, and release the labels. Instead of hanging onto the judgments, find your way to the bigness, to the is-ness. Do this by practicing neti neti, reminding yourself when you start to identify with something that is not your genuine identity: “I am not this, and I am not that. I just am.”
At your core, you are. You aren’t this and you aren’t that, because those things change. Anything that changes cannot be permanent. So identify with that which is permanent. And the only thing that is permanent is that which you are.
Identify with what you are. Identify with “beingness.” And you’ll find that all the labels – good and bad – fade away and fall off, so that you can experience the bliss of being in the here and now, all the time.
We can all get too attached to our opinions, our theories, and our interpretations of reality. What if you let them go and be like the sky? Opinions and thoughts are like clouds that come by, but the sky is beyond them. It is bigger than them. Instead, the sky is merely the backdrop upon which the action happens.
Think of yourself as the sky that is the backdrop to all the events of your life. But you are not those events. Step back from being the cloud and return to being the infinite sky, which you have always been and always will be, even though you’ve forgotten that. You’ve forgotten because you identify with all the different occurrences in your life. Let that go, and an expansive freedom will dawn, surprising you with joy.
We become attached to events, and that is why we suffer. When we lose the attachment, the suffering goes away, too. The mind constantly wants to dwell on events, things, people. Instead, just be with yourself; be the witness. Explore who you are, rather than constantly being distracted by everything else. Get back to the root of your own being. In that state of I am, all the false identification disappears. What you’ll be left with is the infinite reality of now.

Education Information

Character Education is Easier Than You Think

Character education is being executed in schools and other not for profit organizations across the US. Character education allows the individual student to achieve personal success and also develop into a strong person at the same time.
Developing character can begin with the help of a product or course that teaches the parent that is not familiar with character education. These products help aid the children gain several good traits instead of just one or two throughout life.
Mom and dad are very busy people. These programs help shortcut the time it takes to learn how to teach character education to their son or daughter.
A child really needs to learn character education hands on. In other words, it is not just taught directly but also indirectly with children being encouraged to think through situations and respond in an appropriate way.
Children can be taught to regulate their emotions and respond maturely to frustrating or stressful situations. They are also taught communication strategies that help them to become empowered and resilient individuals. Children must feel engaged if they are going to learn anything from any of the character education programs.
A child will learn more if they are taught in a positive approach. Look for a program that is simple in nature by itself without trying to make things more difficult than necessary.
A solid program helps build a child’s confidence by showing them how to set and reach certain goals. Many small wins are much more important to a kid than focusing on one big unseemingly impossible goal. A program needs to be kept simple and promote imagination and action for the child. As they achieve small successes, kids are more likely to believe they can achieve greater ones.
Their possibilities expand and they become more confident.
Praise is a powerful aspect of character education. When children are praised for their efforts and achievements, they are encouraged to continue making an effort. Praise for even small wins can spur a child on to persevere through difficult tasks and teach them that mastery is achieved slowly.
A lot of people focus on the social responsibility aspects of character education such as respect for others, civic responsibilities, and honesty but it really involves a lot more than that.
The strength of character children need to develop in order to live happy, fulfilled and successful adult lives is drawn from the experiences of their lives and how skilled they are at interpreting and responding to other people, situations and problems. These experiences are not just something kids have to respond to reactively, but can be created proactively through the decisions they make.
When children learn to imagine what they want to be, or do, or have and then set achievable goals, they learn to proactively create their experiences. Kids who have this ability tend to be more resilient, self-regulated and optimistic than those who don’t.
Character education programs in schools may or may not focus on these aspects of personal development, but parents should certainly look for programs that do so. The benefits to your children now and into the future are worth the investment.