Children learn how to make decisions and develop their own good judgement when you give them the freedom and independence to do so. Letting go of the reins to let them do this while keeping them in a safe environment is always a challenge for parents and grandparents.
We want them to learn about the world on their own and to handle awkward or challenging situations. We also want them to be safe and to feel protected. How do we balance these two needs?
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It was a brilliant sunny day. Perfect for skating at Jarry Park. I watched my son-in-law skate circles around my grand-daughter. Then we persuaded her to do figure eights around the two of us. The fact that they both could skate so well encouraged me to try harder. After an hour going round the lake, I was quite pleased with my progress. Perhaps a bit too self-confident.
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What is Zen? Is it a state of mind? Can we aspire to achieve it? Do we need a teacher?
In defining zen, I turned to my bookshelf for the answers and discovered a chapter in “Buddhism – The Religion of No-Religion” in which Alan Watts describes how difficult it is to define Zen, a form of Buddhism practiced in many parts of the world including Japan and China. He says that contemplation may be the closest English word to describing Zen but that word itself implies inactivity while Zen is highly active.
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