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Healing the Inner Child by Thich Nhat Hanh

Healing the Inner Child by Thich Nhat Hanh

healing

the

inner

child

as

child

ren we were very vulnerable we got hurt very easily a stern look from our father could make us unhappy a strong word from our mother could cause a wound in our heart as a young child we have a lot of feelings but it's difficult to express ourself we try and try sometimes even if we can find the words the adults around us can't hear us don't listen or won't allow us to talk we can go home to ourselves and talk to our little child listen to our child and respond directly to him i myself have done this even though i received love and care from my parents this practice has helped me tremendously the child is still there and may be deeply wounded we have neglected the child in us for a long time we have to come back and comfort love and care for the child within us meditation on the five-year-old child this meditation can be done while either sitting or walking it's important to find a quiet place a place where you can be comfortable and relaxed and uninterrupted for at least five minutes as you breathe in and out you can say these words to yourself breathing in i see myself as a five-year-old child breathing out i smile with compassion to the five-year-old child in me at first you may want to say the whole sentence then you may just want to use the keywords myself five years old smiling with compassion the five-year-old child within needs a lot of compassion and attention it would be nice if every day we would find a few minutes to sit down and practice this meditation it would be very

healing

and very comforting because the five-year-old child in us is still alive and needs to be taken care of with acknowledgement and communication we can see that child responding to us and she or he begins feeling better if she feels better we feel better also we start to feel great freedom that child within us is not just us our parents also suffered as children even as adults they often didn't know how to handle their suffering so they make their children suffer they were a victim of their own suffering and then their children became victims of that suffering too if we're not able to transform the suffering in us we'll pass it on to our children every parent has been a five-year-old child fragile and vulnerable my father and i aren't really two separate entities i'm his continuation so he is inside me helping the five-year-old boy that is my father in me heals both of us at the same time helping the five-year-old girl who was my mother and who is still in me i help her to transform and be free i'm a continuation of my mother that little girl who was wounded and suffered so much is alive in me if i can transform and heal my mother or father inside of me i will be able to help them outside of me also this meditation will generate compassion and understanding directed to ourselves and also to our parents as five-year-old children we talk a lot about understanding but is there any understanding higher than this when we can smile we know we're smiling for our mother and father and liberating our mother and father if we practice in this way then all the questions which make people suffer who am i did my mother really want me did my father really want me what meaning does my life have become meaningless we don't need to go back to our native land to ireland to china to find our roots we just need to be in touch with every cell in our body our father mother and all of our ancestors are present in a very real way in each cell of our body even in the bacteria awakened understanding has been transmitted to us from all generations all the sentient beings and also the so-called non-sentient beings we are both father and child sometimes we manifest as father or mother and sometimes we manifest as child as soon as the guava fruit is born it has guava seeds in it so it is already a mother or a father we can practice like this breathing in i see my father is a five-year-old child breathing out i smile to my father as a five-year-old child father five years old smiling with compassion your father was a five-year-old child before he became a father as a five-year-old boy he was quite vulnerable he could get hurt very easily by your grandpa your grandma and by other people so if sometimes he was rough or difficult perhaps it was because of how the five-year-old boy in him was treated perhaps he was wounded as a young child if you understand that perhaps you won't get angry at him anymore you may have compassion for him if you have a picture of your five-year-old father you can look at this during the meditation look at him when he was five years old and breathe in and out and you will see the five-year-old child who is still alive in him and in you also when your mother was five years old she was also vulnerable and fragile she may have gotten wounded very easily and she may not have had a teacher or friend who helped her to heal so the wound and the pain continue in her that's why sometimes she may have behaved unkindly to you if you can see your mother as a fragile five-year-old girl then you can forgive her very easily with compassion the five-year-old girl who is your mother is always alive in her and in you breathing in i see my mother as a five-year-old girl breathing out i smile to that wounded five-year-old girl who was my mother mother five years old smiling with compassion if you're a young person it's important to practice to heal the five-year-old child in you otherwise if you have children you'll transmit your wounded child to your children if you've already transmitted your wounded child to your son or daughter it's not too late you have to practice now to heal the little child in you and to help your son or daughter to heal the wounded child that you have transmitted to him or to her all of us as parents and children can practice together and heal the wounded child in us and in our children this is an urgent practice if we can succeed in doing this communication between us and our family will be restored mutual understanding will be possible we are in our children we have transmitted ourselves entirely to them our sons our daughters are our continuation our son our daughter is us and they will carry us far into the future if we have the time to love our children with compassion and understanding they will profit from that and make the future better for themselves their children and future generations listening to your

inner

child to take good care of ourselves we must go back and take care of the wounded child inside of us you have to practice going back to your wounded child every day you have to embrace him or her tenderly like a big brother or a big sister we must listen to the wounded child inside of us the wounded child in us is here in the present moment and we can heal him or her right now my dear little wounded child i'm here for you ready to listen to you please tell me all your suffering all your pain i am here really listening we have to embrace that child and if necessary we have to cry together with that child perhaps while we are doing sitting meditation we can go into the forest and do that if you know how to go back to her to him and listen like that every day for five or ten minutes healing will take place among us there are people who have practiced this and after a period of practice there has been a diminution of their suffering and a transformation after practicing like that we see the relationship between ourselves and others has become much better much easier we see more peace more love in us talking to your inner child your inner child and you aren't exactly two but you aren't exactly one either you influence each other as adults we can practice mindfulness and invite the inner child to join us in the practice the inner child is as real as the grown-up adult it's like the seed of corn is still real in the plant of a corn it's there it's not only a matter of the past so if the plant of corn knows that she is one with the grain of corn conversation is possible if we have the tendency to go back to the past and live the painful memories of the past we have to be aware that we and our inner child are going back to the past to live that experience again that fear and that desire it has become a habit and we don't want to do that it doesn't help instead we talk to the inner child we invite her to come up to come out and to make acquaintance with life in the present moment to stay in the present moment is a practice it's a training as long as we're established in the present moment we don't suffer the trauma of the past in the present moment we can realize that there are so many wonders so many positive conditions so taking the hand of the inner child and playing getting more deeply in touch with these wonders of life is truly the practice sometimes we need support someone we trust to help us do that easily because there's a natural tendency to slide back to the past all kinds of desires are the continuation of our original desire to be safe the little child in us continues to worry and be fearful in the present moment there's no problem no threat if we don't have a problem in the present moment it means we don't have a problem why continue to worry and be fearful we have to transmit that wisdom to the inner child we need to let the child within us know that he or she no longer has to be afraid we can go to the hill to be alone walk among the plum trees or the grape vines and talk to the child inside we can say my dear young brother my dear young sister i know you suffer you are my inner child i am you we have grown up so don't be afraid anymore we are safe we have the means to protect ourselves come with me and be in the present moment don't let the past imprison us take my hand let's walk together let's enjoy every step we should really talk to the child inside aloud not just thinking it but doing it you might like to talk to your inner child every day healing will take place and your child will join you in your life we can talk to the child take her hand and bring her into the present to enjoy life in the here and the now if we have 15 minutes to talk in this way to the vulnerable child inside us we can expose that old fear think of boiling a pot of water with the lid on the steam will push up against the lid if we remove the lid so that the steam can come out of the pot there's no more problem the steam isn't creating a lot of pressure anymore it has been released similarly if we can talk to our inner child this way and expose the original fear from childhood to the light of awareness we can begin to heal we have to reassure the child that although that fear is real it no longer has any basis we have become an adult we can protect and defend ourselves a conversation with your inner child we have to talk to the child and just as important we have to let the child speak let the child express himself if we didn't get a chance to speak up as a child here is that young child's chance try putting two cushions facing each other sit on one cushion and look at the other visualize yourself sitting there as a five-year-old or four-year-old or three-year-old and talk to her my dear inner child i know you are there you are wounded i know you've gone through a lot of suffering i know it's true because i was you but now i'm talking to you as your adult self and i want to tell you that life is wonderful with so many refreshing and healing elements let us not be drawn into the past to live and experience again and again the suffering of the past if you have something to tell me please just tell me then you sit on the other cushion you sit or if you're like you can lie down as a three-year-old boy or girl and talk with the language of a child you can complain you complain that you're fragile and vulnerable helpless you can't do anything you're afraid you want so much the presence of a grown-up person you try to express that and you play the role of the inner child if some emotion some fear comes up that's good you feel real fear you feel the real desire to have someone close to you protecting you and so on then you switch back on to the other cushion and say well i have listened to you my inner child and i understand completely the suffering but you know we have grown up and become an adult we're now capable of defending ourselves we can even call the police we can prevent the other person from doing the things that we don't want and we can do everything by ourselves we don't need an adult we don't need anyone we can be complete within ourselves we don't really need another person in order for us to be ourselves the tendency is to believe that there should be another person to play the role of mommy or daddy but that's only a feeling that's not based on reality i have experienced that we can be sufficient in ourselves we can get fulfillment ourselves we don't need another person to be there in order for us to relax and be at ease if you prefer you don't need to switch cushions or even speak aloud if you talk and listen like that with your inner child every day for five or ten minutes healing will take place writing a letter to your inner child you can also write a letter of one two or three pages to the little child in you to say that you recognize his or her presence and you will do everything you can to heal his wounds after writing a few letters to your inner child then you can notice if the inner child has something to write back sharing delights with your inner child another way we can make sure that the little child within us feels safe is to invite the child within to come out with us and to play on the ground of the present moment when you climb a beautiful mountain invite your child within to climb with you when you contemplate the beautiful sunset invite him or her to enjoy it with you if you do that for a few weeks or a few months the wounded child in you will experience healing sitting with sangha friends when we have been deeply wounded as children it is hard for us to trust and love and hard for us to allow love to penetrate us but in this practice we are advised to go home and take care of our wounded child even though this is difficult we need instructions on how to do this so that we are not overwhelmed by the pain inside we practice cultivating the energy of mindfulness to become strong enough also our friends energy of mindfulness can help us maybe the first time we go home we need one or two friends especially those who have been successful in the practice sitting next to us to lend us their support mindfulness and energy when a friend sits close to us and holds our hand we combine his or her energy with our own and go home to embrace our wounded child within if you have a loving sangha then your practice will be easier to practice alone without the support of brothers and sisters would be too difficult especially for someone who's just beginning taking refuge in the sangha and having brothers and sisters to assist you give advice and support you in difficult moments is very important
healing the inner child by thich nhat hanh

Source : AudioBuddha