Dear Still Water Friends,
This Thursday evening, after our meditation period, Still Water practitioner Carlos Munoz will lead us in a "healing the inner child" guided visualization and Dharma sharing. Carlos is an artist who was born in Colombia, grew up in Africa, and has lived in many countries. He says, "Where I am, I am home." Carlos writes:
Inside of each of us is a healthy inner child who relishes wonder, adventure, and play. Inside each of us, also, is a wounded inner child that often expresses itself through immature behavior, such as bullying, manipulating, fearing change, or feeling broken or worthless. From ancient myths to today’s modern psychology, human beings have looked for ways to heal their inner wounded child.
Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us to look inside ourselves, to embrace our wounded inner child with love, compassion, and patience. When we acknowledge our inner child, when we experience the world as he or she does (and are not overwhelmed), we begin to heal. We understand that our inner wounded child is a product of our parents’ wounded child and of generations before. If we don’t take care of our inner wounded child, we will pass this energy on to those around us and to our descendants.
You are invited to join us this Thursday evening. An excerpt on Healing the Wounded Child by Thich Nhat Hanh is below.
You (and your inner child) are also invited to join the Still Water community for a Mindfulness and Trauma Relief Workshop with Br. Michael Nguyen on December 5th and 6th at the Yoga Center of Columbia. Because space is very limited, you are encouraged to register soon.
Healing the Wounded Child Within
by Thich Nhat Hanh, from Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames
Many of us still have a wounded child alive within us. Our wounds may have been caused by our father or our mother. Our father may have been wounded when he was a child. Our mother may have been wounded as a little girl, too. Because they did not know how to heal the wounds from their childhood, they have transmitted their wounds to us. If we do not know how to transform and heal the wounds in ourselves, we are going to transmit them to our children and grandchildren. This is why we have to go back to the wounded child in us, to help him or her heal.
Sometimes the wounded child in us needs all of our attention. That little child might emerge from the depths of our consciousness, and ask for our attention. If you are mindful, you will hear his or her voice calling for help. At that moment, instead of contemplating the beautiful sunrise, you go back and tenderly embrace the wounded child within you. “Breathing in, I go back to my wounded child; breathing out, I will take good care of my wounded 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. You have to talk to him, talk to her. And you can write a letter to the little child in you, of two or three pages, to say that you recognize his or her presence and you will do everything you can to heal his or her wounds.
When we speak of listening with compassion, we usually think of listening to someone else. But we must also 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.” And 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. When you climb a beautiful mountain, invite your little 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 be healed. Mindfulness is the energy that can help us do this.