Breaking Children or Letting them Run Wild – 14 Jan 11

I get a lot of different reactions on my diary entries. That is obvious, as every person is different and thus will have another opinion. Many people appreciated also yesterday’s diary and what I was writing about. They said it was even an understatement to say it is not easy to deal with teenagers, on the contrary it can be really difficult. Another person however said he or she thinks you should not break a child but you cannot let them do whatever they want without any discipline.

I really agree on both of these points, even if the author might be surprised about this. You should never break a young spirit. In older times and in many countries in this world, including India, parents still beat their children and this of course serves one purpose: breaking their will! Domestic violence is unfortunately still very frequent in India.

The opposite effect can be seen in many countries, also like Germany, where I have seen children without any respect, discipline, manners or however you would like to call it. They smoke, drink and take drugs although their parents tell them not to. Sometimes even in front of their noses, just where their parents can clearly see them. They talk to their parents in a language that you cannot imagine, full of insults. This, too, is not the right way.

What we want are strong children with a strong will but with knowledge of what is right or wrong. I have written several times about problems with alcohol, cigarettes and even drugs. I always encourage parents to see why their child is doing this. A 12-year-old boy who smokes feels adult because he has the cigarette in his hand. A 14-year-old girl who gets drunk on a party and wildly kisses several of the boys around, does that because she feels adult through this. Think of your own youth. You may have done something similar, maybe in another way because it was another time, but something to show your parents that you are adult.

You should not let your child run wild without any rules or discipline. No, you need to set rules and teach discipline, already a few years before. But when you are at such a point, you need to look out if, in some way, you can reach the core of this young boy’s or girl’s heart. If he or she can feel comfortable to talk with you and tell you what is going on within them, you have a possibility to reach and softly prevent them to get seriously harmed. To lock them in their room on the weekends so that they cannot go to any party is not the right way. And they would not care too much, they would simply have their own party any day of the week after school. You cannot stop them from getting older and making their own experiences. All you can do is to help them and that is what is your role, once your little child becomes a teenager or young adult.

Importance of Silence without Sign Language – 4 Nov 09

Yesterday I was writing about the importance of silence in my life. Silence is really like a treasure for me and I always like to be in silence, no matter where I am, abroad or in the Ashram. The meaning of silence is for me not anymore that hard and strict discipline of silence which I have done before, in which you strictly don’t talk at all.

When I was doing that, I never liked the use of sign language very much. Many people use sign language during their silent time which actually costs more energy than talking. Then the silence doesn’t give you anything back. The purpose is to save energy but only in trying to make somebody understand, you will spend four times more time than saying a simple sentence. So you actually spend even more energy than while talking. I preferred to be fully in silence.

Now I overall don’t make this kind of hard rule but generally like to talk less. I really love and prefer if I can say what I want to say in a minimum of words. In this way I can be in silence in a normal, natural way. 

Lose Weight and Breast Size without avoiding Sweets – 5 Jan 09

A woman came for a healing session who was of a very jolly nature and making jokes. She wanted to have my help for losing weight but actually she was not worrying about the weight of her body. She said that when she gained weight, her breasts got very big and now she has pain in the shoulders and in the back from the weight of her breasts. But I liked her happiness and how she takes things.

She started making jokes and said to me: “Swami Ji see, it is very difficult for me to find a bra of my size. One of my friends told me a joke: A bra company made an advertisement for five different bra sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Wow and Oh My God!” After this joke were laughing a long time. It was great fun. But I also gave her some advice.

Always when someone comes to me and wants help in losing weight I tell them that I can help to strengthen the willpower but the decision is not mine to make. Everyone has to take this decision and then have discipline to watch the own eating habits and to move the body. Nobody else can do this for you but if you have a strong will and the firm decision, you can make it!

She understood what I meant and asked me if it would help to reduce the size of her breasts, too. I assured her that if it increased when she gained weight, it will also reduce when she loses weight.

Smilingly she asked me if she was allowed to eat sweets. She was surprised when I told her that she could absolutely eat sweets. There is nothing wrong in that, you just need to stick to one rule: only eat sweets right after a proper meal. In India we have a saying and the translation would be: End with sweets. So you finish your food and in the end have sweets. Just not in between and during the whole day. I think she liked sweets very much. She smiled and was happy that she can eat sweets at least with food.

Teachers, follow your own Lessons! – 14 Dec 08

Yesterday I talked about discipline and I would like to say again that I find discipline important, especially for people who are in the profession of teaching, be it yoga or in a school. You should be an ideal. If you as a yoga teacher are drinking, smoking, eating meat and are just nor in discipline yourself, then what will you teach others?

Maybe this is not very important for those who see yoga only as a physical exercise. But those who really see the essence of yoga and what it is about should accept yoga in a complete way and give a shape to their life and personality with yogic discipline. I strongly believe that when you teach something, you yourself should also follow that. Your teaching will not have power if you do not live it with your honesty. It would be funny if a smoker gave a lecture about the harm of smoking.

Once Ramona told me that in their school the teachers previously had a room for smoking. But teacher means ideal. How can you expect from your students to live in another way than you are showing them? I wrote about children who grow up in this society and then face problems when they are in their teenage time. But you need to see what influence they are getting from the outside, in their home, in school and in the society. They are not able to understand how deeply things can harm them. For them a cigarette can be momentary fun, just enjoyment and being adult for a few minutes.

We cannot blame the children for this, we all have to take responsibility for them. The older generation should give an example with their lifestyle. What you see in your children is a reflection of the society. They want to go the same way and even do one step more. If you want to make a change in society, take your responsibility and live an example for the younger generation.

Benefits of Discipline and when to break Rules – 13 Dec 08

Yesterday I talked about rules and I said that I do not like rules. I said many times that we are always living in rules but we should make it a rule to break one rule daily. But that should be your decision and not controlled by anyone else. I don’t like rules but I like discipline. For what is discipline good? It makes your will power strong. It makes you strong.

Actually the Yoga lifestyle is about discipline. I do not like rules but it is nice to create discipline within you. You could define it in this way: rules are coming from the outside, discipline is what you decide for yourself. You decide: I will do this and I will do this each day, each week and each month!

Having discipline makes your mind and yourself strong. And then, when you are in discipline you can decide yourself what is good for you and what is not. You can see which rule you want to break and control it yourself. Don’t do what you don’t feel good with, like the woman whom I told you about. If you don’t want to drink and you have created a strong will through discipline, you make your decision not to drink. And that is your own rule. That you will achieve with the discipline for which you worked. That is real freedom, when you are not controlled by any rule.