Enlightenment and Spending Time with Family

For everyone spending time with the Fokkers this year. This is a re-post and reminder just in time for Christmas and New Years.


meet the parents

“If you think you are truly enlightened, go and spend a week with your parents.”

~ Ram Dass

I laughed out loud when I read this today! Visiting back home definitely brings me back down to earth. I then googled to see what others said about this and found this wisdom from Eckhart Tolle.

“It is a good test for your degree of Presence. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.

… You will gain the most from this experience if you don’t take it too seriously, if you don’t create impossible standards for your conduct of behavior, if you try so hard to be Present and Still that you behave like a robot, if you withdraw into a cocoon of self-protection, or if you blame your family members for every little imperfect act from the past that harmed you in some way.

Instead, and above all, choose to relax, reduce your expectations for what may or may not happen, expect little skirmishes, disagreements, moments of humility or failure, and the distance you may feel with your family as a whole, knowing that you are trying to move beyond the ego patterns that have been impediments to your soul and that they care less about ego and Presence and even Truth.

Love and accept them where they’re at. Have compassion for their pain. Be observant while being engaged as guilelessly as possible. Watch yourself and your reactions, out of curiosity, not judgment or blame, but for the benefit of learning how and where you’re really at in your spiritual evolution.”

So … Don’t take it too seriously. Relax. Expect to re-live some moments rooted in the past. Love and accept them for who they are, rather than wishing them to be different. And above all, don’t just bring a present Be Present.



63 thoughts on “Enlightenment and Spending Time with Family

  1. interesting and realistic post… speakin’ of “be present”: 🙂
    “True love always brings joy, to ourselves and to our loved one. If our love brings no joy on both sides, this is not genuine love. How can we experience joy for the others if we are unable to love ourselves? With no comprehension, love does not exist. You must look deep to get to see and to figure out the needs, aspirations and pain of those you love. To be loved, you have to be able to love, hence to understand, and to be actually present.”(Thich Nhat Hanh)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My rules for family: Be present, no expectations, just accept….we’re all on a journey, just different paths to the same destination. I admit, sometimes I must remind myself. Other times, all flows…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. At a summer event this past year with family I had one of those crystal clear moments, watching myself in my family dynamics where I thought, “Oh yeah, I forgot how crazy I can be….” At that moment I doubled up on my meditation time. I realized vacation had many meanings, some of which meant vacating the person who is quiet and serene, mindlessly, as I entered into the chaos of my family story. Vacation meant more intention rather than less. Great piece.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Val, I feel like a freak!
    The relationship I had with my parents was great, easy and open. We grew together. I guess I was very, very lucky compared to lots of people and family gatherings are still brill and in the preent. I think our parents sense of fun was a huge influence on us all.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Val I am blessed with a large bunch of siblings and we are lucky we all seem to have similar personalities and so we mostly enjoy our family gatherings. My Mum is an optimistic being and has given this gift to us too. My Father was a man who knew how to make us laugh. I feel for those families that hate family gatherings. My problem is getting us altogether at the same time.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is such good advice, Val. I have seen the Ram Dass quote but not the Tolle offering. Both are brilliant in their own way. I wish I knew then what I know now and could put my knowledge to the test, but my parents are gone and my provocative brother is gone. My sisters are relatively easy to accept, even though we are vastly different.

    I hope you enjoy your holiday, and thanks for all your wonderful shares in this year. Peace, dear one. Aloha. 🌹🌺🥰

    Liked by 2 people

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