In every adult, there’s a child yearning to play. Don’t let age dampen your sense of wonder.
What Does It Mean to Be a Kid at Heart?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who founded The Art of Living, emphasizes the significance of maintaining a childlike heart in one's approach to life. According to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, having a childlike heart means retaining the qualities of innocence, wonder, and joy that children naturally possess.
The attributes of children are:
- Fearless: Children approach life with curiosity and excitement, unburdened by excessive fear.
- Egoless: They possess humility and openness, free from a strong sense of self-importance.
- Joyful: Children find happiness in simple experiences and the wonders of the world around them.
- Curious: They approach learning with a sense of wonder and exploration, asking endless questions.
- Playful: Play is their natural way of learning, expressing creativity, and engaging with their surroundings.
- Authentic: Children express themselves genuinely, sharing their emotions and thoughts openly.
- Loving: They exude love, compassion, and empathy, forming strong emotional connections.
- Trusting: Children believe in the inherent goodness of people, forming genuine relationships.
- Resilient: They bounce back from challenges with determination and grace.
- Present-Minded: Children fully engage in the present moment, savoring experiences.
- Imaginative: They possess vivid imaginations, seeing endless possibilities in life.
- Non-Judgmental: Children accept and embrace diversity in others, fostering inclusivity.
Exploring Vedanta, Equanimity, Pure Love, and Childlike Joy
This post is a daily prompt on WordPress and can dig into the profound notion of being a “kid at heart” via the glasses of Vedanta philosophy, serenity, the pure heart of love, and the infinite pleasure inherent in infancy. By examining the world through these lenses, we may unearth the ageless knowledge that tells us to act more like children if we want to experience lasting joy and spiritual growth.
Being a “kid at heart” isn’t age-specific; it’s an invitation to rediscover the childlike curiosity, enthusiasm, and openness to experience the world that we all had as children. Drawing inspiration from Vedanta and other spiritualistic viewpoints and an ancient philosophy, we go on a journey to examine the essence of being childish through the prisms of serenity, the pure heart of love, and the exquisite joy that defines infancy.
Both Eastern and Western philosophies emphasize the value of maintaining a childlike spirit that is brimming with wonder, curiosity, and awe toward the world. Being in this way helps us to become more fully immersed in life, to comprehend the secrets of the universe, and to rediscover our essential selves. These ideologies advise keeping our inner kid alive as we age so that we can take full advantage of everything that life has to offer.
Ananda, also known as bliss, is a central concept in Vedanta since it is seen to constitute the essence of who we are. It’s been suggested that reverting to a state of youthful wonder and simplicity is the key to experiencing this level of joy, which is independent of external circumstances. Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest teachers in Vedanta, said that keeping a childish heart was essential for fully appreciating life.
Wonder and inquiry, traits frequently associated with children’s curiosity, are also valued in Western philosophy, especially in the teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. “Wisdom begins in wonder,” as Socrates famously put it, suggests that the quest for knowledge and understanding begins with a childish inquisitiveness about the universe.
Plato, in his work “The Republic,” explores the metaphor of the cave, which inspires individuals to seek a greater truth beyond appearances. This thirst for knowledge might be understood as an expression of a natural curiosity about the world.
In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle emphasizes the value of developing character traits like awe, curiosity, and an eagerness to learn and grow. These are attributes that adults may learn from kids.
Rediscovering Childlike Essence: Insights from Vedanta, Equanimity, Pure Love, and Joy
Developing a Child’s Mind:
The pure, limitless potential that defines infancy may be accessed by remembering the unchangeable nature inside.
The Immortal Self in Vedanta:
Vedanta, a philosophical system founded in the ancient texts of India, maintains that the core of every being is an everlasting, unchanging Self (Atman) that is beyond the changes of time and circumstance. This underlying fact implies that our innate sense of wonder and curiosity, so characteristic of a child, is a timeless quality just waiting to be reawakened. Vedanta stresses the breakdown of the ego, enabling one to connect with their inner child, unburdened by social conditioning and limits.
Equanimity and the Childlike Heart:
Equanimity, a state of mental and emotional stability, aligns with the childlike heart by fostering a balanced and open-hearted approach to life’s experiences.
The Innocence of the Heart Despite Adversity:
Having equanimity is like having the curiosity, resilience, and sense of wonder of a kid when you confront adversity.
Disinterest in the Result:
The ability to completely immerse oneself in the here and now depends on one’s ability to let go of attachment to certain outcomes.
Pure Love as the Heart of a Child:
In Vedanta, the concept of “the pure heart of love” serves as a constant reminder that unconditional love is the very foundation of our being.
Embracing Love as It Is:
The heart of a child is one that is open and loving, without judgment or expectation, and this is what it means to cultivate a childish heart.
Building Caring and Empathetic Societies
We can nurture a more peaceful and linked world by tapping into the unconditional love we felt as children and extending it to all living things.
Joyful Living Inspired by Childhood:
The unfettered happiness that children exude is contagious and may provide adults with a wealth of motivation.
Adopting an Attitude of Wonder and Fun:
We may recapture the enjoyment of everyday activities and the wonder of discovery by injecting them with fun and curiosity.
Discovering Awe in Ordinary Things:
We may learn a lot about appreciating the remarkable in the everyday by adopting a childish outlook.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s teachings often incorporate practices such as meditation, yoga, and mindfulness to help individuals reconnect with their inner child and cultivate a sense of wonder and joy in their daily lives. This approach is seen as a pathway to inner peace, contentment, and a deeper connection with oneself and the world around us.
He often encourages people to let go of stress, worries, and the burdens of adulthood and instead embrace a more playful, open-hearted, and inquisitive attitude towards life. This perspective aligns with the belief that a childlike heart leads to a more fulfilling and balanced life.
Being a “kid at heart” surpasses ordinary nostalgia; it encompasses a spiritual path that corresponds with Vedanta philosophy, serenity, the pure heart of love, and the infinite pleasure that defines childhood. By accepting these principles, we go on a journey of self-discovery, revealing the timeless, youthful nature inside ourselves, and live a life filled with wonder, love, and boundless pleasure.