After cooking in my kitchen for about an hour, I decided to visit my son and lie down on my yoga mat which had become a lego construction site.
He was busily creating robots and buildings. I started to make some encouraging comments and ask some questions about his creations. I saw a tower that he’d built. I said “that tower is really good.” He said, “no it’s bad”.
I immediately became a little tense and questioned him about why he was being so negative. I went into my own age-appropriate sermon on ‘the power of positive thinking.’
Then I finally paused to breath and he said, “No Dad. The tower is bad because it’s for prisoners.”
Hmmm? I apologized and we laughed at my hasty remarks.
There must be a buddhist lesson built into this. It wasn’t obvious until the next day. Discussing this funny story with a good dharma buddy, he reminded me that I had attached an entire history to that little incident. I projected fears and tried to correct my sons behavior as soon as it occurred. But I wasn’t seeing. I wasn’t being patient. I wasn’t present. My robotic habit of acting on old experiences and projecting them into the situation had arisen.