connecting through childhood memories

yesterday at the vancouver meditation meetup, our guest presenter, tsuneo yamazaki, led a visualization in which he had us imagine a happy childhood memory.

one person simply remembered her state of well being and contentment as a child. another person didn’t recall a specific event but reconstructed a memory that he was quite sure must have happened during one of his many happy summer vacations. my memory was of the many hikes i took with my grandfather, a minister and avid naturalist.

at the end, yama, as he is often affectionately called, suggested that this happy memory tells us something of our true nature.

what i found most interesting, however, were the observations that ensued. we talked a bit about the various memory processes we had experienced – and then about how connecting with pleasant childhood memories does not only bring back lost treasures of a personal nature but it also helps us connect with others.

“when there is a block in communication with someone,” yama suggested, “it always helps to go back to childhood experiences.” no matter how difficult we may perceive the other person to be – when we share experiences of being 5 years old or being in grade school, we’ll probably find some commonalities.

in 12-step programs there is a saying, “it is weakness that binds us together, not strength.”

perhaps some of it is at the essence of this, too. perhaps the sense of innocence and fragility that accompanies memories of being a small child can help build a bridge among people who would otherwise have a hard time communicating through strength and bravado.

(this post was part of the 10th carnival of meditation, yoga and spiritual growth)

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