Saturday, October 2, 2010

Just Two Humans

I love this quote from Ajahn Amaro, from one of his recent interviews with Spirit Rock staff:
Children are not different species . . . the mind doesn't have an age . . . The mind of a two-year old is as real and as mature in its own way as the mind of an adult. Mature not in terms of familiarity with worldly conventions or language or abstract thinking, but mature in terms of being sensitive to the environment, responding to pleasure and pain, like and dislike - the mind is fully sensitive in that way. I think it's important to respect the full reality, the full humanness of children, to remember that they are not a different group. We were all there, at a certain point in our life. And relating as parents with children or as teachers with children, the more you can really embody the human to human communication, that we are just two humans here . . . sharing this time, that is a tremendously helpful thing for the children and for the parents, too.
Now substitute 'people with dementia' for 'children', and 'care partners' for 'parents' or 'teachers', and you have some great guidelines for how to engage in the Alzheimer's or dementia care relationship.


  1. Love that. I just spent the morning with a sweet 22-month-old and later off to my favorite 90-yr-old.

    Wanted to share this:
    I don't know how Zen that article is, but I liked the ending. Tango on.

  2. Thank you Jess! Although simplistic, the article is actually good because it drives one essential point in all its simplicity. So much unnecessary suffering would be avoided, if people learned to just go with the flow! People with Alzheimer's are just people. They want to be acknowledged and met in their reality!

    Tangoing on . . .

  3. Yes, acknowledged and met. I have been writing a lot about this, but I don't want to put it on my public blog that my family knows about. I may start a new one, we will see.

  4. I know what you mean. In this blog, I have been dancing along public/private line . . . For me, it is a practice in right speech. And when things risk getting too personal, there is always poetry to convey the depth of felt experience without compromising self or loved ones.