Empty mind: From a kid!

Yesterday Zane and I were on our way back up the driveway from dropping off the trash and recycling. Normally I pull him in the all-purpose, four-wheeled cart we have (for yardwork, for trash and recycling hauling). We live in the semi-country now and it’s a long driveway!

This time he was pulling me. He was doing OK until we got to the little hill near the house — I lifted up and started to push with one leg out to help, he was straining so.

“Daddy! Get back in there!” Zane’s stern voice rang out. He was determined to pull me up but wasn’t going anywhere.

What happened next is what this post is about. He closed his eyes, his previously straining face relaxed, and inch by inch he backed up the incline, pulling me.

“Zane, what are you doing?”

He kept his eyes closed and muscled to the top.

“Zane, what were you doing there with your eyes closed?!”

“Empty mind,” he sang. 

That was my eight-year-old son saying this. I hadn’t taught him this term.

He has seen me meditate many a time, yet I’ve explained little of the various meditation practices because I’m not seeking to indoctrinate him. I answer his rare questions, and when he occasionally wants to try it I’ll give simple suggestions . . . but no theory, no doctrine, and certainly no phrases pertaining to a meditation practice.

I was simultaneously jazzed and incredulous.

He explained that when he couldn’t get me up the incline he had to go to Empty Mind to be able to do it.

You know where he learned this? Not in school as I thought. Not from other, better parents.

Scooby Doo!

Yes! The cartoon. In a Scooby Doo film where the gang goes to Japan and tackles a feral Samurai, Scooby and Shaggy went to the Empty Mind zone to defeat the dude!

So this is where Zane went when all else failed. And it worked. His version of it gave him the pulling power he couldn’t muster in his most intense, straining state.


To see your kid tap into the power of his mind . . . non-mind. And it came from a cartoon.

What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?

— Performed by Elvis Costello, written by Nick Lowe

This is how pervasive the shift in consciousness is societally, and it’s thrilling to behold. Somewhere in cartoonville the creators of this film decided to include something they had researched — maybe even experienced first-hand.

Of course they did it in a cartoony way, but they did it! And an eight-year old tried out his version of it when it seemed he was at the limits of his abilities.

All throughout the culture the extraordinary powers of the mind are being celebrated. Visualization has moved from its roots in affirmative prayer to sports technique to business-minded folks.

When you say mantra now, it doesn’t only mean a phrase you utter to yourself in meditation — no — it also suggests a personal mission, a personal motto you focus upon so frequently it burns into your existential heart. And from the intensity of repetition flows more meaningful action, and ultimately a more engaging experience in the world.

Love and forgiveness are breaking out.

Tolerance and inclusiveness are going viral.

Yoga is here. Spirit is in. Putting it out there is part of the linguistic landscape.

Letting it go, goals without attachment to the outcome, surrendering . . . are part of the conversation.

There is a great mixing of slipstreams of thought.

Contemplative prayer.



Zippity doo da day!

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