Snow in the Summer

Parental Love and Guidance

I came back yesterday from where my daughters are living. Spent sixteen days with them. It was really a great joy for me to see them after so many years. Their love for me is astounding. I am overjoyed about our relationship which is really open. This is real loving-kindness. Something I was secretly hoping for but never thought possible. My relationship with my former father-in-law and my former wife are also very friendly. We talked a lot about life and Dhamma, and we also discussed my daughters’ education. I told them what real education means to me. I am glad to take part in helping my daughters learn about life.

My elder daughter is very intelligent, sensitive and expressive. The way she looked at me made my heart tremble with metta (loving-kindness). I yearn to hug them. I understand now what it cost me to be a monk. I am crazy, almost, with my love for my daughters. Only mindfulness saved me from making a big fool of myself. I was and I am a good actor.

She cried when she came to see me in the monastery where I stayed for a while in their town. I was choking, crying without tears. I felt like my heart was going to burst open. I didn’t know what to say. She cried again at the railway station before I got on the train to leave. I never felt so much and such strong love for anybody before. I will be (I am) in their lives. I need no heart-opener — my daughter has opened it up wide. I wish her to understand about life deeply and live a peaceful life in spite of life’s tur-moil; go through this messy thing, this meaningless and painful phenomenon called life, safely. I will be at her side whenever she needs me.

My daughter and I talk about a lot of things. We read books together. We can understand each other very well. She wants to get a good education. She wants to learn deep and meaningful things. I am always thinking of how to help her.

As for me the most important event in my life now is being with my kids. I am not a provider but I can be a very good friend.

I’m teaching my daughter many things. She’s reading quite a lot. She likes reading, thinking and meditating too. We have become very open. We are real friends. I’m her father, teacher, and friend. I love my kids more and more. I want to have a good relationship with my kids and I want to be helpful to them (psychologically). My kids’ well-being, happiness, and their education are my biggest concern.

My daughter is doing cittanupassana (contemplation of the heart/mind). She is becoming more and more aware of her thoughts and feelings (mental). Her personality is very much like mine, as are her interests. I have no concern for myself; I am only concerned for my daughters. I hope they become more and more aware of their minds. The mind is tricky; it wants change, something different, and boredom is often a great problem. It craves for entertainment and stimulation. That’s what most people are doing — running after stimulation in many forms.

I plan to spend a couple of months in Magway. I will help my daughter learn more about the mind and people, relationships, how to talk properly, how to listen and, above all, Right Attitude. The quality of education in Myanmar has been very poor, and now it is uncertain. What do kids learn? Irrelevant information; things they will forget very soon, and no teaching on how to improve their character and personality, which is more important than scientific facts.

To be a father and not be a provider. Well, I will make up for that by being a teacher and friend and counsellor. What is most needed? Somebody who understands you deeply and loves you unconditionally. What is the best thing I can give to my daughters? My heart and mind. My daughter said that she felt loved by me; she feels my love. I am happy.

I want to spend as much time as the conditions permit me with my daughters. I don’t know when the next chance will come, but I hope, as we grow older, we’ll see each other more and more. I want to help them in every way I can.

I am quite healthy and happy. Really enjoying being with my kids. Everybody is so kind to me. I’m a bit surprised. It’s the attitude of my mind towards them. I love them and understand them and I appreciate them very much.

My daughters left yesterday evening. There’s a vacuum in my heart. Deep emotion. How can I explain it even now? Compared to my love for my daughters I can say I have never loved anybody before. My heart never was so open. One of them has got very thin because she was worrying that I will go far away for too long. How can I go away for too long? I will not do anything that will make her unhappy. She said, “I don’t care for anything. I love my father. I want to see you and write to you often. I want you to love me forever. I was very sad for a long time thinking that being a monk you are indifferent to us.”

She misses me all the time. So do I. Well, my dear friend, I’m a human being. I will let her decide how long I should stay in the USA. I will never make her unhappy again. I don’t care for anything but her happiness. I asked her how long I should stay in the USA if/when I go there. She said, “About a year should be enough.” Maybe she’ll let me stay a bit longer. I don’t want to deceive her. I want to be completely honest with her. At least with one person — with her — I want (I’m willing) to be vulnerable. She’s very innocent and vulnerable. How can I be otherwise with her? My heart is filled with my love for my daughters. At the moment, I’m not interested in anything else. I don’t want to read. I don’t want to talk to anybody. I want to be alone thinking about my daughter. Her love for her father is unbelievable. Such a young little girl. Such intense love.

The best thing is my improved relationship with my daughters. I can talk with my daughter with real openness. She is very open and honest with me too. It’s really wonderful. To love and to be loved. She is quite mature in her thinking, emotionally very stable, kind, and realistic. She has my type of mind. We understand each other very well.

I give all my love to my daughters. The only thing I can give so abundantly. I talk with them; listen to them; laugh with them. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.

My daughter and I understand each other’s mind (heart) very well; we even seem to have telepathic communication. She just knows how I feel, and I know the same for her. We have intuitive understanding of one another’s mind. We will become the most loving and understanding father and daughter. Some day we will live in a quiet and peaceful place together, and I will help her understand her mind very deeply. I am her best friend. I will teach her all I know about everything I have learnt. I want to live a long, long life so that I can be with my daughter for a long time. My love for her is the deepest love I’ve experienced in my life. It is rooted in deep understanding. There is no doubt or hesitation, no reservation or pretence.