a hands-on granny to our 16-month-old granddaughter Rosalie has been a high
point in my life. I have the good fortune to be her granny/nanny two full days
a week, and my husband and I see her on weekends as well. We moved across the
country to be near her, bought a condo and now spend six months a year in her
neighborhood. What joy!
As a longtime eight-point practitioner, it comes naturally to use the practice with Rosie. She was given a mantram by her parents from day one (my son Adam and daughter-in-law Emily also follow Easwaran's teachings), so chanting Rama at various times throughout the day is a staple. Rosie calms down quickly to the tune of Rama, and putting her to sleep for naps or nighttime is now easy (it wasn't easy the first four months of her life, but that's another story). This lucky little lady is getting a jump start in falling asleep in the mantram!
On those occasions when I put her to bed for the night, I follow the ritual that the kids have set up. Just before sleep, we pay a visit to her puja table and say goodnight to the holy figures assembled there: mother Mary and baby Jesus, Sri Krishna, the compassionate Buddha, and of course teacher Easwaran. This Jewish granny also says goodnight to King David via a miniature Book of Psalms on her table, and shalom to the little dreidel that sits next to it. Sometimes I recite a stanza of the Prayer of St. Francis as well, or the “Shema” (in Hebrew) or another short passage. Wide-eyed Rosie drinks it all in.