Pausing on this eve, the last starry full moon night of 2017, it is the spontaneous laughter, innocence and playful affection, with its deep and shared trust of a child, that lights the heart and lifts the mind out of its often dark and dreary habits. Observing the way thousands of adults relate to children, I often wonder if they see and experience this light that lifts and transforms? Sometimes, surely, when trust and laughter fills the air.

What is it about this innocence that pushes away the fear and the pain the old ones carry so close? Bev Bos described how each moment for the young child is packed with moving energy, wanting to live this experience and the next until it overflows. Joe, (Joseph Chilton Pearce), offered; it is the ability to enter into the moment without prejudging that removes the fear and expectation that so often cripple our true development. No foot on the break as we lift off.

This frightening and wonderful year saw the completion of two significant works; Playful Wisdom, A Father’s Adventure, What I Learned from Carly Our First Two Years and Always Awakening; Buddha’s Realization Krishnamurti’s Insight with Samdhong Rinpoche, the first elected Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of Tibet in Exile and blessed by a Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. What on earth could these two volumes hold in common? Just for starters; an innocent, playful, spontaneous heart and mind, overflowing with empathic attention and energy, discovering new insights, not in rare flashes but as the norm. Infectiously, Carly does this every day, and I too, when she takes me by the hand and jumps without prejudgment. What if other parents experience this light that lifts and transforms? They and the world would surely be different.

Instead of laughing hearts, shared insights and wonder that changes day-by-day, with each age and stage, often I see tension, distance, endless explanations, hovering, do this and not that/s, each with its implicit stress and conflict which is so, so predictable for the child and equally exhausting for the parent. And this goes on day by day, creating defensive feelings and behaviors that last a lifetime. No, for generations, spinning out as culture with its comparison, rewards and punishments.

And what of the lonely hearts that don’t even have the chance to see this light that lifts and transforms? Being a grey-haired father of one of these bouncy, energetic lights, people often lament, feeling sorry for me, having to put up with this childish behavior, the messes and missing out on the space and leisure to just what I want. My heart breaks. No, they don’t see it. If they did, they and the world would be different.

Just as our phones and new electric cars need to be plugged in, adults need to be plugged in to this light and energy that children are. I wish everyone could feel what I feel when Carly is around. The Dalai Lama does this for thousands, even millions. The light he shares, though in some ways wiser, is the same light that Carly and every unadulterated child shares entering a room, if we let them. Always Awakening, the title of one of my new books, resonates both, a deep and profound insight experienced in Buddhist teachings; a never-ending, spontaneous stream of empathic insight - and a remarkable phrase shared by J. Krishnamurti. ‘It is the responsibility of each human being to bring about their own inner transformation that is not dependent on knowledge of time.’

The book and phrase Always Awakening and Krishnamurti describe what the ancient’s call enlightenment, an unfettered, authentic heart and mind that is overflowing with passionate insight and energy. Gee, that sounds a lot like Carly. The prejudice that knowledge imposes; name, shame and fame, dissolves and with it time. This is the moment and it is overflowing. Take my hand and jump, she says.

Wishing you the brightest of light this New Year.