The Sleeping Guru: 5 Life Lessons from a Golden Child

Son sleepingsleeping buddha

“Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things.”– Vernor Vinge

My two-year old son thinks ears are handles for the head. Whenever it is time for him to go to sleep, he grabs my ears and pulls my head down until our foreheads are touching. He has done this since he was an infant. This is one of the greatest joys of my life–having my ears cradled by my sleeping son. Lying next to his chubby face with his soft breath caressing my cheek has taught me some valuable lessons about life in general.

Reach out and touch someone–I know that this is a cheesy phone slogan from the seventies, but it is especially important in this day and age when we poke, ping, tag, like, and follow others all day on the internet, but we rarely see or touch them. When you have the opportunity to see someone in person why not hug them? Hold your loved one’s hand walking to their doctors appointment. Put your arms around your kids while sitting in church. Play footsy with your spouse at the dinner table.

Listen and not just with your ears–the first part of this lesson is to just shut up and listen. We spend so much time talking, chatting, posting, and texting that we rarely just listen. Try to go through a whole conversation with a group of friends without talking. Torture isn’t it. We often only listen for breaks in the conversation where we can jump in and tell everyone what is really important. When you are waiting for your son to go to sleep at 8:30 in the night, you have no choice but to listen.

Also, listen to other forms of communication. Try to feel your spouse’s heartbeat when they walk through the front door after a long day at the office. Read your child’s body language when you ask them what happened at school. By the way, if you are touching someone, it is a lot easier to read non-verbal signs of anxiety, sadness, joy, or peace of mind.

Look others in the eyes–I stole this one from Modern Family“Always look people in the eye, even if they are blind. Just say, ‘I’m looking you in the eye.'” My son insists on seeing eye to eye before he closes his puffy lids to go to sleep. I have noticed, however, how little we look people in the eye. Whenever I walk my kids to school, people we pass on the sidewalk rarely look at my face much less my eyes. I make it a point to remind my son and myself to look the person we harmed straight in the eyes while apologizing. The same goes for thank yous.

Hold your loved ones close–I tend to try to please everyone. One thing my wife noticed was that I would go out of my way to please my friends at the expense of my family. I would accept invitations without consulting my wife or children because I didn’t want to jeopardize my friendships. Little did I know I was jeopardizing my marriage. Now I put my loved ones first. See, honey, I get it.

Make the ones you love your number one priority in life. When my son grips my ears right before he falls asleep, I know that I am the most important person in his life at that moment. This is an incredible feeling. Make your loved ones feel this way.

Don’t let go–If you find someone you love and they love you back, don’t let go. It is so easy in our instant gratification lifestyle to feel the urge to upgrade, exchange, or delete something that doesn’t seem to be working. Love doesn’t work this way. If you commit to someone, love them in good times and bad. When I try to sneak away from my son, this is when he holds me the tightest. When your spouse is at their worst, this is when you need to surround them with love, even from a distance. The same goes for any relationship.

I hope these lessons from the small act my son does right before sleeping cause an avalanche of love and happiness in your life.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling

What small acts of kindness have affected your life in a significant way? Please share.

19 comments on “The Sleeping Guru: 5 Life Lessons from a Golden Child

  1. Youngest and I received so many small acts of kindness today from a range of professionals in a big inner city hospital – buddha nature everywhere 🙂
    Lovely post Kozo..

  2. diannegray says:

    What a lovely post. You certainly are awake to universal feelings. Your son is so lucky to have you with him when he falls asleep. This post put a lovely big smile on my face! 😀

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks for the comment, Dianne. I feel like I am lucky to have my son with me; I guess unconditional love makes both parties grateful. You comment put a big smile on my face.

  3. eof737 says:

    What a beautiful post and great photo too. 😉

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth. No matter what is going on in my life, I can look at this photo of my son, think about him holding my ears, and smile.

  4. NIKOtheOrb says:

    These are the posts that made me follow your blog. That you show that there are gurus within us all, within everyone and that anyone can be a guru. That no one person is insignificant in the greater picture, we are all a part of something and we all effect and affect one another. We are influenced by everything and everyone, no matter how subtle, in our world (and that world can be universal).

    Needless to say, excellent post.

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Niko. I can tell you that you have been an everyday guru with your writing, poetry, photography, animation, music, and filmmaking. I love the idea that we influence everyone and everything in our world. This idea makes what we do on our blogs so important.

      • NIKOtheOrb says:

        You’re welcome. 🙂

        We do influence everyone and everything in our world, we are an interconnected species. We are all an integral part of our everyday lives…I guess this is part of what makes us all everyday gurus. 🙂

      • Kozo says:

        I might have to steal the gist of this for the “About us” page of Everyday Gurus. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Niko.

  5. afsarnizam says:


  6. […] iPhone day after day clicking on my blog. She would look at posts over and over just to check out a picture of our sleeping son. She was messing with my high. […]

  7. […] you read my blog, you know that I try to appreciate and be grateful for every moment, no matter how mundane, pedestrian, or painful. GIFs literally rob us of moments of tenderness, subtlety, and […]

  8. […] We are a community that is devoted to the pursuit of happiness through lovingkindness, gratitude, compassion, and empathy. See The Sleeping Guru. […]

  9. seeker says:

    Just looking a the picture of your son calmed me down. Thanks.

  10. […] in the middle of the night when my 3 year old son woke me up screaming, “No, Daddy.” We were sleeping forehead to forehead as usual. I assumed that I had woken him up by screaming or flinching in my dream, but I quickly realized […]

  11. 1EarthUnited says:

    Your son sleeps sweetly, such a lovely sight to behold. {{{♥}}}

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