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Vegetarian Babies’ Favourites – The Great Revelation of Secret Recipes of Vegetarian Babies’ Mothers

Recipes of Mandy Hsieh
Eldest son Pang Yong Wei, 8 years old
Second son Pan Yong Xin, 4 years old

Many people asked me: “What can vegetarian children eat?” Yet this question is seldom asked by mothers of vegetarian babies; and most of these vegetarian babies have hearty appetites. I feel that this is due to the fact that these mothers try to use as much fresh organic vegetables as they can, employ simple cooking method, preserve the original taste of the food, avoid feeding the children food which consist of artificial colourings and artificial flavourings. The taste buds of these vegetarian babies are taught to eat simply; so whatever they eat, it becomes scrumptious. I have invited these mothers to share their best recipes with all of you. Hopefully the recipes of these creative mothers can give you some inspiration and let your daily cooking of love become a gift to the family. The quantity of ingredients for the following recipes can be increased or decreased according to each family preference. All these recipes are favoured not only by the vegetarian babies but are also appreciated by grown-ups.

Pumpkin Soup
Cut to 1 pumpkin into chunks (with or without skin). Place in pot and add sufficient water to cover the pumpkin. Add a handful of cashews, 3 slices of ginger and cook pumpkin until soft. Place into food processor and puree. Add a little salt if the taste is bland. I like to put aside some cashews when blending as this will result in having some texture when eating. Those who do not like ginger need not add ginger when blending.

In autumn when pumpkins are harvested, this is a regular dish in my home. In America, there is a great variety of pumpkin. When I use Butternut pumpkin for soup, I like to use the food processor to make it into a creamy soup. When I use Kambocha pumpkin (i.e., pumpkin grown in Taiwan) for soup, I do not put it into the food processor. The chunks of pumpkin in the soup give a textured feeling. As acorn squash is very sweet, I usually avoid making soup with it. After washing the pumpkin, the pumpkin is pierced with holes and put into the oven to bake at 400oF for 1 to 1 ½ hour (baked until soft). When eating, cut the pumpkin, remove the seeds, and eat it plain or add a little cream to it.

Pesto Sauce
2 cups of basil (packed tightly), washed and slightly dried

2/3 cups of pine nuts or walnuts

1 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt

Place all the ingredients into food processor and puree until it becomes smooth and evenly green in colour. Place in refrigerator and the sauce can be kept for 2 weeks.

In summer when basil grows bountifully, there is always pesto sauce in my refrigerator. It can be used to spread on bread, mixed with noodles or with salad.

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Recipes of Rachel Tseng’s Daughter Liu Pei Yun, 4 years old

Spring Rolls

Mushrooms – cut into strips,

Carrots – shredded, sauté with some oil, add some soya sauce and cook until soft.

Red cabbage – cut into strips, cooked with water until soft. Sieve dry.

Coriander – cut finely.

Any sprouts, Red Moss Seaweed 红毛苔 finely ground peanut.

Place the above ingredients in layers in the middle of a spring roll skin. Then apply tomato sauce on the four sides of the skin (use as paste). Wrap it up and it is ready to be eaten (there is no need to fry or deep-fry).

This dish is colourful, it has salty, sweet and sour taste and appeals to many people. For those who like it spicy, chili sauce can be added to the tomato sauce. Among the ingredients, carrot, coriander and ground peanut are the main component. Cabbage can be substituted with other vegetables. By adding sprout, it increases the opportunity to eat more raw vegetables. Red Moss Seaweed 红毛苔 can be substituted by seaweed or be eliminated. Nuts can be toasted and ground finely to replace ground peanut or mixed into brown sugar. Molasses can be added directly into the spring roll to make it easier.

Monica’s Salad Dressing

Peanut butter, tahini, cashew spread, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, liquid amino, orange juice or grapefruit juice, water, miso.

Except for miso, all other ingredients are to be in equal portion. Only a little miso is needed to enhance the taste.

At home, we did not eat a lot of salad, but after Monica gave us this salad dressing recipe, we use nori to wrap the raw vegetables and dip into the dressing. Henceforth, eating raw vegetables become very yummy.

Mashed Potato and Mushroom Sauce

  • Boil 4 potatoes (medium size) until soft. Remove potatoes and mash. Add 1 cup of soya bean water or boiled potato water and teaspoon salt. Mixed thoroughly.
  • Wash 6 button mushrooms and cut into slices. Place mushrooms in a non-stick frying pan and sauté until cooked.
  • Puree cup of cashew with two cups of hot water in food processor, add two teaspoons of cornflour, 2 tablespoons of soya sauce, 1 tablespoon of brewer’s yeast and teaspoon of salt. Blend thoroughly. Cook the blended ingredients over a medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir continuously while cooking.
  • Lastly pour mushroom sauce over mashed potato.
  • Serve

Add water to unfinished potatoes and mushrooms and cook to make a soup. Add some cut vegetables into soup and it is very delicious and pleasing to the palates. Researching Li Mei Ling’s Recipes, she often uses cashews with great result. For example, cook one potato (add corn or green peas and some green vegetables according to preference) until soft. Add a handful of cashews and blend in food processor until smooth. This is the favourite of my kids.

For breakfast or in the lunch box, drink is served in the form of molasses water (1-2 tablespoons of organic molasses mixed with 1 cup of water). Molasses is very nutritious; it contains high quantity of trace minerals, iron and calcium and frequent intake of this drink can boost the immune system, and it is easy and convenient to prepare. If you asked me why does my kid like this drink, maybe it is because she has been drinking this since conception and thus cultivate this tastebud; or maybe when a story is told and a black drink is involved, I will tell her that it is a molasses drink (if the drink if white, I will tell her that it is almond etc.) Beside these, she is not polluted by television, and this teaching has been effectively instill in her.

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Recipes of Diana King
Son Jin He Qing 3 years old

He Qing favourite dish is very simple: Organic noodles mixed with olive oil and flaxseed oil and a lot of dulse powder. Usually, I will add a little blanched broccoli and a little liquid amino.
Below are two recipes which He Qing frequently ate when he was little:

Lentil Soup

Onion cut into small chunks (according to your preference)

4ozs carrot, cut into small chunks

1oz celery, cut into small chunks

1 tablespoon olive oil

2ozs of lentils

4ozs of potatoes – skinned and cut into small chunks

12oz of stock or water

  • Sauté onion, carrot and celery with olive oil until fragrant – about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in lentils, potatoes. Add stock or water and bring to a boil.
  • After water is boiling, simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  • Place ingredients in food processor and puree.
  • Serve.

Zucchini and Green Peas Soup

Onion, cut into small chunks (according to your own preference)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2ozs zucchini, cut into slices

1 medium potato – skinned and cut into small chunks

4ozs of water

1oz of green peas (frozen or fresh)

  • Sauté onion with olive oil until soft.
  • Add zucchini, potato and water. Bring to a boil.
  • After water is boiling, cover and cook for another 12 minutes.
  • Add green peas, bring water to a boil again, lower heat and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Place in food processor and puree.
  • Serve.

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Recipes of Lai Li
Son Shen Shu Yang 2 years old

Shu Yang has a very good appetite. In order for Shu Yang to eat freshly cooked food every meal, I try to simplify the recipes. For example, after blanching celery, add it to cooked noodles and mix with a little raw almond butter. “Oil” is a very important component in the growing up process of a kid; I pay special attention in using good quality oil in Shu Yang’s diet. A frequent treasure I use is mixing flaxseed oil or olive oil to miso to make into a paste and add onto cooked greens.

Broccoli Soup

2-3 stalks of broccoli, cut into small chunks

2 medium potatoes, cut into small chunks

5-6 stalks of American celery, cut into small chunks

1 onion (optional – according to preference)

1 teaspoon of oil

2-4 cups of water

2-3 teaspoons of almond butter salt, pepper


  • In a wok, fry oil, onion, salt and coriander until fragrant.
  • Cover wok and cook onion until soft.
  • Add broccoli, American celery, potato, and water.
  • Cover wok and cook until potato is soft.
  • Pour ingredient into food processor, add almond butter and blend until creamy. Then filter.
  • Chop broccoli flowerets into small pieces and blanch it.
  • Add to soup.
  • Serve with pepper to taste.

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Recipes of Madame Ye
Daughter Annabelle, 3 years old

My daughter does not like to eat rice, therefore when I cook, I like to use different kinds of grains and mix to change the taste. I frequently use barley, wild rice, black glutinous rice, red glutinous rice, and millet. The normal ration used is 1 cup of white rice, 2 cups of brown rice and 1 cup of other grains.

Broccoli Fried Rice

Carrot – chop into pieces

Broccoli – chop into pieces (use only the flowerets, when frying rice, [a little green] could be seen)

Vegetarian meat – chop into pieces

Onion – chop into pieces (optional – according to preference)

Any other greens – chop into pieces

  • Fry all ingredients with oil.
  • Season with soya sauce, salt, curry, tomato sauce. (according to preferred flavour)

Tomato Basil Tofu

Tofu, cut into chunks

Tomato, cut into chunks

Basil, black bean paste, onion – chop into pieces

  • Fry all ingredients with oil.
  • Add soya sauce and seasoning.
  • Soya sauce and black bean paste can be substituted by miso or peanut butter or almond butter. This gives a different flavour. Miso and peanut butter can be added to the dish at the last part of cooking.

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Recipes of Chen Nian Ci
Son Cheng De Shan, 2 year and 4 month


Toast bread slightly. Spread blueberry jam on one slice and almond butter on another slice. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of spirulina on bread. Put two slices of bread together and serve.

Vegetable Bread

1/3 cup of sugar

¼ cup of vegetable oil

3 cups shredded or chopped zucchini

Carrot, apple or banana (mashed) or choice of any one item

1 cup of wholewheat flour, cup of flax meal,

Black sesame powder & wheatgerm – mixed according to preference but totalling not more than cup

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup crushed walnut

½ cup raisins

  • Mix dry ingredients (flour, flax meal, black sesame powder, wheatgerm, salt and baking soda.)
  • Mix sugar oil, vegetables, fruits and vanilla essence in a food processor. Add into dry ingredients.
  • Add walnut and raisins.
  • Grease two rectangular baking tins. Divide mixture into two portions and pour into baking tins. Bake in oven for 1 hour at 375oC, or test with chopstick (poke chopstick into bread and it is ready when the chopstick comes out clean).

Any leftover vegetables and fruits can be added into this recipe, a mixture of flavour is even better. But care must be taken in controlling sweetness and liquid content. For example, bananas can increase sweetness, apples increase moisture content. Adjust quantity of sugar and flour accordingly.
This recipe can easily contain the important flaxmeal, black sesame power and wheatgerm, and yet not cause any different in taste and texture. Kids especially love to eat this bread.
Full-time mother can halve this recipe, this way the child gets to eat fresh bread. Each time, I make two loaves, one to be frozen and one to be eaten fresh, it is very tasty.

Carrot Cake

2 cups wholemeal flour

2 cups carrot – shredded

¾ cups of vegetable oil

2 tablespoons cornflour

3 tablespoon crushed walnuts

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon brewer’s yeast

1 teaspoon ginger – minced

8-10 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

Mix all ingredients, pour into baking tin and bake for 25 minutes at 350oC, or test with a knife, knife should come out clean when done.

Sunflower seeds or raisins can be added. Quantity of carrot can be increased. This will result in the cake being moister, but the taste of carrot is stronger.

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Vegetarian Recipes for Traditional Confinement in Childbirth

Rachel Tseng

I have chosen to go with the traditional confinement in childbirth, which means no bathing (but wipe clean with boiled ginger water), no washing hair, no going out, remaining free and lying down and resting, no working but just breastfeeding and enjoying the rare, idle month. Yet, what kind of food should I be consuming during the “vegetarian” confinement period? My mom had a hard time coming up with recipes for this daughter who does not even take eggs or milk. So, I might as well reorganize the collected information. By referring to existing recipes and using widely available ingredients that meet the requirements of traditional confinement, I did energy testing and formulated confinement recipes that are consistent in energy. However, since these recipes are limited to seasons and geographical location and some ingredients may not be available, it is best for one to learn how to test energy. Energy testing not only helps you avoid wrong food intake, but also enables you to make food selection, based on your preference or instinct, to suit your body needs.

I would like to share with you my traditional vegetarian recipes for confinement. Actually, a vegetarian diet can be quite sumptuous even for the confinement period. However, the digestive system is a little weak during this month, so remember to have more meals but little food at each meal, because overeating will harm the stomach and intestines.

Some food can be prepared prior to giving birth:

Preserved Red Dates

After becoming pregnant, get some red dates, immerse them in rice wine and soak overnight. When they are swelled up, keep in a container and sprinkle with brown sugar after each layer of red dates, then seal the container. Three months later, the dates will become preserved red dates. If you want it to last, refrigerate it in two weeks’ time. It can be used as an ingredient for cooking during the confinement period or can be eaten as a snack; not only is it delicious, but also induces milk production.

Fermented Glutinous Rice

Sesame Dumpling

Filling: Mix sesame powder and wild yam powder (ratio of 5 to 1), add some honey and oil so that the powder sticks together but not too wet or too sticky, rub into ball shape and store in the freezer.

Skin: Add water to glutinous rice powder and knead into a dough, take 1/20 portion and cook in boiling water. When it floats, put it back to the glutinous rice dough. Add some more glutinous rice powder and knead until it becomes non-sticky. Split the dough into pieces to wrap the filling, and then freeze the wrapped dumplings. When the dumplings are stiff, pack them into bags and keep them in the freezer.

Fermented glutinous rice: You can buy it from the market or make it using sweet brown rice and brewer’s yeast.

To serve, cook dumplings in boiling water until they surface, then add fermented glutinous rice and brown sugar.

Adzuki Sweet Rice Dumpling

Adzuki filling: soak organic adzuki beans overnight. With little water, cook and simmer the beans until soft. Strain the beans (the water can be served as adzuki bean drink), add some brown sugar and oil (oil is optional). Mash the mixture to make it into adzuki filling. Refrigerate the filling.

Soak overnight sweet brown rice, black glutinous rice and quinoa (ratio of 7:1:1), add ½ teaspoon of sesame oil and cook the rice mix. When the rice is cooked, mix in red dates (or the preserved red dates mentioned earlier) and walnuts. Place adzuki filling inside the rice, wrap to make into rice dumplings. Store dumplings in the freezer. To serve, simply steam the dumplings.

Recipes for the Confinement Period

Traditional confinement does not recommend drinking water so as to avoid prolapse of internal organs or change in body figure. Only take the liquid of rice, vegetables or soup stock cooked in wine. Also, wine helps stimulate milk production. A midwife even told me that drinking some beer would help increase milk production. Expediently, I asked mother to use half portion of water and half portion of wine [water-wine blend] for cooking, that way it is not too costly and the food tastes better. Basically, I replaced all meat items in non-vegetarian recipes with organic, non-GMO soy protein (i.e., soy meat or vegetable soy protein). The portions of ingredients, except those specifically specified, can be altered as wish. Do not cook too much at one time for the dish may not suit your appetite or you may get tired of eating the same dish; so prepare a quantity that can be finished in a day or two.

Dried kumquat that helps qi circulation was the first nutritional food medicine I took after giving birth. To prepare, quick fry ginger strips (a lot) with sesame oil, then add sliced or chopped dried kumquat. It smells and tastes really good, very much like candies. Shenghua (生化汤) soup helps eliminating lyma and is best taken within the first seven days of the confinement period. Combination of hawthorn (山楂) and brown sugar also helps getting rid of lyma. Drink Shiquan (十全大朴汤) nutritional soup and Shenghua soup during the first seven days of the confinement period. After that, take the hawthorn and brown sugar mixture until the end of confinement.


Blood Enriching Rice

1. Black glutinous rice (mainly) and millet (ratio of 10 to 1), add in red dates, longan, white hyacinth beans (白扁豆), and a little bit of Chinese angelica (当归)and Radix astragali (黃苠). Add more water than normal amount used for cooking rice because millet absorbs lots of water. (extracted from Dr. Jiang Shuhui’s recipe book. Energy testing indicated that there was no need for any ingredient change).

2. Soak chestnut until they are swollen. Steam chestnuts until they are cooked. Combine chestnuts with Chinese mushrooms, red dates, some ginger, sweet brown rice, millet, water-wine blend and cook the combination into rice or porridge.

3. Soak sweet brown rice and peanuts overnight. Cook into porridge using lots of water. It really helps with milk production.


1. Dried Tangerine Peel (陈皮)and Glutinous Rice Porridge
Soak sweet brown rice overnight. Add ginger, longan, brown sugar and dried tangerine peel (just a small piece, not too much), water-wine blend and cook into porridge

2. Longan Porridge
Soak brown rice (mainly) overnight, some quinoa and millet (ratio of 6:1:1). Add lots of water and cook into porridge. Then add longan, some fermented glutinous rice, and lastly top with roasted, crushed walnuts.


Green vegetables suitable for consumption during confinement are Gynura’s Deux Couleurs (紅凤叶), sweet potato leaves, red amaranth, A-vegetable A 菜), spinach, etc. Before stir frying vegetables, use sesame oil or bitter-tea oil (苦茶油) to quickly fry old ginger strips. Do not add any condiments. Red cabbage and broccoli are also acceptable, only that eating too much of them will cause bloating to the baby; thus minimize the intake.

1. Vegetarian Sesame Chicken. Quick fry sesame oil with old ginger strips and Chinese mushrooms. Add in soy meat and stir fry briefly, then add in cubed carrots, some Chinese wolfberry fruit(枸杞) and water-wine blend to cover the ingredients. Cook until soft.

2. Quick fry old ginger and Chinese mushrooms. Add in soy meat and stir fry briefly. Then add some kelp, Chinese wolfberry fruit ,dried kumquat, a little bit of Chinese angelica and water-wine blend to cover the ingredients. Cook until soy meat is soft. The dish smells and tastes good (Radix astragali and liquorice root are not suitable for this dish).

3. Burdock, soy meat, wild yam, sweet potato, Chinese wolfberry fruit and some Chinese angelica, Radix astragali, liquorice root. Cook the combination until soft.

4. Quick fry old ginger strips and Chinese mushrooms with bitter-tea oil, add in soy meat, burdock and kelp, stir fry briefly, pour in water-wine blend and cook until soft. Add some brown sugar if you wish (burdock and brown sugar can be replaced by purple perilla (紫苏) and rock sugar).

5. Soak overnight hyacinth beans (白扁豆). Quick fry ginger and Chinese mushrooms, add hyacinth beans, carrot, a little bit of orange peel and water-wine blend. Cook until soft (orange peel should not be replaced by grapefruit peel because the latter halves the energy).

6. Cook the mixture of black dates, red dates, Chinese wolfberry fruit, longan, a little bit of Chinese angelica, Radix astragali and liquorice root.


1. Green papaya: quick fry old ginger with sesame oil, pour in water-wine blend and bring to boil. Add Chinese wolfberry fruit and cubed green papaya. Cook until green papaya slightly softens (optional: walnuts can be included in the cooking).
2. Longan and peanut soup: soak peanuts overnight. Boil the peanuts with water until soft. Add in longan, fermented glutinous rice and molasses and it is ready to serve.
3. Adzuki ginger soup: soak adzuki beans overnight. Cook and simmer beans and old ginger in water-wine blend until beans are soft. Add in oatmeal and rock sugar to finish up.


There are many kinds of food that help with milk production, for example, peanuts, sesame seeds, glutinous rice, fermented glutinous rice (food with alcohol content), brewer’s yeast, and stone fruits such as walnuts, almond, pine nuts, peanuts, etc; these can be served the same way as sesame paste. Generally, vegetables that secrete milk when harvested help with milk production; sweet potato leaves and green papaya are among them. Many types of lettuce also secrete milk when they are harvested. Alfalfa also helps with milk production, but it is cooling in nature and is the type of food traditional confinement try to avoid. But you can take it after the confinement period. I heard that food that might cause lower milk production include Chinese chives, wheat tea(麦茶),fermented bean curd, fermented soybeans, black bean or anise drinks (I also heard that black bean milk promotes lactation, but black bean boiled in water or stir fried lowers milk production), I was not sure of that, so I avoided eating black beans.

For fruits, consider grapes, plum, peach, papaya, lychee, longan and other fruits that are warming in nature (fruits are high in water content, thus by traditional confinement, fruits are not taken until one to two weeks after giving birth).

Feel free to sprinkle brewer’s yeast, dulse, sesame seed powder or a combination of your choice on dishes or rice.

I would like to deliver special thanks to my mother, having flown half of the planet to the US and help me with the confinement. She carefully prepared every meal for me and took detailed notes on the recipes so that anyone who plans to go on a “vegetarian confinement” can benefit from it. I sincerely wish that every woman is just as lucky to have a kind mother to accompany her through a safe and smooth confinement period.

The Conscious Baby Birth Initiative

Carrie Contey, M.Ed.

Thanks to the pioneers of pre- and perinatal psychology we are gaining awareness of how birth profoundly imprints itself on our health and behavior. Verny writes, How he is born – whether it is painful or easy, smooth or violent – largely determines who he becomes and how he will view the world around him. Whether he is five, ten, forty or seventy, a part of him always looks at the world through the eyes of the newly born child he once was. (1981, p.97)

In his landmark study, Chamberlain (1986) found that under hypnosis children were able to recall very minute details of their birth experiences. These stories were matched to the reports given by their mothers who were also under hypnosis.

Chamberlain concludes,

The content of birth memories suggests a sophisticated level of physical, mental and emotional consciousness at birth, beyond anything predicted by developmental psychology. In this light, many routine practices in obstetrics need to be re-evaluated from the baby’s point of view. (1986, p.94)

The purpose of this paper is to suggest ways to facilitate a better birthing experience for all newborns based on the belief that babies are physically, mentally and emotionally conscious at birth.


A growing body of experimental, clinical and anecdotal evidence supports the idea that consciousness exists before and during birth. Wade (1998) points out that in regression many people are able to recount incidences that took place long before any significant brain development has occurred. The therapeutic work of Chamberlain, Castellino and Emerson, among others, acknowledges, validates and strives to heal the often-traumatic birth memories individuals of all ages harbor. In September of 2000, I attended my first process workshop facilitated by Ray Castellino. During my two-hour session I was able to re-experience my own non-labor cesarean birth and discover some key information about my physical and emotional states at the time of birth. Finally, I was able to heal a chronic neck pain that was with me my whole life, the result of a birth insult. I was also released some of the emotional felt around being taken from the womb before I initiated labor. If we were not conscious during birth, we would neither remember the events nor need to heal the trauma which occurred.


Physically, an emerging newborn is well aware of his or her environment during birth. All five senses are well developed in the full-term newborn many weeks before birth. During birth a child is seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling everything around him or her. Some suspect that the newborn’s senses are far more heightened than the senses of the adults’ present during birth. Frederick Leboyer states that birth is “A sensory experience so vast we can barely conceive of it” (1975, p.15).


Leboyer (1975) brought to light the elements necessary for welcoming new people gently into the world. Listed below are some suggestions for the birthing environment based on what we know about the senses of new people.

SEEING – Because a baby’s eyes are so sensitive and used to seeing light filtered through mother’s belly, the lights should be dimmed. We must allow baby’s eyes to adjust to the outside world slowly and naturally.

HEARING – Likewise, a baby is used to hearing sounds that are muffled by flesh and fluid so speech should be soft and external noises should be kept to a minimum.

TASTING – Nothing should be placed in the newborn’s mouth before he or she has a chance to breastfeed. Babies are expecting to taste their mothers’ milk soon after birth. Imposing bottles or syringes on them during the perinatal period is invasive and detrimental to bonding.

SMELLING – Babies are sensitive to smells. The birth environment, especially in a hospital setting, can be overwhelming to the olfactory system. We must be mindful of the potency of the natural and non-natural agents used around the baby during birth.

TOUCHING – We speak to the child through our touch (Leboyer, 1975). Through touch we communicate love, fear, tenderness, violence, confidence, ineptitude, etc. So how should the child be handled? Within seconds after birth, mother’s hands should be the hands that welcome her children and reassure them that they made it and they are safe and loved. Anyone else who has contact with the baby should use respectful, loving touch when handling the newborn.


The work of Van de Carr (1988), Manrique (1998) and Panthuraamphorn (1993) yields proof that babies are learning in utero. More and more parents are talking to, playing music for and bonding with their prenates. If babies can learn in utero, one could easily infer that they are learning during birth as well. Not only are prenates taking in the sensations of the birthing environment, they are mentally processing the information and developing patterns of being in the world based on the information gathered. For example, Chamberlain (1987) describes the story of Steward an adult patient who grew up believing he was a “difficult kid” and “not normal like regular children.” When he was regressed back to his birth, he discovered the source of these core beliefs about himself. During his labor, the doctor became angry and frustrated that he was not dropping. Subsequently, the doctor told Steward’s mother that she “had a stubborn child” who was “difficult” and “would be late for everything”. When we gain access to the sources of our core beliefs, we are able to acknowledge and re-pattern the way we exist in the world.

Babies are not only affected by the words said to them during birth but also the emotion surrounding the event as well. In his book, From Parent to Child: The Psychic Link, Jones discusses the telepathic connection between the mother and her unborn child.

The unborn child is affected by what the mother thinks, feels and experiences. Tension in the delivery room can contribute to problems just as much, if not more so, than bacteria. On the other hand, positive thoughts directed to the mother and baby can contribute to a more rewarding experience for both (1989, p.90).


A powerful and positive birth setting is created when everyone in attendance is able to slow down and hold the image of the emerging baby as a conscious, sensitive, aware person who has the innate knowledge of how to be born (McCarty, 1996). Addressing the baby and telling him or her what is happening to both baby and mother during the birth is also important. This is most crucial during any invasive procedures. Through re-birthing and other therapeutic techniques that allow people to re-experience their births, we know that often birth is scary, stressful and painful for the newborn. Verbally reassuring babies that they are safe and supported during their journey can alleviate some of the fear they experience.

Leaving the womb is disorienting and shocking to the system. Once the baby is born, everyone in attendance must be mindful of how they place their attention on the baby. “The more we can learn how to be present, relaxed and centered in our own bodies, the more babies can then stay oriented, connected and present with theirs” (McCarty, 1996, p.25). Above all, the birthing environment should be filled with love, joy and reverence for newborn child.


Through a monumental study Brackbill (1985) concluded that drugs administered during labor and delivery significantly affects the infant’s behavior. Some of the known effects of drugs on the baby are: Abnormal fetal heart rate, interference with normal newborn reflexes, inhibited sucking response, difficulty with breathing and excessive drowsiness (Simkin, 1991). When I was regressed back to my birth I was overwhelmed by a heavy, cloudy sensation that made me want to fall asleep. It was clear that I was reliving the effects of the anesthesia that my mother received prior to my birth. I made a conscious effort to stay awake during the process, but it was not easy. My breathing was labored, and it was difficult to move my limbs. Several times I broke into hysterical laughter brought on by the nitrous oxide my mother inhaled. I laughed but the emotions inside were fear and anger. Not having control over my body or emotional state was very disconcerting. Of 59 published studies not one found any beneficial effect of medication on the prenate (Brackbill, 1985). From the perspective of the child there should be no drugs used during labor and delivery. Since there are situations when drugs are necessary such as cesarean deliveries, they should be used cautiously and parents and the babies themselves should be well informed of the effects of the drugs.


It is essential that babies remain with their mothers immediately after birth so bonding can begin. Bonding is the process by which a secure attachment is formed which ensures the continued care necessary for survival of the new child. Bonding is the original and immediate connection between mother and baby (Gaskin, 1990). Both newborn and mom are instinctually prepared for and expecting to bond face-to-face, skin-to-skin and mouth-to-breast immediately after birth and for the next several months. According to Castellino (1997), “Healthy bonding and attachment are the outcomes of a whole sequence of events that are somatic, neurophysiological and psychological in nature” (p.18).

Upon delivery, and before the child is taken away from the mother for bathing weighing or other interventions, he or she should be placed naked on the mother’s abdomen. In that position the child smells her smell, feels her warmth and hears her voice. Once again, they are together and seeing each other for the first time. Shortly after birth the child enters the quiet alert state. During this time the newborn is very still, often molded to the mother’s abdomen, but able to see, hear and respond to their new environment. At this time most mothers coo at and stroke their babies.

For the next hour, if the surroundings are calm, and the baby received no pain medication via the mother during labor, he or she will begin a process called delivery self-attachment. Delivery self-attachment is a newborn’s ability to find their way to the mother’s breast, latch on and begin suckling (Castellino, 1997). The four-part delivery self-attachment sequence is as follows: For the first 30 minutes, the newborn remains in the quiet alert state looking up at the mother and observing the new environment. Between 30 and 45 minutes, the lips begin smacking and the infant begins to drool. With support under the feet, the baby begins to inch forward towards the breast. When the infant reaches the level of the mother’s breast he or she will begin rooting around for the nipple. Finally, between 45 and 60 minutes the baby latches on the areola and begins to nurse (Klaus Kennell, Klaus 1995).

As noted above, all new moms are equipped with bonding instincts as well. For example, early nipple stimulation by the newborn during breastfeeding releases a hormone called oxytocin, which is responsible for naturally contracting the uterus and reducing blood flow as well as signaling milk let-down. Subsequently, each time the baby nurses, mom’s oxytocin level increases which has a calming effect on the mother and naturally increases mother’s affinity towards her baby (Klaus, Kennell, Klaus, 1995). In essence the bonding system is set up so that nurturing begets nurturing.


No longer can society afford to ignore the consciousness of the newborn and the detrimental effects of our current methods of birthing. We must honor and respect the birthing process and yield to the innate wisdom of the newborn. I am strongly committed to working towards raising humanity to the next level of evolution. I know that our only hope for such a leap is to change how babies are treated during birth. I envision, based on some of the ideas presented above, a document which outlines evidence-based ways we can create the optimal birth setting for all new people. Perhaps it will be called ‘The Conscious Baby Birth Initiative.”

Nurturing The Unborn Child: A Nine-month Programme For Soothing, Stimulating and Communicating with Your Baby – Part 1

Thomas Verny, M.D. and Pamela Weintraub


Scientists have recently discovered that the foetus is a very sensitive individual. Not only can it develop a very strong bonding with its pregnant mother and father, it can also respond to the outside world.

A 4-month-old foetus can feel the strong rays of light shone on its mother’s stomach and is able to raise its hand to cover its eyes. It also has senses of touch and taste. The sense of hearing is developed when the foetus is 5 months old. New York Einstein Medical College also pointed out that the brains of foetuses who are 28 to 32 weeks old have learning ability.

Physically speaking, whatever the mother has drunk, eaten and smelt will be passed on to the baby through blood circulation. Emotionally speaking, the baby will also be affected. For instance, if the mother is under great stress for a long time, the actions and behaviours of the mother will also influence the baby greatly. When the mother caresses her stomach, talks, sings, or dances, the foetus will know that the mother is “there”, and it will move its body or kick to respond to the mother. The mother should be able to differentiate between a happy kick and a disturbed kick.

The baby’s experience at birth will also have some influence on its way of life in the future. Recent reports show that, babies who experience difficult births are more likely to commit suicide or use drugs as compared to those who have smooth deliveries. These early experiences not only reflect a child’s personality, they will also have unimaginable effect on the child’s future physical and emotional development.

The “Womb-Regulating Method” introduced here can help you and your spouse to bring up a cool-headed and confident child who is able to lead a happy life. This method is easy, systematic and it can explore the baby’s intellectual and emotional potentials fully. When you begin to practice this method, firstly, you have to be fully relaxed, in order to remove the hormones built up in your body due to anxiety and stress. Not only will constant practice enhance your ability of managing your emotions, it will also enhance the relationship between the husband and wife and reinforce family cohesiveness. Your unborn baby will be able to feel the warmth and love throughout the entire process.

This method has 47 practices that can be adjusted according to the needs of the mother and foetus. Some of these practices can be carried out repeatedly throughout the 9 months of pregnancy, whereas some have to be carried out at specific stages of pregnancy.


If you discover that you are pregnant, you will have mixed feelings of happiness, uncertainty, fear etc. The sooner you are able to recognise these emotions, the easier your pregnancy will be. Your unborn child needs love just like you need food and air. Hence, you and your spouse should constantly emphasise positive feelings. Listening to classical music helps you to stay calm and to understand your inner feelings. According to research findings, the rhythm of classical music ranges from 60 to 70 beats per minute. This is rather close to the heartbeat of human being at resting state. It will help to enhance the ability of concentration and keeping calm. Rock music or sound of siren and alarms have negative effect on the unborn child.


Listening to music can help you to relax, to calm your growing baby down and to stimulate the brain cells responsible for concentration and learning abilities. We suggest using Bach, Mozart, Handel, Corelli and Vivaldi’s classical music. Your spouse’s or best friend’s musical recordings will also be able to achieve similar effects. Do it at least twice a week and each time should last 60 minutes.

Note: Do not listen to music that will cause you and your baby to fall asleep.

Give yourself some quiet time, this practice can help you to maintain clarity of mind and positive thinking. You have to relax your body and be free of worries. Sports psychologists often use this method to enhance concentration and performance in sports.

Do it for 20 minutes a day and you’ll feel recharged and refreshed. First, find a quiet corner in your house, sit on a comfortable chair and listen to music for 10 minutes (You may use the music found in our cassette tapes or any popular light music). Then listen to the instructions pre-recorded by you or your spouse. Do not attempt to analyse that audio recording, let it bring you to an imaginative world.

Close your eyes, take 2 deep breaths. Continue to breathe deeply and evenly, put your attention on the rhythm of breathing in and out, on the feeling of your body or any imagination, feelings, emotions that’s related to yourself. If there’s any intrusion of unrelated thoughts, let them go like white clouds drifting across the horizon.

Now, concentrate on your feet, pay attention to the pressure placed on your feet and the way the feet are positioned. Pay attention to your soles, heels, toes and ankles. Now, curl your toes towards your soles, as if attempting to touch the soles with your toes. Curl your toes further down, down, down and stop. Alright, relax.

Inhale, exhale, relax, relax. Every breath is able to make you feel more relaxed, but not to make you feel sleepy. You are still fully awake but completely relaxed. Now, shift your attention to your calves, the part from your knees to your ankles. Tighten every muscle in your calves, tighten, tighten, tighten, alright, relax. Inhale, exhale, relax, relax. Every breath will help to make your body more and more relaxed.

Now, tighten every muscle in your thighs. Tighten every muscle in your lower abdomen. Tighten every muscle in your buttocks. Tighten, tighten, tighten, alright, relax.

Inhale, exhale, relax, relax. Continue to breathe in and out smoothly. Every breath taken in will bring you lots of oxygen and energy. Every breath let out will get rid of carbon dioxide and waste gases in your body. Imagine with every breath taken in, you have inhaled all the love and support in the world; with every breath let out, you have released all negative emotions and anxiety.

Now, let’s focus on another part of your body – the spine, from the upper part of your neck right up to lower waist. Press this part of your body closely against the chair. Press harder, harder, maintain this posture, alright, relax. Feel the tiredness in your back and chest.

Inhale, exhale, relax, relax. Every breath will help your body to relax. When you inhale, every muscle and cell is nourished and energised. When you exhale, every muscle and cell is cleansed. Your body and your unborn baby will enjoy this exercise totally.

Now, focus on your shoulder, neck and all your anxiety, stress and worries. Raise your shoulders towards your ears, as if you are trying to touch your ears with your shoulders. Raise it up, up and up, alright, relax.

Inhale, exhale, relax, relax. Now raise your hands up a few centimetres, clench your fists, clench hard, hard and harder, alright, relax.

Inhale, exhale, relax, relax. Continue to breathe in and out evenly. Every breath will help you to be more relaxed. You will feel comfortable and secure.

Now, focus on your face, pay attention to every muscle around your eyes, mouth and chin. Now close your eyes, tighten the muscle around your mouth, tighten, tighten, tighten, alright, relax.

Inhale, exhale, relax, relax. Now your body and mind are relaxed. The music is going to be played soon. Listen to the music, let it bring you to all the places that you should go to. Go with the flow of the music, don’t force yourself. You deserve to feel relaxed; you have to relax; your unborn child has to relax too.

After you’ve finished listening to this music, you’ll be completely relaxed and feel refreshed. (Play music for 10 minutes.)

Now, slowly regain your initial state. Move your fingers and toes, open your eyes, remember to maintain this calm state. You should still be relaxed, use your five senses to feel the surrounding. Now that you are recharged and relaxed, you can stand up and continue with your day.

*The person who is recording the instructions should do it slowly and calmly. Pause where appropriate.


In your diary, you can vent any uneasy feelings you have deep in your heart. When you are able to acknowledge your emotions, you will develop a sense of responsibility and will make positive changes in your daily life.

(To be continued)

Children Education (4th Lecture – The End)

Dr Rudolf Steiner
15 Aug 1924, England

When you have successfully led the children to complete the simple drawing, you can then increase the level of difficulty.

You can draw this image (see left half of Image b), after you manage to convince the children that the image is incomplete, you may guide them to complete the other half of the image (see right half of Image b). Through this teaching approach, you can sensitise children to shapes and also help to cultivate a sense of symmetry and balance in them.

This teaching approach can be explored further, for instance, you can make them realize the inner order of images. You can easily guide them to see that some lines in Image c meet at certain parts and separate at other parts.

You then draw the next image (see Image d), this time, you straighten the curvy lines so that they form angles. Then they need to draw the image in such a way that the inner and outer lines are well matched. This task is a difficult one for 8-year-olds, hence it is considered a great accomplishment if they are able to make all the images look complete. It does not matter if they are shown the complete images beforehand. You should allow the children to draw the inner lines on their own, this Image d is actually quite similar to Image c, except for the straight lines and angles.

This is how you should teach children so that they have a real good sense of shapes, symmetry and balance. From this, you can further discuss the symmetry of things. If this line is the surface of water (see Image e), and the image above this line is an object, you must guide the children to imagine how this object reflected in the water. Through this method, you can further guide them to appreciate the symmetry of things found in this world.

Such way of thinking taught through imagination of images, will enable your child to become more skilful and capable. You can say, ‘Touch your right eye with your left hand! Touch your right eye with your right hand! Touch your left eye with your right hand! Touch your left shoulder from the back with your right hand! Touch your right shoulder with your left hand! Touch your left ear with your right hand! Touch the big toe on your right foot with your right hand!’ etc. You can let the children do all kinds of strange exercises, such as telling them, ‘Use your right hand to draw a circle in the anticlockwise direction! Use your left hand to draw a circle in the clockwise direction! Use both hands to draw two circles that overlap! Use both hands to draw 2 circles with the hands moving in different directions. You have to draw faster and faster. Now move the middle finger of your right hand quickly, now move your thumb, and then move your small finger!’

The alert children will be able to think quickly and do all kinds of exercise. What benefits does this activity have? For an 8-year-old child, this form of exercise will make him ‘think’ about this future for the rest of his life. If the child only learns how to use his head to think, he will not be able to perform this type of thinking throughout his lifetime and he will eventually get tired of thinking one day. On the contrary, when a person is trained to perform actions that require him to be very alert and think before he acts, he will become an intelligent and thoughtful person in the future. There is a strong correlation between activities that 6- or 7-year-olds carry out and their levels of intelligence when they are 35, 36 years old.

When you understand such correlations better, you will have to try harder to teach what you ought to teach. Similarly, you can guide the children to be sensitive to the use of different colours. Suppose you let the children do this activity, instruct them to colour a red patch (see Picture f), then make them realize that by adding green border round the red patch, the final picture will look very good. You should be able to achieve better results if you use colouring materials other than the type that I am using now. Now you have to explain to the children that you are going to do the activity again the opposite way. You say, ‘I am going to colour a green patch first (see Picture g) which colour would you add to this green patch?’ Then the children will add red to the green patch.

Through this method, you will be able to slowly guide children to be sensitive to the effects of different colour matches. The children first observed that I have a red patch at the inner portion and a green border surrounding it. If the red patch is being changed to green, then the green border has to be changed to red. It is very important to let children who are around the age of 8 to appreciate the interplay of different colours and shapes.

Hence to deliver our curriculum effectively, you must use a teaching approach that has clear inner formation. To succeed in doing this, we need to abandon the normal way of planning timetable. In Wardolf schools, we do not plan timetable the way other schools plan, we allocate instructional time according to modules. One theme can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to teach, i.e., within this period of time we teach topics related to only one theme. Unlike other schools, we do not teach Maths from 8am to 9am, then teach Reading from 9am to 10am and later teach Writing from 10am to 11am. Instead, we teach the children a single theme for 4 weeks in the morning classes and when the children have acquired sufficient knowledge and skills, we will then move on to another theme. We never teach a subject for an hour and another subject for the next hour and so on. Instead, we will focus on Maths for many weeks and change to a new theme depending on the situation. However, we do have some themes which have to be taught every week, I’ll elaborate on this later. The rule of focusing on a main subject for a certain period of time is one that we adhere to strictly. Even though we teach only one theme for a long period of time, we do include other topics related to the theme. Through this approach, the children are saved from the harmful effects of having to absorb what is delivered in the current lesson and at the same time digest what has been introduced in the previous lesson. Through this modular approach, they no longer need to go through this painful process.

Many people are doubtful whether children will be able to retain most of the knowledge acquired through the modular approach. This will only happen to particular themes like Maths, but this problem can easily be solved by teaching the particular topic again. Even if they do forget, this disadvantage is insubstantial as compared to the benefits gained from the modular approach.

Children Education (4th Lecture-Continued)

Dr Rudolf Steiner
15 Aug 1924

Your ability to manage your class depends on your mood or the state of your soul. The correlation between them will bring about a special experience for you, provided you have sufficient self-confidence as a teacher.

While delivering a lesson, the teacher needs to ensure that her heart and soul are at a state when they can reach out to the students’ heart. To achieve this, the teacher needs to know her students very well. Eventually, you will realise that it is possible to do so within a very short time, even if there are more than 50 students in your class. You will understand them, have the images of all of them imprinted in your heart; you will understand every student’s temperament, talents and physical appearance, etc.

The main focus of Wardolf schools is our teachers’ meetings. In these meetings, the teachers will discuss the characteristics of each student. This has always been the first item on the agenda of our meetings held once weekly. Through these discussions, teachers can learn to improve on their performance.

Many questions will come to the teacher’s mind in the process of trying to understand his or her students better. While you are searching for answers to these questions, you will have a special kind of sensation that grows in your heart. You have to bring this sensation to your classroom. When the teacher’s feelings do not correspond to that of the students’, (this does happen sometimes), the students will immediately start to play pranks or fight and you’ll find it difficult to continue with the lesson. (I know the situation is not that bad here, what I am referring to is the situation in Europe.) This situation easily crops up, and the school may eventually replace one teacher with another. Then the students are suddenly at their best behaviour once they get a different teacher.

In your teaching experiences, this example may not be unfamiliar to you. To overcome such problems, the teacher has to be in the meditative state at the beginning of the day when facing her students with different personalities. You may think that to attain this, you need to spend at least an hour’s time. Yes, it is rather difficult to attain this meditative state if it really takes an hour. However, in actual fact, it takes only 10 to 15 minutes. The teacher must slowly develop an ability to feel the mind and soul of every student. This is the only way to understand the happenings in the class.

To find an appropriate atmosphere to relate stories rich in images, you need to understand children’s temperaments. This is also why responding to children according to their dispositions is important in education. The best approach is to let children of similar dispositions to be seated close to each other. Then you will immediately find out which group consists of the colerrcs, which group consists of the melancholics, and which consists of sanguines. You will be in a good position to understand all students in your class.

When you group students of similar temperament together and observe them, you are actually trying to help yourself maintain your authoritative status in the classroom. You will be surprised that you can achieve such results by doing this, but that is how most things work. Hence, all educators and educationalists should do contemplative self-reflections.

When you group phlegmatic students together, they will start to correct each other’s behaviour, then they will get tired of doing this and begin to dislike themselves for being indifferent. They will then try to improve continuously. Those who are easily agitated will fight one another till they feel tired. Hence, grouping students of similar temperaments together is very effective in getting them to “torture” one another. When you are talking to students, for instance discussing the story which you have just shared, you must develop an instinctive ability to treat each student according to his or her temperament. If I am discussing a story with a phlegmatic child, I must behave like I am even more indifferent than he is. As for sanguine children, the images in their minds change very rapidly, hence, I need to try to get the images in my mind to change at an even faster speed.

For colerrcs, you have to use speedy and emphatic approach to teach them. That means, you have to turn into a person who is also easily agitated. The angry look on your face will make these students detest their own angry looks. You have to take tit-for-tat actions against them, as long as you do not become too ridiculous.

Gradually, you will be able to establish an atmosphere in the classroom, in which a story is not just a story related to them, but also a story that can be used for further discussion in the future.

You need to discuss a story first before you ask them to retell. The worst approach is to ask a student to retell immediately after you finish telling a story. This method is totally meaningless, regardless of whether you appear to be smart or silly (you may not necessarily be smart at all times in the classroom, sometimes you may seem to be very silly, especially in the beginning). It is meaningful to ask students to retell the story only after you have discussed it with them. The story will become one that truly belongs to the children if you do this. After discussing the story, it is not important whether you let the children retell it, that is to say, it is not important whether the children have remembered the story. In fact, for children who have started to grow permanent teeth and those who are 9 to 10 years old, they need not develop the ability to memorize the story yet. It does not matter if they forget the story, let them say whatever they can remember about the story. We can use other methods to develop their memorizing skills. I shall touch on this later.

Now, let us ponder this question, “Why do I want to tell such a story?” It is because the thought-pictures in this story will be imprinted in the minds of the children as they grow up. Such stories have very rich contents that you can tap in your future lessons. Little Violet was terrified when she saw the huge violet in the sky. You need not explain this in detail to the children, however, when you encounter more complicated teaching problems or when the children have difficulties overcoming their fears, you can remind them of this story. In this story, there are small things and big things. Throughout our lives, we will always be influenced by the interactions between big and small things, this is something that you can bring up in your future lessons. The focus of the first half of the story is on the evil dog’s threatening words to Little Violet. Whereas the second half focuses on the kind words that the little lamb told Little Violet. When the children learn to treasure such stories and when they grow up, you will realize how easy it is to guide them to the realms of good and evil perceptions, and to understand how this two extreme feelings are deeply rooted in the human souls. Even for older children, you can retell such simple stories to them again. Through the story, children are able to understand certain life experiences without having to go through these experiences themselves. The story illustrates such life experiences very well, you can relate the story again and again in your future lessons.

The same applies to religious lessons. Such lessons will only be introduced to children at a later stage. This story is also a good tool to evoke the religious feelings, the feelings for the great Lord, in our children. The great blue thing up there, the sky, is the great Goddess of Violet.

This story can be used in different levels of religious lessons. When you are elaborating on the point that God’s nature can be found in our hearts, this story offers you a beautiful metaphor. You can tell the children this, “This great violet in the sky, the Goddess of Violet, is all blue and stretches out extensively in all directions. Now, imaging you slice a small piece from the large stretch of blueness, and that gives us the small violet. Hence the sky is as mighty and great as the oceans on Earth. Your soul is like a drop of water in this great ocean. In this great ocean, although you are only a droplet, you are no different from other droplets in the ocean. Hence, your soul is as great as the Lord in the sky, the only difference is you are one of the many droplets’.

If you can find suitable thought-pictures in any story, you can use this approach to conduct early childhood education. You can remind them of these thought-pictures when they are more mature. However, you need to enjoy creating such thought-pictures in the first place. From there, you will begin to create many stories with your imagination and creativity, so much so that it is difficult to put a stop to it! The human soul is just like a spring that will spew water endlessly, once you hit on the source, it will produce endless valuables. Most people are very lazy, they will not spend effort to develop the great potentials in their souls.

Now, let us look at another type of teaching strategy related to thought-pictures. We must remember not to force our children to acquire adult’s intellectual knowledge and skills. To develop young children’s thinking skills, the only way is to use images, thought pictures and imagination.

The practice mentioned below is suitable for a child as young as 8 years old. Never mind if they are unable to do it well at the beginning, for example, if you draw this figure (see Picture a), you have to use all kinds of methods to make the children feel that this figure is incomplete. Which method to use will depend on the personality of the child whom you are teaching. For example, you can say, ‘This line ends here (left part of figure) …, but on this side, the line ends here (right part of figure, not completed) …, it does not look good this way, because the top part is like that, and the bottom part has only reached this far.’ Slowly, you guide the child to finish this drawing, the child will feel that this figure is incomplete and will be determined to complete it. He will end up drawing some lines to the incomplete figure. Here, I use a red pen to draw, it is the same when you ask a child to use a white chalk to draw. I merely use a red pen to highlight the portion that I have added to the figure. Through this activity, the children will be able to make thinking and imaginative observations. When the children are thinking, their minds will be full of thought-pictures and images.

Children Education (4th Lecture-Continued)

Dr. Rudolf Steiner
15 Aug 1924

I have taught you how to use descriptive and imaginative images to teach children between 9 to 10 years old and children at the stage of growing permanent teeth. By using this method, what you’ve taught them will be deeply rooted in the hearts and souls of children and naturally contribute to their future development.

But this attainable provided that the feelings and perceptions you’ve evoked in the children are lively and not mechanical. To achieve this, you need to be able to feel your inner soul. All educators should be patient about self-education, about nurturing and awakening those souls which will definitely sprout and grow. From then after, you may have many amazing discoveries, but it takes courage and diligence to achieve this.


When you begin to develop spiritual yourself, you have to endure the pains and difficulties faced during the initial stage. Those who cannot endure this painful stage will never achieve anything in spiritual development. Especially for those in the education line, your very first task should be lighting up your own soul. If for once or twice, you have succeeded in using the mind images method to touch the souls of children, you will unravel your hidden talent. You will find it easier and easier to use this method. You will realize how creative you are. But first, you must have the courage to bear with the imperfections in the beginning.

Maybe you’ll think, I should not be a teacher if I appear to be so clumsy in front of the children. Perspectives from the study of human intelligence may enlighten you about this. Tell yourself, it is the karma that brings me to this group of children who witness my clumsiness. When I mature and become more skillful over time, karma will lead me to another group of children who will no longer regard me as a clumsy teacher. (When discussing about the relationship between reincarnations and destinies, Dr. Steiner used the ancient word ‘Karma’ that originated from the East, see chapter 2 of Dr. Steiner’s book ‘Theosophy’) Hence, educators must face their own lives with courage, as the purpose of education is not for the teachers, but for the children.


Let me give you another example to illustrate the point that certain matters can become part of the children’s souls and stay with them throughout their lifetimes. These matters can be enacted to evoke certain feelings of children. If there are certain matters which you can teach children when they are 7 or 8 years old and enact these matters when they are 14 to 15 years old. The effectiveness of such teaching method is unsurpassed by other methods. Because of this reason, in Waldorf School, we try to let pupils have the same teacher for as long as it is possible. When pupils join the school at the age of 7, the same teacher will teach them for as long as possible. This is to allow the teacher to improve on any immature teaching methods or content knowledge.


If we tell an imaginative story to some 7- or 8-years old children now, the children need not understand all images portrayed in the story (I’ll explain why later). Most importantly, the children should feel happy after listening to the story, probably because the story is enchanting.

If the story goes like this: Long ago, in a faraway land, a humble violet plant grew under a tree with big leaves. The violet could see the blue sky from the highest branch of the tree. The violet just bloomed; she had never seen the blue sky before. The violet was terrified when she first saw the blue sky, though not as frightened now. But she could not understand why she was so terrified when she first saw the blue sky. Then a dog came along. The dog was not a good one, he was a bit naughty and a bit fierce. The violet asked the dog, “Can you please tell me, what is that thing above me and as blue as me called?” The sky was just as blue as the violet. The dog wanted to scare her. He said, “Oh! That’s a very huge violet flower, she will grow even bigger and crush you!” The violet believed what the dog had said and was very worried and frightened from then on. Consequently, she closed all her petals and hid under a big leaf, not wanting to look at the enormous violet above her. She hid under the leaf all day long, thinking about the horrible big violet.

The violet was unable to sleep. Throughout the night, she waited for the moment when the huge violet would fall down and crush her. But nothing happened. Hence, she quietly opened her petals, not feeling sleepy at all (violets do not feel tired if they do not sleep at all, they only feel sleepy if they have slept). The things which she saw when she first opened her eyes were the rising sun and the rosy clouds of dawn. She felt happy when she saw the rosy dawn. When the clouds of dawn drifted away and the sky became bluer and bluer, she recalled what the dog had told her. That the blue thing up there was a huge violet that would crush her to death.

Just then, a lamb came along. Little violet felt she had to ask the same question again. She asked, “What’s that up there?” Little lamb replied, “That’s a big violet, a flower just like you.” Then the violet started to feel afraid. She was afraid that the lamb would say the same thing as what the dog had said. But the little lamb seemed to be very nice and gentle, the violet asked again, “Little lamb, will the huge violet fall down and crush me?” Little lamb replied, “Definitely not. It will not crush you. It is an enormous violet with lots and lots of love. It has much more love than you have, that’s why it is much bluer than you are.” The violet realized that the huge violet up there was bluer because it had much more love and would protect little violet from any harm. Little violet was overjoyed. Whenever she looked at the sky, she could feel lots of love being showered on her. Hence, she looked at the sky with much respect, the way she would look when she was praying to the Goddess of Violet.

If you tell children stories like this, they will definitely listen attentively. This is because they like this kind of stories. But you have to tell it when they are in the appropriate mood. Only then can they relate to the story and let this story become part of their souls. This is very important. To achieve this, it depends on the teacher’s confidence about managing the class.


This is also why when we tell stories like the one mentioned above, we have to consider the aspect of classroom management. In the past, there was a teacher in the Waldorf School who was a very good storyteller. But he could not make the children love him and respect him from their hearts. The outcome was, when the teacher had finished telling one story, the children would immediately ask for another one. They kept on asking for more. The teacher could not have possibly prepared so many stories in advance to satisfy their needs. We must avoid being a steam engine and keep on telling stories to our children, there must be a change in our approach. We must take a step further by letting the children ask questions. We have to read the facial expressions and body language of the children and judge if they want to ask questions. Give them time to ask questions and try to connect the questions and story together.

A child may ask, “Why did the dog want to scare the violet?” You can use a childlike answer to respond. Tell him that dogs are responsible of guarding our properties. They are supposed to bring fear to others, and they are used to making bad people afraid of them. This can explain why the dog gave such a horrifying answer to the violet. You can also give similar explanations for the lamb’s response.

You can tell the children such things after you have finished telling the story. You will realize that one question will lead to another and in the end, you may even rediscover new questions. Your task is to keep the class under control throughout the whole session, during which the children do not challenge your authority (we have yet to tell you about a lot regarding this point). If the children do not treat you as a figure of authority, it is likely that when you’re answering one child’s question, another child will start to play mischief. If you turn this mischievous child and admonish him or her, then you would stand to lose! You must have the ability to ignore the mischief which you have witnessed. This technique is especially important to younger children.

I have great admiration for a teacher from Waldorf School for his way of handling such discipline matters. 10 years ago, he had a very mischievous boy in his class (he has changed a lot since then). When the teacher was doing some other things with another pupil, he would jump up and hit that classmate. If the teacher got angry, he would even be naughtier. But this teacher pretended that he did not see the naughty boy. It is better that you ignore such matter and continue to do what you’re doing. Generally speaking, when a pupil is playing mischief, it is bad to give him any attention.

If you cannot keep your class in control, if you are unable to command such absolute sense of authority (I’ll tell you how to achieve this later), you’ll end up having to tell story after story and as a result, the children will not be able to relax. To help them relax, all the teacher has to do is to change the subject. This has to happen sooner or later, or else the children will be constantly tensed up and in excited mood. Then, you will see children getting up to play, sing songs, dance, hit their classmates or run out of the classroom. By then it would be totally impossible to get them to sit down and listen to another interesting story.

Your classroom management ability depends on the condition of your soul or your emotions. You will be able to feel the magical correlation between them. Most importantly, it depends on whether the teacher has self-confidence.

(To be continued)

Safe Delivery – Tips on delivering at home

Mandy Hsieh

In general, when we hear of babies being born at home, the immediate inquires would be “is it safe?” and “is it hygienic?”. I used to believe that only my grandmother’s generation practised that sort of thing. A contemporary female should do it in the environment of a medically and technically competent hospital. However, my outlook became different after reading “Reclaiming Our Health” (by John Robin). The book describes how hospital delivery has stripped native affliction from this experience by the application of medical technology thus rendering the ‘production procedure’ a symptom of illness in the hospital environment. The course of pregnancy is to be directed by a doctor, reducing the role of the expectant mother to that of a patient and stripping her of her natural capacity and ability to reproduce. In addition, the book also touched on the discrimination of midwives (viewed as direct business competitors) by mainstream doctors in America. Thus, when I had my second pregnancy, I naturally opted for home delivery and engaged the service of the mid-wife.

My delivery help is a group of three licensed midwives, Mary, Anna and Alice. The complete course of service includes pre-natal examination, helping with the delivery at home, examination of the new-born, post-natal home visits, post-natal care and review of the mother’s condition, etc. At the time of delivery, two of the three midwives would be on hand to assist. The total charge is US$2,700.

Pre-natal check-ups were done at the homes of the individual midwives whom I visited in-turns. Urine-test, measurement of blood pressure and body weight as well as foetus heartbeat and size were among the items examined during each check-up session. This is in line with general hospital practices for pre-natal care. More complicated examination procedures such as ultra-sound scanning, blood examination and amniocentesis are optional. After hearing their explanation on the pros and cons of each examination procedure, I opted for only the blood test. Being an “old” mother, I might not have this freedom of choice if I were to take the pre-natal care program in a hospital. Each examination takes up to one hour to complete. Other than the normal ‘necessities’, most of the time is spent talking with them. Topics covered include my first pregnancy, family ties, my husband’s work-related pressure (he had just changed job), feelings about the current pregnancy, etc; as well as all matters small and tiny. This is necessary because a mother’s emotions have profound effects on her pregnancy and such information would come in handy when the delivery runs into difficulties as mid-wives in assistance has to calm her anxiety. Such sessions of small talks also allow the mother to build up trust and confidence in them. As a result, I was able to build up a friendly relationship with them; one that is cordial and dependable.

In my case, home delivery required one more consideration; that is, how to handle the elder child during delivery. The four-year-old has clearly indicated that he did not want to be present. I arranged for a good friend to take care of him. This is very important for me because I certainly did not want to have to pacify a possibly frightened child when I’m in labour.

As the expected date of delivery drew nearer, I started getting the necessities prepared. I had to mail order a package that comes with sterilized gloves, disposable protector sheets (made of paper) for the bed or floor, gauze, strings for tying the umbilical cord, baby’s hat, etc. On top of that I had to prepare a sterilized bed sheet, rags for cleaning, hydrogen peroxide (for removal of bloodstains from the carpet), baby’s clothes, etc. At the beginning, it was very confusing but as the items got assembled one by one, I became calmer. One month before delivery, the three of them took turns to visit me at home. They got themselves familiar with the route to my home and the layout of the room used for delivery. They also familiarized themselves with the layout of my kitchen and where the utensils were kept (to cook herbal brew that help to stop blood bleeding and warm up massaging oil, etc.) and to make last minute recommendations if necessary, so that they could work smoothly on the day.

The much-anticipated day finally arrived one week ahead of time. That morning, I discovered some bleeding as I awoke. I was able to recognise the symptom, as it was the same as when I delivered my first baby. Excitedly, I called my mid-wife counsellors. Alice (being on duty that day) answered the telephone. As my labour pain had not started, they need not come immediately but we maintained constant contact. I then called my friend to take my elder child away. Since the delivery was to take place at home and I need not rush to the hospital, I started to cook herbal soup. My husband did some house cleaning in preparation for the arrival of our new baby. By 3pm, there was still no sign of labour pain, so I started to chant Chenrizig mantra. My husband also chanted Diamond-Cutter Sutra asking for a smooth delivery. By 7pm, there was still no indication of further progress, and I was a little disappointed. I recalled that when I had my elder child, I also had some bleeding in the morning and the baby arrived at 6.30pm. I thought that it should be faster the second time. I told myself perhaps the baby might not arrive until the next day, so I had my friend brought the elder child back and we had a sumptuous dinner.

At 9pm, as I was putting my elder boy into bed, I felt uneasy. I told my son that I was about to deliver and told him to sleep with daddy. He nodded knowingly. I laid in bed for a while to verify that my baby was indeed due. I started preparing the bed according to instructions; one layer of clean bed sheet, followed by one layer of plastic sheet, then the sterilized bed sheet. Before I could finish, the pains were unbearable, and I had to rest. When the pain stopped, I made the emergency call to the mid-wife service and also woke my husband up. Soon my friend also arrived to take care of my son. The pain got more intense but Alice, the midwife had not returned my call. At 11pm I made another emergency call and this time Anna answered. She arrived 10 minutes later followed shortly by Mary and Moer (an apprentice mid-wife). Alice was at another home attending to another delivery. Their telephone service company called the wrong number and that was why Alice did not get my message.

Upon arrival, Anna examined my condition and confirmed that dilation was progressing. They started preparing quickly while my labour pains intensified. Moer stood by the bed holding my hand and encouraging me. After every cycle of pain, she would praise me for doing well and told me to relax so that the muscles could allow the dilation to progress naturally. Suddenly I felt that I was not able to push in a lying down position and requested to stand up. In the standing position, there is no support when the pain came and I had to hold on to my husband’s waist while using force at the same time. Anna realized that my husband would not be able to sustain my periodic pulling force so she covered a nearby chair with a blanket and had me hold onto the chair instead. She taught me to push in a squatting position. Thus every cycle of labour had me hugging the chair and screaming into the blanket while my head was buried in it. Mary whispered gently into my ear telling me to relax, to experience my body expanding and to get ready for the arrival of the baby. Anna and Moer were behind me, reporting to me the progress of the dilation all the time. My husband was beside me giving moral as well as physical support. Finally, Anna reported that the baby’s scalp was visible. After a few more pushes, Mary told me to stop pushing thus allowing the muscles to dilate on its own to minimise tearing. At that moment, the baby’s head emerged. It was still inside the water bag, as it had not burst. I rested for a moment and pushed hard for one last time. I felt my baby’s body slipping out of mine; my beautiful baby was born. I carried him close to me; this would be the last moment when we were physically connected (by the umbilical cord and placenta).

I laid on the bed awaiting the discharge of the placenta and started to breast feed my baby. Anna and Moer had observed and noted the blood lost during delivery. Moer massaged my slowly contracting womb at 15 minutes intervals; Mary and my husband helped to cut the umbilical cord. I drank some herbal soup and herb tea prepared by the midwives to stop the bleeding. As my baby was big (4.337kg) and the delivery speedy, there was substantial virginal tearing and Moer had to give me a few stitches. Anna examined my newborn baby and found him normal. When everything settled into place, Mary had to hurry to the other home to help Alice. That lady had experienced labour pains earlier than I but had yet to deliver. Anna and Moer stayed behind to ‘tidy up’ and advise my husband and I on the dos and don’ts for the next few days. During this delivery, I started experiencing slight labour pains at about 9pm; the midwives arrived before 11.30pm, and by 12.22am my baby was born. The whole delivery process was over in 3 ½ hours. Although it happened so quickly and with so much excitement, I was able to capture every moment vividly and my elder child was not even awakened by the commotion. Since it happened so fast, my husband could not complete the prayer that he was chanting and had to resume after Anna and Moer left.

I hugged my new baby thinking about the difficult journey that he had before arriving to this world; so too was it true for myself. At this moment, we both needed a well-deserved rest. He rested peacefully, looking so contented. It was completely unlike the time when my elder child was born; free from bright illumination, injection, eye-medication, unnecessary medical examination, and most important of all did not have to leave my side. The home environment, unlike that of the hospital, is free from all sorts of invisible viruses and infections. I was happy that I chose to deliver my baby at home.

In the following fortnight, Mary, Anna, Alice and Moer visited my baby and I at home on separate occasions. On each visit, they examined my recuperation progress and my baby’s growth condition, and this gave me tremendous comfort, without feeling lost and being abundant once the baby was born. When my baby was 8 weeks old, I called to Anna’s home with my baby for a follow-up medical examination. This wraps up the whole mid-wife service.

Recollecting the memories of both occasions of childbirth; the first being in the hospital and the second at home, each lasting 3 ½ hours. In the hospital, I was being strapped at my abdomen, drip attached, enema, being shaved, restricted movement, and the unforgettable vaginal cut that was made just before the birth of my baby. Nurses would make half-hourly checks and leave me alone staring at the lights of the equipment around me the rest of the time. I still remembered the bad experience of a certain nurse who forcefully parted my legs while I was having labour pains. At that time, I was unaware of my rights and had allowed it to happen. After delivery, my baby underwent all sorts of examinations, injections and was then taken away from me. My husband was busy taking care of all kinds of documentation. Although I had earlier indicated that I wished to breast feed my baby, I could not do so until 4am when I suddenly awoke and made a special request. The next day, I was discharged from the hospital with aches all over my body. In contrast, delivering at home was more ‘mother-centred’. All attention was focused on my needs and me; all those around me were familiar faces and not those of strangers, I can choose to deliver my baby in the most suitable manner, the father can participate actively in the delivery process. All these gave me great confidence in myself and allowed a smooth delivery. No wonder only 5% of cases handled by my mid-wife service are caesarean cases (23% of deliveries in California Hospital are caesarean cases).

After this experience, I no longer feel that delivering of babies is exclusively for women only. If not for the constant presence and support of my husband, I believe the whole episode would have been a lot harder. May I sincerely express my deepest gratitude to Mary, Anna and Alice; the unsung heroines who made such a beautiful experience possible.


If you ever consider giving birth at home, the choice of a competent team of midwives is of utmost importance. You have to understand the kind of training and experience they have undergone, their emergency readiness, whether there is any hospital support, their professional tools, their operational procedures, their charges, mutual understanding with them and their professional attitude. You should also read up on the topic especially if you are a first time mother. I have had made references to two books; the first is “Special Delivery” written by Rahima Baldwin and published by Celestial Arts, and the other is “Gentle Birth Choices” written by Barbara Harper and published by Healing Arts Press.

Teaching by Example – Learner’s Journey

Robin Pan

The children of a wealthy but busy couple grew up playing in the home and company of a kind neighbour, who is a scientist and a professor, as well as a great nature lover and a vegetarian. Although the neighbour did not teach the children to love nature or be vegetarians, they were influenced by his way of life, and naturally developed the tendency to avoid eating meat. Their conviction about the value of vegetarianism became even stronger when their highly stressed father, who loved wine and meat, suffered a heart attack. During barbecues, one of the children would even avoid the meat-leaden skewers on his vegetarian burger. Whereas the children’s  father enjoyed watching football matches on TV, none of the children liked to watch TV – an influence of their neighbour who kept his unplugged TV set inside a cabinet. Their businessman father aspired that his children grew up to follow in his footsteps or become lawyers or accountants. Although some of his children initially tried to fulfil his wishes, these nature-loving children eventually followed their hearts and switched to natural sciences, biology, or medical sciences. From the traditional Chinese perspective, these children were not filial in that their behaviours did not follow that of their parents. Perhaps, their parents would ask, “Whose children do they actually belong to?” Readers, perhaps, would ask, “Who is this neighbour of the children?”

The neighbour is Dr Arthur Hubbard, who holds a doctorate in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. His outstanding research has made him the editor for several scientific publications – a highly coveted position in the academic circle.

His achievements do not stand in the way of his love of children. He feels that parents should wholeheartedly love their children and spend time to play with them. Developing strong bonds with their children enables parents to observe, understand, and better educate their children. Parents should allow their children to be in the company of and develop close relationships with kind people. With a good 30 years of teaching experience to his credit, Arthur feels that because parents and children are in constant contact, parents have to lead by example. If the parents want their children to be of good character, they have to be of good character themselves. In fact, parents with a passion for learning have children who generally do not do too badly in school. Perhaps, this can explain why children from uneducated parents (who missed out on education due to war or poverty) are able to achieve good academic results. It may be that these parents have a strong desire to learn but did not have the opportunity to do so; thus, their passion is passed on to their offspring.

In the opinion of Arthur, we live to learn. Life should be creative, and learning is a joyful phrase of living. He points out that there are presently some students who are not interested in learning anything; this is a kind of self-imposed punishment because learning is an experience in life.

Arthur confesses that he pursued his Ph.D. purely out of his thirst for knowledge. In fact, whatever knowledge we acquire can be beneficial to us in the future in ways that we do not anticipate. For example, he learnt draftsman ship as a student and has also been a carpenter in a building project. When he settled down in his hometown, he decided to build his own house. With a tight budget, these skills came in handy. He drew the plans and supervised the building of his dream home, personally seeing the completion of his three-acre mountainside mansion with a build-in area of 4000 square feet. This was an ambitious project in view of the stringent U.S. building regulations, which includes strict requirements on soil composition, structural safety, fire safety, utilities, etc. The successful completion of the project must be credited to his previously acquired knowledge and experience.

A lover of wildlife, Arthur was immediately interested when learnt that a wholesome non-meat diet is a compassionate act that can also improve his health. Being the scientist he is, Arthur decided to experiment with this diet immediately. The results convinced him to become a vegetarian thereon.

Aa a nature lover, Arthur is able to locate a sea lion from its smell while he is sitting on a cliff hundreds of feet above the sea level. When you ask him to identify a flower, he will get down on his knees to smell the flower, and then tell you that it is a violet.

From him, we can see that a scientific researcher does not need to be void of feelings. If a scientist is brutal and an enemy of nature, then science will take mankind onto the road towards total destruction. On the other hand, if all scientists have open minds and love nature, then science would bring great benefits to mankind.

From him, we can also see that a chemist can also do the work of an architect as well as that of a civil engineer. Thus, if one is open-minded, willing to learn and do, then the path to greater knowledge will be a smooth ride; anything is possible.

When asked about his religion belief, the scientist remarked that he once saw the following words on the sticker of a car in front of him: “My religion is kindness”. And he completely agrees with it. He then goes on to share an interesting story about a relative that he greatly respected.

This relative is a carpenter who, just before his retirement, settled down in a small town because he loved the atmosphere in small towns. Later, a merchant wanted to open a shop to sell liquor in the vicinity despite strong objections from the residents. The authorities evaded the issue. The residents felt that the only way out was to apply for autonomous governance where the town mayor would be able to independently make decisions to the benefit of the residents. The residents requested this relative to become their mayor, and he agreed. After retirement, he helped out as a counsellor in a hospital. Arthur says that his relative does not have any specific religious beliefs; however, we can see that his religion is compassion.

From this story, we can see that a person without any religious beliefs is able to exemplify the principles of selfless compassion. This story also serves as a reminder to those who profess to practice a religion aimed at salvation for all beings, and suggests the following questions for us to ponder over: “Do we practice what we say? Are our actions consistent with compassion? Do we denigrate other religions? Or, denigrate other sects within our religion? Do we really practice compassion in our actions, and lead all to a joyous, peaceful future?”

Children & The Way of Peace

Peace Pilgrim

I met a couple who were determined that they were going to train their four children in the way of peace. Every night at dinner they gave a regular sermon on peace. But one evening I heard the father scream at the older son. The next evening, I heard the older son scream at the younger son in the same tone of voice. What the parents said hadn’t made any impression at all – what they did was what the children were following.

Implanting spiritual ideas in children is very important. Many people live their entire lives according to the concepts that are implanted in them in childhood. When children learn they will get the most attention and love through doing constructive things, they will tend to stop doing destructive things. Most important of all, remember that children learn through example. No matter what you say, it is what you do that will have an influence on them.

This is a very challenging area for parents. Are you training your children in the way of love which is the way of the future?

It concerns me when I see a small child watching the hero shoot the villain on television. It is teaching the small child to believe that shooting people is heroic. The hero just did it and it was effective. It was acceptable and the hero was well thought of afterward.

If enough of us find inner peace to affect the institution of television, the little child will see the   hero transform the villain and bring him to a good life. He’ll see the hero do something significant to serve fellow human beings. So little children will get the idea that if you want to be a hero you must help people.

A minister I know spent some time in Russia. He saw no Russian children playing with guns. He visited the large toy stores in Moscow and discovered that there were no toy guns or other toy implements of destruction for sale.

Peaceful training is given in a few small cultures right within our larger culture. I knew a couple who lived for ten or twelve years among the Hopi Indians. They said to me, “Peace, this is amazing – they never hurt anyone.”

I have walked among the Amish people myself. They have sizable communities. Peaceful, secure communities with no violence. I talked to them, and I realized it’s because they learn, as little children onward, that it would be unthinkable to harm a human being. Therefore, they never do it. This can be accomplished if you are brought up that way.

Once a woman brought her four or five-year-old daughter over to me and said, “Peace, will you explain to my daughter what is good and what is bad?” I said to the child, “Bad is something that hurts somebody. When you eat junk food that hurts you, so that is bad,” She understood. “Good is something that helps somebody. When you pick up your toys and put them back into your toy box that helps your mother, so that is good.” She understood. Sometimes, the simplest explanation is best.

When my folks put me to bed they would say to me very wisely, “It gets dark so that it will be restful for you to sleep. Now go to sleep in the nice friendly, restful darkness.” And so, to me darkness has always seemed to be friendly and restful. And when I’m either walking all night to keep warm or sleeping beside the road, there I am, in the nice, friendly restful darkness.

Children need roots somewhere while they are growing up, and parents might do well to choose the place where they want to raise them before they have them.