Awakened Living Study Program, Lesson 47: LEAVING HOME

Dear brothers and sisters: Good morning and thank you for attending our weekly Awakened Living Study Program. My name is Alaye Soteme and I will be your host. Our topic for today’s Study is LEAVING HOME. May we focus our full attention on this study for the lessons of life because knowledge is POWER, knowledge is SUCCESS, knowledge is FORGIVENESS, knowledge is WISDOM, knowledge is ENLIGHTENMENT and knowledge is AWAKENED LIVING.

All quotes relating to GOD are interpreted in a Universal sense; in other words our use of the word GOD does not refer to any religion, cultural Gods, saviors, or created Gods. GOD is the underlying ESSENCE of the Universe. GOD has no chosen people, GOD has no Sacred Text and GOD has no Sacred Place! The Universe is the Sacred Text, the Universe is the Sacred Place and all creatures are Testaments of GOD! 

Further you are here to look at life from a different angle. You are not here to follow what others have put in place be it their religion, their Gods, their sacred texts, their beliefs or their way of thinking. You are here to share your LIGHT with the world.  The beliefs of our ancestors are our liabilities. Our challenge is to look at life in ways that promote interdependence and destroy all forms of discrimination including racism, tribalism, nationalism, nepotism, fundamentalism, fanaticism, favoritism, exclusivism, chosen people and racial superiority. 

Lastly, none of the quotes here is absolute or written in blood. They are all human thoughts and ideas based on their experiences and according to their levels of consciousness. The Awakened Living Study Program is a platform to study what others have said and improve on them. Do not for any reason use the quotes as mantra for life because you are the LIGHT!

Opening Meditation
You may offer an appropriate prayer before reading, discussing and reflecting on the famous quotes and the Sacred Texts verses. You may use the following prayer:

O LOVE who pervades the universe, we thank you for this opportunity to learn. We pray for LOVE to manifest amongst us to guide our readings, discussions and reflections. We specially pray for peace of mind and save us from all distractions and concerns of mind and body so that we may learn the lessons of life for our guidance and the transformation of our lives. In the name of Love, the Earth and the Universe, Amen.

The Study Leader may make announcements at this time. Welcome new members, recognize birthdays or anniversaries; make an award or recognize a contribution; announce Circle of Life successes. This is also an opportunity for anyone to share an experience, give thanks or make a request for special prayers.

Opening Thoughts
The leader or an appointed person will stand and read the opening thoughts. The opening thoughts explain the topic of discussion. You may use the information below or explain it in your own words.

Today’s meditation is on Leaving Home or Children Leaving Home. Generally parents do not want their children to leave home with a few exceptions. In some cultures no one leaves home because there is a family home where every member of the family stays. But the truth is that our children will leave home at one time or another. When is it a good time for your children to leave home? What should they do before they leave home? Where are they going? We will consider these and similar questions in today’s presentation.

Famous Quotes
Take turns to read the famous quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote.  Please give credit to the author of the quote and as an assignment for presentations each person may choose an author and find out more about the author to share with the group during the next session.

However painful the process of leaving home, for parents and for children, the really frightening thing for both would be the prospect of the child never leaving home. Robert Nelly Bellah
2 Leaving home in a sense involves a kind of second birth in which we give birth to ourselves. Robert Nelly Bellah
3 “When you leave home to follow your dreams, your road will probably be riddled with potholes, not always paved in happy Technicolor bricks. You'll probably be kicked to the ground 150 million times and told you're nuts by friends and strangers alike. As you progress you may feel lonely or terrified for your physical and emotional safety. You may overestimate your own capabilities or fail to live up to them, and you'll surely fall flat on your face once in a while.” Kelly Cutrone
4 A complex world of intrigues and power play among couples has combined to deny young people the love and attention they truly deserve, more and more teenagers are leaving home to peer up with bad influence which eventually lands them in jail for the lucky ones and six feet under for the not so lucky.” Oche Otorkpa
5 There isn't a child who hasn't gone out into the brave new world who eventually doesn't return to the old homestead carrying a bundle of dirty clothes.  ~Art Buchwald
6 The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. Denis Waitley
7 You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right. Maya Angelou
8 The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them. Frank A. Clark 
9 Growing up means leaving home and becoming a self supporting adult. I think this the hardest task any human being hast to face. John Bradshaw
10 Leaving home' to me means adopting the attitude that the pursuit of the truth is more vital than the pursuit of what society — your home — tells you is important. Brad Warner

Sacred Texts Quotes
Take turns to read all the sacred text quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote. In your discussion compare and contrast the quotes. What did you learn from the similarities and differences? What quote inspires you? What life lessons did you learn from the quote? Please give credit to the sacred text during your reading by mentioning the name of the text and where the quote could be found. 

1 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Christianity, New Testament: Ephesians 5:31
2 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Judaism, Tanakh: Proverbs 22:6
3 Those who have not practiced spiritual disciplines in their youth pine away like old cranes in a lake without fish. Buddhism, Dhammapada 155
4   Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Judaism, Tanakh: Joshua 1:9
5 We are on a market trip to earth: whether we fill our baskets or not, once the time is up, we go home. African Religions. Igbo Song (Nigeria)
6 Relatives and friends and well-wishers rejoice at the arrival of a man who had been long absent and has returned home safely from afar. Likewise, meritorious deeds will receive the good person upon his arrival in the next world, as relatives welcome a dear one on his return. Buddhism. Dhammapada 219-20
7 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Judaism, Tanakh: Isaiah 40:30-31
8  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Christianity, New Testament: 1 Peter 5:6-7
9 Giving no pain to any creature, a person should slowly accumulate spiritual merit for the sake of acquiring a companion in the next world....For in the next world neither father, nor mother, nor wife, nor sons, nor relations stay to be his companions; spiritual merit alone remains with him. Hinduism. Laws of Manu 4.238-39
10  Anything evil refrain from doing; all good deeds do! So will you be released forever from the influence of evil stars, and always be encompassed by good guardian angels. Taoism. Tract of the Quiet Way

Teaching Story
The teaching story is a story, a parable or thoughts related to the topic of discussion. An appointed person will read each story and the group will take turns and discuss. What does the story mean to you? What did you learn from the story? Did the story add anything new to the topic of discussion? How has this study enriched your life?

Our teaching story is “Amanda Left Home

Once upon a time Amanda left home. She left because she thought she was missing out on life and that she felt there is something out there for her to discover about her life. “There is more to learn out there”, she said to her parents in one of their weekly meetings. Her parents advised her that if it is true that she is looking for something worthwhile it ought to be “in here” and not “out there”. “How could we face the challenges of life if we have not taken the time to look at our lives from within?” they asked. Further her parents advised her not to leave home in a rush. It would be better for her to plan her life and take time to make proper contacts before leaving. They also advised her to include them in her plans so they could better advise her on her options.

But this was precisely why Amanda wanted to leave home. She wanted to be in control of every aspect of her life without parental guidance or scrutiny. So Amanda took matters into her own hands and moved into her friend’s family home to share a room with her friend. Her parents let her move with the family pet for company coupled with the fact that she loved the pet so much. After about a week or so Amanda visited her parents and told them that she has not eaten real food since she moved out because she does not have kitchen privileges. But her great disappointment with her new home was when they told her that her pet was no longer welcome and that she should make another arrangement immediately.

Amanda spent the night with her parents and told them that she felt helpless when she realized the reality of her present condition and thought and cried throughout the previous night. First her parents were concerned about their daughter’s well being and assured her that they still love her very much and that she should never keep such things to herself but to share it with them immediately. Secondly her parents were also concerned about the lack of kitchen privileges when she was paying about one-third of the rent. Thus they advised her to consider looking for another accommodation with kitchen privileges and where she could have a room by herself instead of sharing with another person. Finally, her parents agreed to take care of the family pet while she looked for another accommodation and encouraged her to join the US Navy. According to the parents it will be a good place for her to learn and think about her life while at the same time offering a great service to her country. Before she left the parents told their daughter that no one entirely does everything by him or herself because we live in an interdependent world. Amanda apologized for shutting her parents out of her life but promised to do better next time and try to keep the family alive in her mind instead of thinking about herself alone. In time Amanda joined the Navy to serve her country and lived happily ever after.

Closing Meditation
The closing meditation presents the highlights of the Study.  The highlights should include among others what you have learned and what aspects of the study are worth noting. The leader or an appointed person may share the closing meditation. You may use the thoughts and information provided below but I encourage you to use the contributions of the participants and current relevant information.

Our closing Meditation is on what to do before leaving home, where not to go when you leave home and where to go when you leave home:

What to do before Leaving Home

  1. Plan in advance. We have learned from the teaching story that planning is important before you leave home. Planning means making the proper arrangements including background checks if you intend to leave with another family, checking out housing contract laws and knowing exactly what you are getting.
  2. Include your parents in your plans. Do not do it alone; include your parents because they could present you with many options and make your move easier. Know that you are not alone.
  3. Get a job. Obviously this is very important since you will begin to pay your house rent including utilities and other expenses like grocery and Internet access

Where Not to go when You Leave Home

  1. Do not move in with a boyfriend
  2. Do not move in with a girlfriend
  3. Do not join a Religious Commune
  4. Do not join a Gang

Where to go when you leave Home

  1. US Armed Forces-Marine, Navy, Air Force
  2. Monastery
  3. Foreign Studies
  4. College
  5. Getting Married

On the whole parents know that their children will eventually leave home but they want to make sure that the children are leaving home for the right reasons and are leaving home to the right place. Work with your parents for a better and a brighter future and do not forget your family!

You may accept gifts and donations at this time for the work you are doing. It takes effort, time and money to put the Study Program together so I encourage attendants to give. An appointed person may now pass the donation bag. The leader may bless the gifts after the donations.

Closing Prayer
Always close your Study Program with a prayer or an affirmation. Pray for guidance and direction during the week. Pray for everyone present. The leader or an appointed person may offer the closing prayer.

You may serve refreshments after the Study. This is a time to relax and socialize. Get to know the people in the Program with you and I mean really know them well. One of the secrets of success is connection so I encourage you to know the people around you. The host may decide what to serve or he or she may ask the attendants what they want for refreshments before each Study Program.

Talent Contribution
You may now entertain the group with your talent in music, songs, dance and poetry including playing musical instruments. This is also a good time to share some Awakened tips for the benefit of the group. 

We encourage you to leave home if you are getting married, going to college, joining the US Armed Forces, a short stay in a monastery, and Foreign Studies. These, we believe, will enhance your life. Here are a few places that you shouldn’t go when you are leaving home and these are moving in with friends, moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, joining a religious commune and joining a gang. These will enhance your problems. By making the right choices in your early years you could make your life great in your later years but making the wrong choices could increase your problems. Life is too short to play around. Make it great in your choices!

Circle of Life
The Circle of Life depicts different aspects of your life. You are at the center and the different aspects radiate outwards to form a circle as long as they are in harmony. You can pinpoint an aspect of your life at any given time and find out if you are in harmony with the rest of the circle. If an aspect needs improvement you may have an uneven circle. Your challenge then is to work on the area that needs improvement in order to keep it in harmony with the rest of the circle.

There are 12 aspects in this version of the Wheel of Life including Health, Spirituality, Family, Relationships, Education, Mission, Finances, Work, Play, Personal Development, Environment, and creativity. Take time to answer the following questions and begin to work on the areas that need improvement.

1. Are you healthy?
2. Do you have any bad habits like drinking, smoking, pornography, fast foods, etc?

1. Are you spiritual?
2. When was the last time you meditated, chanted, affirmed or prayed?

1. Do you have a family?
2. Are you happy with your spouse, children, and parents?

1. Do you have friends?
2. Are you happy with your friends, co-workers, boss?

1. Do you have a degree?
2. When was the last time you read a book?

1. Do you have a mission statement?
2. What is your life mission?

1 Are you financially stable?
2. Do you have any debts?

1. Do you have a job, career?
2. Are you happy with your job, career?

1. Do you play regularly?
2. When was the last time you played with your friends, children, spouse, parents or pet?

Personal Development
1. Do you lose your temper often?
2. When was the last time you took a class on human development?

1 Are you happy with your environment?
2. How are you reducing pollution?

1. Are you sharing your creativity?
2. When was the last time you wrote a poem, painted, sang, danced, or played a musical instrument?

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