Learning through Storytelling
You can read how to meditate, write, paint, dance, cook, pot plants, take care of your pet, program computers, invest in the stock market and my personal favorite how to win friends and influence people. You name it somebody has written a book on how to do it.
My bookshelf is full of this kind of thing; especially on managing money, but they are so dull and dry that I can barely get past the first page. So they gather dust. I don’t throw them away as this is something I feel I should learn about. Yet I wish I could find a less boring way to do it.
Perhaps there is a gripping novel about a woman who buried her head in the sand when it came to managing her finances until she splurged on an antique purse that turned out to have a financial genie inside? Then the genie helps her turn her financial life around. I’m serious!
People learn best when they are entertained.
Think about the traditional stories we read to our children? They are very entertaining and yet they also teach important lessons about life. Aesop’s Fables are famous for this. For example: “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” teaches that appearances can be deceiving and “The Goose with the Golden Eggs” provides a lesson about greed. These are entertaining stories with more than a hint of truth in them.
The old nursery rhymes were entertaining ditties that helped us remember historical events, for example: “Little Jack Horner, Mary Mary Quite Contrary and Humpty Dumpty.” Or they helped us stay healthy, such as “Ring a Rosies” which taught about the symptoms of the bubonic plague. Or else they served some other educational purpose.
Fairy tales reveal deep spiritual truths.
The classic fairy tales are my favorites because hidden within the story are deep spiritual truths and useful ethical and moral guidelines.
Let’s take Snow White: The evil queen is vain. She hates all who are more attractive than her. The mirror on the wall is an externalization of her ego. The story reveals that when we operate from the ego we do not recognize our strengths or value ourselves. The Prince, who falls in love with the Snow White, teaches us that love is the answer to overcoming the ego. He loves the sleeping princess unconditionally. If we can accept ourselves for who we are, without judgment, then we can be free of the ego. The prince also symbolizes spirit and the kiss is the breath of life that animates the physical body. This fairy tale actually teaches a profound spiritual truth, that we are spiritual beings.
All of these stories are entertaining to our children and at the same time they are educational and teach profound truths about the nature of reality and useful tips in how to live in harmony with oneself and others.
The Midas Tree is a modern day fairy story.
There are many stresses in today’s world. My guess is that everyone could benefit by learning how to meditate, especially children! But how many kids do you know who would pick up a “learn how to meditate book?” This is how I came to write “The Midas Tree.” I wanted to be able to take the meditation techniques that I use in my daily life that I know to be so helpful in counter balancing stress and supporting health and well being and bring them to a wider audience than just my students. What better way to do this than follow the centuries old tradition of a fairy tale. It all begins when Joshua, the hero of “The Midas Tree” finds a magical golden acorn that propels him into a mystical world inside a tree. To return home he must fulfill a quest to transform himself and the tree. He is assisted by fairy like characters called devas, who are the keepers of ancient secrets, including meditation techniques with the power to help Joshua on his journey through the tree.
Readers of “The Midas Tree” learn as they read.
“The Midas Tree” overflows with challenges, magical creatures and mystical superpowers, which the reader too can discover as they read. “The Midas Tree” is aimed at a middle grade to Young Adult audience; although all the adults who have read it like it too. Children say it reminds them of “Alice in Wonderland.” They enjoy the talking animals and insects, and each has a favorite Deva.
Although it is a fairy tale, “The Midas Tree” is also a guidebook for personal spiritual unfolding. It is a book that parents can enjoy reading with their children or that teachers can share with their classes to introduce them to internal self awareness. It offers techniques that can help people cope with difficult times; as well as illuminating the path to personal enlightenment in a fun and entertaining way.
About the Author
Dr. Lesley Phillips is a speaker, author, workshop leader, spiritual and meditation teacher based in Vancouver BC, Canada. Her book “The Midas Tree,” a spiritual adventure story for children of all ages is available on Amazon as a paperback or e-book. She began her career as a PhD scientist and business woman in the biotechnology industry. However Lesley was always interested in meditation and spirituality and she developed her abilities in parallel to her busy career.
Before coming to Canada in 1998 she trained in meditation, healing and clairvoyance at the School of Insight and Intuition, Richmond UK. She was also a member of The Rainbow Bridge Dream Work Group where, she explored dream incubation, dream re-entry, astral travel, shamanic journeying and dream symbol interpretation. Earlier in her spiritual journey she received much guidance and experienced many premonitions through her dreams, having kept a dream diary since childhood.
Much of her formal spiritual training was at the CDM Spiritual Teaching Center in Seattle, where she was mentored by renowned author and speaker Mary Ellen Flora. She graduated as an ordained minister in 2003 and from the centers teaching program in 2005, when she began teaching classes and workshops for CDM Vancouver. She also holds private and corporate meditation workshops.
Subsequently Dr. Phillips has taught counseled over a 1000 individuals and presented at over 100 live events. She is known as a caring, gifted teacher and speaker that brings out the best in people.
She can be reached at:
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