The Family Steps

Personal Meditation Space

Family Time-1hour+ Sitting Together in Silence

Declaration of Escalation­-Steps of Diffusion

Quote By the Dalai Lama:

“Meditations on The Family #54

“The family is the most fundamental unity in society.  If it is rule by peace and human values, then not only will parents live happily and free of tension, but their children and grandchildren will too, and even generations after that.  If they have religious faith, their children will naturally be drawn to this.  If they speak politely to each other and behave ethically*, love each other and have mutual respect, if they help those in need and show concern for the world around them, it is highly likely that their children will follow suit and become responsible people.  On the other hand, if the mother and father are continuously fighting and insulting each other, if they just do whatever comes into their heads without thinking of others, then not only will they never be happy themselves, but their children will inevitably fall victim to their influence.”

*To behave ethically, in the Buddhist sense that the Dalai Lama is referring to here, means to refrain from anything that might harm others.


Personal Meditation Space

This, like forgiveness, is important enough to mention first.  


Having your own personal, safe and quiet place to breathe and be yourself is imperative/very important…not just for the elderly or adults…but for children as well. 


A Personal Meditation Space is a safe and quiet space with no technology or communication; everyone needs time to “recharge” their “spiritual battery” in peace. 


Instead of punishing, scolding or flowing any negative energy to another family member, first try taking yourself quietly to your space.


If you need background noise when you first start meditating I suggest Soundscapes, Nature Sounds or Native American Flute music. 


If you are not sure where to begin, here is one of my personal favourite meditations you can try:

After positioning your body [I started with a seated position in a chair with my arms relaxed, palms resting on my knees] and taking 10-deep slow breaths…keep your eyes closed and picture yourself in a dark room in the pit of your soul.


Next, picture yourself lighting an old beeswax candle.  At first the light room the candle is small and dim, but as the light grows, picture the warmth and light with a feeling of love and kindness. 


Then picture the light filling your little room in your soul.


Gradually expand the light till it penetrates the walls of your inner soul and fills your body…continue this practice of expanding the light and picture it pushing out through your skin, flowing out of every pore until you feel the light and love surrounding you.


The more you practice this exercise, the more likely it is that you can eventually practice expanding the light and love so it surrounds your home, then your street, then your city, then your state or province or county, then your country, then your continent, then the globe/earth…picture your light and love surrounding every plant, creature, person, place, thing, element…eventually surrounding the universe(s).



Don’t forget to continue breathing.


Focus your thoughts and feelings on the light and love from within pushing out and enveloping all/everything with love, warmth and kindness.


I LOVE this meditation practice. J

One of my first spiritual councillors taught me this in her home during one of our first sessions.  I wish I could reconnect with her and thank her for this gift.


Quote By the Dalai Lama:

“Meditations on Dedicating One’s Life to Others #180

“Never consider yourself to be superior to those you are helping.  Whether you give them your money, your time or your energy, always act with humility even if the other person is dirty, shifty, stupid, or clothed in rags.  Personally, whenever I come across a beggar, I always try not to view him as inferior but as a human being who is NO different from me.” 




Family Time-1hour+ Sitting Together in Silence


If we all spent at least one hour a week sitting together in silence I truly believe we could heal any hurt feelings and forgive one another more easily…A family that breathes together, strengthens their bond and their love and understanding with one-another.

I Recommend:

Sit in a circle facing one another.

Practice the “surrounding light meditation” from 2.1 Personal Meditation Space.  Take turns each week leading the meditation; guiding everyone through the meditation and reminding everyone to breathe deep and slow, maintaining posture and engaging your core (tightening your stomach muscles while relaxing the rest of your body).

-à After the weekly hour+ of silence, quietly reflect on each person’s feelings and experiences…take turns granting one another importance by listening with a smile in your hearts as your eyes remain closed.  This weekly exercise should take anywhere from one hour to three hours.  If you all can practice extending your meditation time gradually of the years I almost guarantee it will have an inverse reaction with stress, hatred, frustration and ill feelings.  Peace breeds peace. Love breeds love. Happiness breeds happiness.


Quote By the Dalai Lama:

“Meditations on Criticizing Others #294

“I think that in general we should tell the truth, and even if we express it harshly it can be beneficial.  But we should avoid criticizing or insulting people, with a negative intention or a negative view of things.  If we do that, our words will cause others to suffer, we will not feel good in ourselves and will only render the atmosphere oppressive and stifling.’”


Declaration of Escalation­-Steps of Diffusion


This section begins with THREE very important reminders [quotes by the Dalai Lama]:


Quote By the Dalai Lama:

“Meditations on Men AND Women #49

“Men and women are, of course, physically different and this entails a number of differences on the emotional level.  But their way of thinking, their sensations and every other aspect of their personalities are basically the same.  Men are more able to do heavy work; women seem more efficient at tasks which require clear and quick thinking.  Men and women are usually equals in areas where reflection plays a key role.”

Quote By the Dalai Lama:

“Meditations on Young People #27

“It seems to me that self-confidence and the ability to stand one’s ground are essential if we want to succeed in life.   I am NOT talking of stupid self-assurance but of awareness of our inner potential, a certainty that we can always correct our behaviour, improve ourselves, enrich ourselves, and that things are never hopeless.”

Quote By the Dalai Lama:

“Meditations on Young People #35

“Sometimes I think that we behave like spoilt children.  When we are very little, we depend entirely on our parents.  Then we go to school, we are educated, we are fed, we are clothed, and the weight of our problems is still on the shoulders of other people.  When the moment finally comes for us to take charge of our own life and to carry our own burden, we imagine that everything will go smoothly!  Unfortunately, such an attitude defies reality.  In this world, everyone without exception has problems.”

Steps for Diffusion

  • Take a deep breath!
  • Sit in silence for ten minutes to an hour. Write out your “pros” and “cons”, “rewards” and “consequences”, for each person involved.  Put your argument/request at the top of the page.
  • On the back of the sheet, write down what you are willing to compromise on.
  • Give each other your sheets and step away from each other or 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Revisit each other after everyone involved has had time to reflect.
  • If everything has not been resolved, revisit steps 1-5 on each and every issue.
  • Once agreements are made:

Destroy each individual write-up [these are not excuses to hurt one another at a later stage] Write the agreements down and have everyone sign them.  Post up these positive agreements somewhere visible.

  • Give one another hugs and express your love and admiration for each other.
  • If agreements are broken by either/both parties, *GOOD DEEDS* are owed.

GOOD DEED---A Good Deed is any kind or helpful action that helps the person who was harmed or negatively affected by the person who caused the harm or negativity.


Joey breaks his agreement to never again hit his sister Sarah.  Joey owes Sarah a Good Deed.  Sarah has a week to collect on her Good Deed from Joey.  The next day Sarah is told to clean her room.  She decides to collect on her Good Deed and requests Joey clean her room with her.

If Joey refuses, consequences are enforced (i.e. no time with friends for 60 days, no technology of any kind for 60 days, no sweets or treats or toys for 60 days, etc.)

*REWARDS & CONSEQUENCES are a part of life.  Yelling, disrespecting, abusing (of any kind), lying & angry/fear-filled/hate-filled behaviours do not have to be.



If there are issues that contain sexual/physical/emotional/psychological abuse…please consult professional help.  These actions toward one another are definitely not okay and should not be accepted or tolerated.

These steps are for “every-day” sort of family disagreements or issues…a guideline/step in a positive direction.

If there is a family member who attempts to use these write ups for any purpose other than what it is intended for, this exercise will not suite this family until this issue can be properly addressed and certain assurances that it will not happen again can be made.  This exercise is only to be used with loving kindness & positive intentions.  A safe space physically/mentally/emotionally/etc. is crucial.

Saddleback Church one family, many locations


A.s.C., was born the eldest of Howie and Ann Sarmiento of Saddleback Church's main Human Trafficking Ministry based in Southern California. A.s.C. was brought up volunteering from a young age and raised to help wherever possible. It was ingrained in her that although the world can be beautiful and wonderful…it can also be frightening and destructive for many who lose their way in life and it was always a personal responsibility to lift up whomever whenever and be the change she believed was needed in the world. This book is a tribute to the Sarmiento family and their struggles against the odds to help their community. Join A.s.C. and her writings and show support for her family at

Project Cuddle


While A.s.C. volunteered for Project Cuddle, her understanding of the great need for support and counselling for families, young women and children throughout the world grew. Project Cuddles efforts of providing safe and loving homes to babies that would otherwise be abandoned or thrown into the machine we call ‘Child Services’ to grow up in foster care or orphanages is felt and deeply appreciated by many.

The tremendous support and advice Project Cuddle provides to women, babies & adoptive families through their compassion and strong leadership still inspires many today.

Girl Guides


The Irish Girl Guides is an exceptional example of how an organisation can encourage young women to become the best they can be. Through the experience of volunteering to support a progressive youth leadership program and being privileged to be a part of such an inspirational organization has inspired A.s.C.’s works in many ways.