She Thinks I’m Real! Advice for Couples

Jack Kornfield “…is one of the leading Buddhist teachers in America. A practitioner for over 40 years, he is one of the key teachers to introduce mindfulness and vipassana meditation to the West. His approach emphasizes compassion, lovingkindness and the profound path of mindful presence” ( He tells a story about a family going out for dinner at a restaurant. It goes something like this (I’m paraphrasing quite liberally here with apologies):

A family goes out to a restaurant for a meal. The family includes Dad, Mom, 9 year old daughter and a 7 year old son. The waitress takes the orders of all the family members coming to the 7 year old last. She asks the young boy what he wants and he responds enthusiastically that he’d like a hot dog and a Coke. His mom interrupts to say, “He’ll have the meat loaf, mashed potatoes and carrots.” After a brief pause, the waitress turns her attention back to the 7 year old and asks, “Do you want french fries and mustard and ketchup with your hot dog?” He says, “I’ll have ketchup and fries.” The waitress says, “OK” and walks away to enter the orders. The family members sit quietly with the parents, no doubt, thinking, “What just happened here?” The 7 year old is the first to break the silence when he says, “Wow, she thinks I’m real!” [… ]

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