Jul 17, 2013
We adopted my daughter at four months old, and I found it absolutely fascinating to watch her mind evolve. What I noticed first was that happiness was her default emotion; it was only when hunger or pain arrived that she’d become upset. How many people can you say that for — that happiness is their baseline mental state and that they only deviate from that state temporarily? This reminded me of Buddhist teachings that tell us that happiness is fundamental to the mind, and that troubling mental states are disturbances to that inherent sense of well-being.
I watched my daughter exhibit wonder. She’d just sit there and move her …
Jun 29, 2013
It’s easy to forget that upekkha, or equanimity, is love. The word “equanimity” doesn’t sound very loving. It’s coldly Latinate, lofty, and remote, and doesn’t roll off the tongue easily. Few of us are likely to use the word in everyday conversation. The adjective, equanimous, is even worse! Even the Anglo-Saxon equivalents, “even-minded” and “even-mindedness,” don’t convey any sense of love, or kindness, either. But upekkha is a form of love.
The word in Pali or Sanskrit is from a root īkṣ, which means “to look upon,” along with a prefix upa-, which can mean many things, but which almost always connotes a sense of closeness, as in upaṭṭhāna …
Wildmind Meditation News
May 24, 2013
Carla Naumburg: There’s no question in my mind that mindfulness can make us all better parents, both by helping us to stay tuned in to our own thoughts and feelings so they don’t unconsciously dictate our actions AND by giving us the skills and tools to truly connect with our children so we can best respond to their thoughts and emotions with kindness.
I have found that my own meditation and informal mindfulness practices have made a noticeable improvement in my ability to stay calm and choose how I want to respond to my girls, rather than reacting to them out of…
Sep 06, 2012
I was drawn to my first Buddhist mindfulness retreat during a time when my son, Narayan, was four, and I was on the verge of divorce. During a slow, icy drive through a winter snowstorm on the way to the retreat center, I had plenty of time to reflect on what most mattered to me. I didn’t want a breakup that would bury the love I still shared with my husband; I didn’t want us to turn into uncaring, even hostile, strangers. And I didn’t want a breakup that would deprive Narayan of feeling secure and loved. My deep prayer was that through all that was happening, I’d find a …
Feb 01, 2012
“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over.” Thich Nhat Hanh
I grew up in a family dominated by alcoholism, narcissism, illness and dysfunction. There were four of us, my mother, my father, my older brother and myself.
From a young age, I had a lot of responsibility. I was a parentified child, caring for my older brother who was epileptic and also caring for my parents whose main focus of concentration was on themselves.
Growing up I was filled with confusion, dissatisfaction, and suppressed anger.
As a child, I did not know other children were busy playing and being cared for. For me it was all about caring for others. I was left alone while my father worked, my mother shopped, and my brother …
Sep 25, 2011
Parents who listen to their children help them to know what that have to say matters.,
Active listening is a skill that goes beyond just hearing words. It takes energy and understanding what feelings are beneath the words — the emotions and context within which the words are framed.
Here are some tips for active listening:
1. Give your child your entire attention. Don’t be thinking of what you will say when it is your turn to speak.
2. Maintain eye contact and make sure your body language …
Jul 27, 2009
Parenting can be a hindrance to spiritual practice or the main driving force of a spiritual practice. Bodhipaksa shares what he’s learned from his daughter.
Short of taking up Buddhist practice, the biggest seismic shift in my life was becoming a parent. Originally I’d seen parenthood as a distraction from my spiritual practice — after all having kids would take up more of my time, make it harder to meditate, and prevent me from getting on retreat as much as I was used to. And although all those things turned out to be true, I’m finding that there’s a lot of ways in which I’m learning and growing from being a parent. In …
Jun 16, 2009
A new book aims to describe the art of child-rearing in Tibetan culture, in order to help Tibetans hold onto their traditions and as a teaching for the wider world.
A pilgrimage earlier this year took me to Northern India and Sikkhim where I visited Tibetan Buddhist temples and monasteries and witnessed a little of the spiritual practice which is so integral to the ordinary everyday life of the people there, amongst them many Tibetan refugees. Saddened to leave India I was interested on returning to my life and my family to pick up this book and find myself once more amongst Tibetans and to be offered another perspective on their …
Nov 17, 2008
Most people will tell you the greatest happiness in their lives comes from having children, but research shows that most people aren’t all that happy while parenting. Can mindfulness make parenting more enriching? Bodhipaksa thinks it does.
In an article in Atlantic magazine, author and Yale University professor of psychology Paul Bloom makes a provocative observation about parenthood and happiness:
Pretty much no matter how you test it, children make us less happy. The evidence isn’t just from diary studies; surveys of marital satisfaction show that couples tend to start off happy, get less happy when they have kids, and become happy again only once the kids leave the house. …
Feb 15, 2008
Motherhood has opened up a new emotional realm for Srimati. But how to love wholeheartedly and continually let go is the ground of her daily practice.
Against the odds and ahead of hard evidence, I instinctively knew I was pregnant. As I lay in the bath there was something magical in the air. I found myself, hand on belly, making a heartfelt pledge in a tender whisper: If you’re there, you’re welcome and I’ll do my best for you. This was the beginning of the greatest love of my life. One week into my relationship with this unknown, unexpected being, I was howling with an ancient grief as I bled, and feared it was over. …