Mindfulness, parenting, and happiness

November 17, 2008

Bodhipaksa and his daughter, Maia

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. As the psychologist Daniel

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All Embracing Urge: Motherhood and Practice

February 15, 2008

SrimatiMotherhood 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. … Read more »

Mindful Moms, Dharma Dads

January 28, 2008

mon-and-sonIs it possible to have children and a spiritual practice at the same time? Sunada talked with some friends who are managing to raise a family while staying committed to their spiritual lives. How do they do it? What does practice look like as a parent?

Welcoming children into our lives is such a joyous and HUGE experience. For anyone who is a dedicated spiritual practitioner, such a change can’t help but have a profound impact. Take Vanessa for example. Her firstborn son arrived four months ago. With sleep deprivation, exhaustion, stress, and her body being all out of whack, her formal meditation practice of 10-12 years, which had been so vital to her up … Read more »

Parenting and practice

January 28, 2008

Steve BellHow do we maintain an active practice while being immersed in the world of parenting and work? Are children a hindrance to spiritual practice? Or can parenting also be a path? Steve Bell, Buddhist practitioner and social worker, speaks from his experience of meditating while parenting two young boys.

I tell prospective parents to make a list of all the things they enjoy doing in their spare time. What are your hobbies? Do you like to go to the movies? I ask them to list the obscure little things they would miss. Do you like timely haircuts? Do you like to luxuriate in the bathroom, on the toilet, in the shower, and grooming? Then I … Read more »