Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Aspiring to be zenmom

I want to give voice to the part of me who aspires to be zenmom. I used to work with a woman who, whenever the conversation turned to the crazy antics of pre-teens, would close her eyes, adopt a semi-lotus position even if standing and chant "We will be zenmom, we can be zenmom". Indeed we are living with honest-to-God zenmasters. (We learned that in Whole Child Whole Parent while we were still pregnant, didn't we?) Still, it's turned out to be rigorous training. Who needs obscure koans when the questions like "If you hadn't been my mother, would I ever have been born?" come fast and furious from the back of the mini-van. Who needs to be startled with the rap of a zenmaster's stick when confronted with the jolt of finding out that your darling offspring has indeed done something that you'd have bet your life savings could never happen! Beginner's mind? Is there any other name for the mind of parents who aspire to practicing understanding with a first child and get to feel smug for exactly a nano-second with the second. Then comes the jaw-dropping realization that with a different child, it's all different.

So all this tongue-in-cheek is not to make light of the road to spiritual liberation on the Buddhist path Only to say, that I am a mom and I want to be on the path of liberation too. Thank goodness for our little zenmasters who give us an endless amount of raw material with which to work, and instant feedback on where we are spiritually in any given moment. That said, some adult help from those further along the path seems necessary too. Ah, spiritual directors, dharma teachers, sangha sisters and brothers...Instruction, correction, encouragement....Precepts to study and practice.

So lucky....time to make dinner...

Authentic Kindness of the Heart


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