December 9, 2010

Mindful Parenting. ~ Brie Doyle

Mindful Parenting

“I’ll never have children,” I remember telling myself, “Who would want that kind of attachment in their life?” Five years later, one daughter strong, and pregnant with our second, here I sit with a slightly different perspective.

It’s definitely not for everyone. But so far, I’d say becoming a parent has been the most profound part of my path. Nothing has exposed more of my strengths and challenges than observing as my husband and I attempt to raise another human. Never before have I loved and appreciated my own parents this much. And never before have I understood what it means to truly care for someone unconditionally. I could talk a big game pre-baby, but truthfully, I had no idea.

But it’s not all roses and meaningful life lessons here at the Vernon household. It’s been tough, too, at times. Before Cora came, my life was all about doing whatever I wanted for myself, whenever I wanted. It was definitely all about me.

Since having a child, I’ve had to reassess my relationship with myself completely. And I’m realizing that the only way to do this mindfully is to preserve my own needs as opposed to sacrificing everything I am. Having a baby has almost made me more regimented in my own practice because it’s not just me for whom I sit. If I don’t get up early in the morning to do what I need to do for myself, there’s no way in hell it’ll happen later. Not a chance.

My teacher, Chhoje Tulku Rinpoche, has come out of his three year retreat this year. Since he’s been gone, our life has changed quite a bit. And still, I couldn’t be more excited to see him. This December 2010 in Loveland, CO, he will put on a six day meditation retreat called: AWAKENING MIND: THE FIELD OF BODHI, a teaching on the Heart Sutra. Yes, it will be difficult to leave our daughter for many days in the name of my own practice. But I have no doubt working on myself will make her all the better in the long run too.

The Venerable Chhoje Rinpoche will lead a 6 day meditation retreat on the teaching of the Heart Sutra on the union of emptiness and compassion, the second turning of the wheel of the dharma by Buddha Shakyamuni. As Rinpoche says, “It is the most essential teaching of Buddha to open our hearts and discover the enlightened seed within us, which by its own nature, is so ordinary and so simple that it is contained within the character of each and every being.”

A new Mama, Brie recently resigned from teaching middle school to pursue mommy-hood and writing full time. She is a world traveler at heart, having lived in places including India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, New York City and more. Currently, Brie and her husband Luke consider Boulder, Colorado home. She recently finished her first novel, set in India, and is working on finding publication. When Brie is not chasing her daughter (or her dog) around the house, she can be found making light of life on her personal blog, Brie’s Blunderings.

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Joe Mohr Dec 10, 2010 8:26am

Great post! Kids are a true gift and an honest sign of hope…

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