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Buddhism for Mothers - book and topic discussion

GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

Hello there,
I have recently joined. Just started this thread because I am in the thick of single parenting with an early teen.

I wanted to find ways of incorporating meditation into my daily life, there are so many chores to do and situations to navigate, this book appealed to me. I've done a brief read, wondered what others thought of this.

The basic jist of it is, being a mother is kind of like having a Zen Master who is the strictest that you could possibly get!

I kind of identify with this! Constantly challenging if you know what I mean. And little if no time to go on retreat - or indeed retreat in daily life...

Also the challenge that due to where we are just now, it is difficult to get to a Buddhist Centre. Classes are quite far away so I have to dig deep and practice on my own...

As you've figured out, I have an allotment. This helps, but finding the tme to rest peacefully is perhaps my biggest challenge.

In Friendship and Compassion and thanks for replies in advance, just put this in one group, hope that is okay.
Gardener

Shoshin

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I moved it to 'Buddhism Today' because I think it's a topic any parent - male or female, single or otherwise - can identify with.
    I'm sure any parent faces challenges, and I'm sure more than one parent will totally identify with the notion that the Child is the best - and most difficult - teacher going! Nice thread...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Gardener, Is this the Book you're referring to?

    Bunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Thanks @federica, I don’t want to make this about me ( because it isn’t) but being a single father (two kids by myself almost 50% of the time) presents many challenges too.

    Happy Mother’s Day btw!

    ???

    Shoshinadamcrossleylobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited May 11

    @Gardener
    When it comes to Dharma practice....for example just being mindful....

    There's always time, (not always the time we would prefer)... but there is always time...and if we don't make time...we'll never find time....

    Our minds have had many years experience in thinking up things to do in order to occupy itself/the mind....creating the illusion that it has not time to spare..

    As time passes it gets easier making time....with practice....

    You may also find this book helpful...

    "Everyday Blessings. The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting"

    “Parenting is a unique opportunity to do a certain kind of inner work that’s both different and the same as retreat work. It’s about seeing more deeply into ourselves, and coming up against our own limitations and rough edges—seeing more clearly what pushes our buttons, what makes us afraid, what creates anxiety. It’s the opportunity to see our children as they are, without the veils of our expectations and judgments and fears.”
    Myla Kabat-Zinn

    Bunks
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    The basic jist of it is, being a mother is kind of like having a Zen Master who is the strictest that you could possibly get!

    You have a home shrine with a picture of your Zen Master on it?

    Bunks
  • GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

    @federica said:
    @Gardener, Is this the Book you're referring to?

    Yes, this is the book by Sarah Napthali.

    Just checked in with this thread again. Well done for moving it to Buddhism Today bit. I am still getting to grips with navigating this forum. Thanks.

  • GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

    @lobster said:

    The basic jist of it is, being a mother is kind of like having a Zen Master who is the strictest that you could possibly get!

    You have a home shrine with a picture of your Zen Master on it?

    Thanks Lobster, this made me laugh this morning...yes, in fact I do...funny that...

    I have tidied out the front room - for me to sit quietly, that' s a start. There are flowers also on a table and my tomato plants etc to plant out on allotment.

    Have also had a go at mindfully washing up this morning...(again...)

    Gardener...

    lobster
  • GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

    @Bunks said:
    Thanks @federica, I don’t want to make this about me ( because it isn’t) but being a single father (two kids by myself almost 50% of the time) presents many challenges too.

    Happy Mother’s Day btw!

    ???

    @Bunks said:
    Thanks @federica, I don’t want to make this about me ( because it isn’t) but being a single father (two kids by myself almost 50% of the time) presents many challenges too.

    Happy Mother’s Day btw!

    ???

    Yes of course, totally agree Banks. There are many single fathers in our block actually which face the same or similar challenges - in austerity Britain. There is an acceptance of single parenting which I am trying to work on understanding...their experience is different from mine and I try to understand and show compassion, though I don't always get there...
    Gardener

    Bunks
  • GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

    @Shoshin said:
    @Gardener
    When it comes to Dharma practice....for example just being mindful....

    There's always time, (not always the time we would prefer)... but there is always time...and if we don't make time...we'll never find time....

    Our minds have had many years experience in thinking up things to do in order to occupy itself/the mind....creating the illusion that it has not time to spare..

    As time passes it gets easier making time....with practice....

    You may also find this book helpful...

    "Everyday Blessings. The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting"

    “Parenting is a unique opportunity to do a certain kind of inner work that’s both different and the same as retreat work. It’s about seeing more deeply into ourselves, and coming up against our own limitations and rough edges—seeing more clearly what pushes our buttons, what makes us afraid, what creates anxiety. It’s the opportunity to see our children as they are, without the veils of our expectations and judgments and fears.”
    Myla Kabat-Zinn

    Thank you Friend, if I may call you Friend. All this has been so helpful for me this morning. It is very true, I feel often under the pressures of time. And these things you have offered have been very comforting this morning for me. As I move away from my computer and turn towards making home made food which I value.

    Also the video about the 10 per cent is very helpful and insightful. Over the past few weeks it has really bothered me that I have struggled to show compassion to my neighbours, as they suffer - with the twists and turns of hardships in their lives.

    But then, I decided to offer a few words to one of them at a time. Or a stranger passing on the street. Even though I didn't feel very sociable or patient myself. This ten percent indeed feels easier to start and maintain than trying to do everything at once.

    I shall certainly look up the mindful parenting book. I also plan in time to order the one about buddhism for mothers with school children.

    The reason being we are just about to go on the journey of studying for G.C.S.E's in the English system. I am very much aware of performance pressure for children and young people (and their parents) - and would like to be an example of self-compassion also - which I understand is a better motivator than self-criticism (Dr. Kristen Neff).

    Thank you so much for the lovely video. It is very hopeful for humanity.

    all best to all
    Gardener

    ShoshinBunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    GCSE’s, I remember they brought them in just as I was doing o-levels. It’s actually pretty silly, having to absorb all this knowledge which in later life is very little use whatsoever. But I’m a big fan of learning at least a second language.

  • GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

    I wouldn't say it was 'silly'. Unless you are in a position to home-school, or want to - my job as a parent is to help a young person navigate challenges. G.C.S.Es just happen to be one of those challenges, along with social media, positive and negative peer pressure and so on. Compassionate MInd approaches - (Paul Gilbert) are very important for young people nowadays - who are faced with the performance pressures they are experiencing.

    Which is why I mentioned it.
    And presumably why this thread is listed under Buddhism Today.
    Gardener

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited May 12

    As you are trying to raise your young person as a zen master ...
    Both of you might be interested in Treeleaf
    https://www.treeleaf.org/

    Bunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well, if I review all the history, geography, chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and literature I studied when I was young, very little of it was of any use later in life. University was more useful it has to be said — some parts of my engineering degree did come in handy. Its a massively inefficiënt system.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited May 12

    @Gardener said:

    @Shoshin said:
    @Gardener
    When it comes to Dharma practice....for example just being mindful....

    There's always time, (not always the time we would prefer)... but there is always time...and if we don't make time...we'll never find time....

    Our minds have had many years experience in thinking up things to do in order to occupy itself/the mind....creating the illusion that it has not time to spare..

    As time passes it gets easier making time....with practice....

    You may also find this book helpful...

    "Everyday Blessings. The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting"

    “Parenting is a unique opportunity to do a certain kind of inner work that’s both different and the same as retreat work. It’s about seeing more deeply into ourselves, and coming up against our own limitations and rough edges—seeing more clearly what pushes our buttons, what makes us afraid, what creates anxiety. It’s the opportunity to see our children as they are, without the veils of our expectations and judgments and fears.”
    Myla Kabat-Zinn

    Thank you Friend, if I may call you Friend. All this has been so helpful for me this morning. It is very true, I feel often under the pressures of time. And these things you have offered have been very comforting this morning for me. As I move away from my computer and turn towards making home made food which I value.

    Preparing meals is a good opportunity for mindfulness, where one's focus of attention is solely upon the task at hand...

    Also the video about the 10 per cent is very helpful and insightful. Over the past few weeks it has really bothered me that I have struggled to show compassion to my neighbours, as they suffer - with the twists and turns of hardships in their lives.

    But then, I decided to offer a few words to one of them at a time. Or a stranger passing on the street. Even though I didn't feel very sociable or patient myself. This ten percent indeed feels easier to start and maintain than trying to do everything at once.

    When first starting out on the path, one may have great expectation which more often than not, leads to a desire to do all things at once...but monkey mind has other plans, excuses are found not to do what one thought about doing...It's the nature of the beast ...hence why the importance of taming the monkey mind ...that is, slowing things down,,,,to one step at a time.. :)

    I shall certainly look up the mindful parenting book. I also plan in time to order the one about buddhism for mothers with school children.

    The reason being we are just about to go on the journey of studying for G.C.S.E's in the English system. I am very much aware of performance pressure for children and young people (and their parents) - and would like to be an example of self-compassion also - which I understand is a better motivator than self-criticism (Dr. Kristen Neff).

    Thank you so much for the lovely video. It is very hopeful for humanity.

    all best to all
    Gardener

    You're welcome <3

  • GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

    @lobster said:
    As you are trying to raise your young person as a zen master ...
    Both of you might be interested in Treeleaf
    https://www.treeleaf.org/

    @lobster said:
    As you are trying to raise your young person as a zen master ...
    Both of you might be interested in Treeleaf
    https://www.treeleaf.org/

    I am not trying to raise the young person as a 'Zen Master'
    I am learning from them.
    There are no 'Masters'.
    I understand in Buddhist Monasteries those who are practised are reminded to wash dishes and do tasks regarded by some as menial , because we understnad this is a reminder to be humble and listening.
    all best
    Gardener

    Kerome
  • GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

    @Kerome said:
    Well, if I review all the history, geography, chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and literature I studied when I was young, very little of it was of any use later in life. University was more useful it has to be said — some parts of my engineering degree did come in handy. Its a massively inefficiënt system.

    This is wrong. about this knowledge not being useful, I am sorry if it offends.
    We are dealing with young people who go to school. Are loved by people in the community. The community struggles with the school, with the government, with international politics. With those who create war. The young oeople are very much aware of that.

    Look at the compassion suggestons that are coming across from young people.
    this is buddhist truth.
    I am a new person. I have a beginners mind.
    My daughter does also.
    This is really important.
    Please do not dismiss it.
    Gardener

    lobster
  • GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

    The compassion suggestions from a 16 year old who is showing leadership in the climate crisis. She goes to school. She has to struggle with her learning experiences and navigate such. She needs support in her practice as a compassionate being. We need to support her and her friends. Regardless of the system.
    All best
    Gardener

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Gardener said:
    This is wrong. about this knowledge not being useful, I am sorry if it offends.
    We are dealing with young people who go to school. Are loved by people in the community. The community struggles with the school, with the government, with international politics. With those who create war. The young people are very much aware of that.

    Look at the compassion suggestons that are coming across from young people.
    this is buddhist truth.
    I am a new person. I have a beginners mind.
    My daughter does also.
    This is really important.
    Please do not dismiss it.
    Gardener

    I wouldn’t dismiss it, beginners mind is a beautiful state. But one should beware of being loaded down with vast amounts of non-useful knowledge that then leaves no room or time for the truly useful things in life. Often bright young minds are just sent to school with the presumption that what they will learn will be useful to them.

    For example, when I went to school things such as budgeting and investing were not taught, while I think they are essential life skills. Planning and project management were things you were just meant to ‘pick up along the way’.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Gardener said:

    @Kerome said:
    Well, if I review all the history, geography, chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and literature I studied when I was young, very little of it was of any use later in life. University was more useful it has to be said — some parts of my engineering degree did come in handy. Its a massively inefficiënt system.

    This is wrong. about this knowledge not being useful, I am sorry if it offends.
    We are dealing with young people who go to school. Are loved by people in the community. The community struggles with the school, with the government, with international politics. With those who create war. The young oeople are very much aware of that.

    The Education system needs a radical overhaul in this country, @Gardener. Teachers have taken on the roles of Assessment and Administration and are struggling to meet the standards required, in the face of growing class numbers, ethnic diversity and a dismal lack of solid Government support. Couple this with the sadly prevalent malaise of truancy, poor parental control and simple bad behaviour, and it's little wonder I meet students - of a mature age - who have no idea who Nelson, Napoleon or Winston Churchill are.
    They have no idea what contour maps are, they don't know the difference between 'They're', 'their' and 'there', and haven't a clue about our treasured artists, Constable, Turner, Stubbs and Gainsborough, and know absolutely nothing of Shakespeare, Keats, Byron or Shelley.

    What's more, they don't care.

    Oh, please don't get me wrong: I also know dedicated, educated, polite, courteous, studious hungry students, students who are bright, intelligent, and eager to learn. But by comparison, they are far fewer in number.
    We are bringing up a society of many young people addicted to technological distraction, and who are indolent and unwilling to make any significant progress, because we haven't shown them a future worth working for.
    My husband was a 1st Class Honours student. He's a Lawyer. And is now working as a sales rep for a major company in the Travel & Leisure Industry.
    Why? Because educational costs at University level are absolutely prohibitive. He never could take his Master's degree in his chosen avenue of Law because we didn't have the spare odd ten thousand required. At that time, there were no grants for Masters Courses. And now? It's too late.
    Money. Money is the driver.
    Unless education in this country receives the Government support it so desperately needs and wholeheartedly deserves, the bright, intelligent, driven, eager and enthusiastic children with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to succeed, will shrink in number. Programmes like University Challenge will disappear, and more and more programmes of sub-standard car-crash quality, will thrive and increase. (in fact, I can think of no other quiz programme that challenges both brain and intellect, whereas there used to be quite a few... Top of the Form, Ask the Family... they were good viewing!)

    Look at the compassion suggestons that are coming across from young people.
    this is buddhist truth.
    I am a new person. I have a beginners mind.
    My daughter does also.
    This is really important.
    Please do not dismiss it.
    Gardener

    We don't dismiss anything here, @Gardener, and we all have opinions, largely based on our own experiences. I would argue - WITH you - that @Kerome is sadly mistaken if he believes school did him little or no favours. It awoke a sense of existence within a changing world, if nothing else. Because of what he learnt, it awoke a continuation of discovery, and a curiosity which has perhaps led him to learn and discover more. Education at school never claims to cover all the bases.
    It is not a completion of education, @Kerome it is an awakening of it.
    Only those who have no interest in life, or are indifferent to this planet's progress, are people for whom any education is a waste of time.

    @Gardener, a good 95% of discussions here, are lighthearted and genial. There is much mirth and jollity, and we all have an enjoyable relationship with fun.
    It's very important to realise that while Buddhism is a serious business, it doesn't have to transform us into mirthless or humourless individuals.
    Nobody is out to trivialise or ridicule anyone else.

    @lobster is a crack-pot, with often brilliant insight and much to pay attention to. He does have a tendency to witter on at times, and trail off into unintelligible wisdom, but he's worth keeping an eye on.
    @Shoshin is wordy, and uses punctuation marks like I drink water, but that too , contains much to take note of...
    And so, behind our avatars, we all have our foibles, and in time, you'll find it fun to discover our little idiosyncrasies and form a feeling of members.

    Me?
    I wear a strait-jacket. Most of the time.
    Other times, I can - and do - wield a Keisaku with piecing accuracy. ;)

    Enjoy, relax and have fun.
    After all, the smile was probably the first form of communication to transmit positivity.

    :)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited May 13

    There are no 'Masters'.

    First there are masters, then no masters, then masters - wait that might be mountains ... :3

    What about their Mistresses? ;)

    ... meanwhile for those not having zen masters on their shrine or practicing zen without access to a zendo full of beginners ...
    There is always the cyber sangha of
    https://www.treeleaf.org/

    Long live the transmission without form o:)

    so called Crackpot Lobster :mrgreen:

  • GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

    Could you please delete my account? I have no inclination to mix with such rudeness (and arrogance) has been put across by some of your so called 'community members'.
    Neither do I wish to be accused of lacking a sense of humour.
    Thanks
    Gardener.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited May 13

    Oh dear.

    Rude and arrogant? That would be me. :3 Also I never laugh at my perfect beginner mind.

    I will be in the naughty corner trying to think up kind jokes if anyone needs me ... B)

    eg.
    Q. What do you call a heretic in Buddhism?
    A. Nothing.
    You leave the name calling to them ... o:)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Gardener, I sent you a PM.

  • GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

    I changed my email address. Don't wish to hear from you or your so-called 'community' again.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Oh dear. I hope it wasn’t anything I said.

    lobster
  • GardenerGardener ch4 4pp New

    And I have said to the moderator. (who has not listened.) surprise?
    For one as a amember of a community who is supposed to listen...hypocrite par excellence...
    It is not evident who hosts your site. You need to publicise this.
    Your disregard for data and human dignity means that you need to be taken offline right now.
    You need to tell peope who your host is.
    So that resonsible people can complain and get the site taken down.
    Or sue
    G.

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited May 13

    Admin will respond to the points you have made here.which I have deleted, purely and simply because they are virtually verbatim private messages you have sent me.
    Airing your dirty laundry in public is extremely undignified, inappropriate and very ill-mannered.
    Your opinion of me is inconsequential. I have had worse.

    THREAD CLOSED.

    lobster
  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator

    That's quite enough, thank you.

    We are GDPR-compliant. The GDPR protects personally-identifiable information by making it retrievable by the individual and allowing it be deleted. The only personally identifiable information we collect is email address, which I have expunged. If you believe information revealed by your username or a post's content are identifiable to you, you may request they be removed in particular by emailing me the details: lincoln at newbuddhist.com. If you'd like to argue your interpretation of the GDPR with me, kindly save both of us the time.

    lobster
This discussion has been closed.