Parenting is a deep form of mindfulness practice, and our best mindfulness teachers are our children.
Photo credit: Zivar Amrami
mindfulness for parents
In MBCP, we like to say, 'You are giving birth to your mindfulness teacher.'
Mindfulness is a process of inquiring into our experience. What arises when we sit with ourselves? This mode of inquiry can be especially useful for parents. What arises when I sit with my child? Can I be curious about her experience? What if I approached a moment with him with a "beginner's mind"? The attitudinal foundations of mindfulness are perhaps even more pertinent in parenting than ever: non-striving, non-judging, patience, trust, kindness, acceptance, letting go. In Mindfulness for Parents, we will learn various forms of meditation, inquire into our experience of them, and learn from ourselves as we reflect on our lives with our children. This is a place to jump-start or re-start a mindfulness practice, and see where it takes you; this is a chance to deepen your experience of parenting, and to broaden your perspective. It's a challenge for most of us to create time and space for ourselves to just be - but the only way to do it is to practice!
The work itself - of living a mindful life with children- cannot be done for us by someone else; rather, it has to be done by each of us for ourselves. Attendance in this class does not pretend to solve all parenting challenges or give answers to all questions or to turn you into one kind of parent or another - calm, peaceful, joyful, happy. But the practice of being with things as they are, does open up the possibility of experiencing all of life more consciously - peace, joy, ease included. Attendance in this class does point you more in the direction of yourself, and does support you in being with what you find. And it does support a foundation for the practice of living one's life (and with children) more mindfully.
In our view, parenting is a perfect place to begin with mindfulness. When we’re on vacation and sitting on a beautiful mountain, it's not too hard to sit and just be where we are, to feel our bodies, to pause before responding, to allow the waves of thought and feeling to move in and through and out. When we're trying to get our kid's teeth brushed or homework done, or naps taken, or negotiations about friends or screens or food figured out, however -- that is where the practice is hard, and that is where it also really comes in handy. Parenting can be both a very difficult and a very obvious place to be mindful, so in our view, it’s a poignant place to start.
See Class Schedule for details.