Tsultrim Allione – Buddhism and Parenting

Balancing being a parent and being a practitioner is definitely a challenge. I think part of it’s because we have
this split between spirit and matter. Buddhism and Parenting For example, I went from being a nun
to being a mother in less than a year, so I really had this extreme experience
of no time for myself to really having all the time in the world –
that was my job, to meditate! So it was a process that I went through, figuring out how am I going to be a parent and be a serious practitioner at the same time. I think it’s partly bringing practice into the mundane, so I did things like when I was nursing my baby, I would visualize that I was nursing all beings, and that this was an act of compassion. So I could turn those hours of nursing,
if I remembered to do it, into a compassion practice. I could work with the irritation that
comes up as a parent, with patience. It’s a perfect laboratory for emotions! When I became a parent after being a nun, I thought I had overcome all these emotions like jealousy, impatience, anger and so on. I realized I hadn’t! And so it was very rich for me and humbling to realize, wow, I was just in very easy
circumstances in my cave. And now I’m not getting enough sleep
and have a mortgage. I think the other thing is that it was
important for me also to get away sometimes, and to actually have time for meditation, that I had had. So I began to take off maybe a weekend
or something, a day, an hour. I also kept a regular daily practice going most
of the time when I was a mother. The kids would be crawling all over me,
they’d be tearing down my shrine, but I did it. For me that was important to keep that thread.

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