Mindfulness and Parenting

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Hi everyone, this is Gaston from TeamUp.
for a new update and some new insights all the way from plum village Thailand.

And today it’s about mindfulness and kids. As you can see here this is Namo my six month old boy.

And a few things I really learned about mindfulness and parenting, as I’m staying here for a few weeks in retreat, the first thing is it’s not any more about my individual practice.
I used to be loving sitting for long hours alone doing formal sitting meditation, what I realized is it’s all about family practice, now it’s collective practice. And so I need to loosen up my own attachment to my own practice and how this was before. I really focus on the ‘We’ so moving from the ‘I’ and the mindfulness practice to the ‘We’ in the mindfulness practice. And so my levels of stress now affect the family and if Namo is happy that affects the family and so it’s collective practice. And that helped me a lot and letting go some of my earlier attachments.

The second one we need to get really creative in our mindfulness practice, again formal sitting meditation for a father of two young boys like this it’s just hard to squeeze in a little bit, maybe but and not at at the frequency I did before. And so one of the things that I’ve realized here in Plum
village, is a great place to do that, is to become creative. So I now start my day with stroller meditation and so for about 45 minutes to one hour I actually just put Namo in the stroller in the morning into walking meditation and it’s incredibly calming and peaceful if he’s happy as well. And there’s other ways like actually taking the boys for a walk or simply enjoying a cup of tea with the boys. And so you find different ways to apply your mindfulness practice.

And thirdly no expectations, this one is probably the hardest for me as a father.
Whenever I have a little bit of time left I have all kinds of ideas on how I can use that most productively and maybe okay maybe Tao is awake but maybe I can do this at the same time. And the moment that I create these expectations to be productive in some way or form I often
get frustrated afterwards because, as all the parents will know, kids draw their own plan and they do their own thing.
And so I’ve learned to let go of expectations when I’m with them, dedicate that time and let go. And then once have time for myself I can really focus on things that I want to do.

So three tips from now. Namo, any other wisdom?
Namo is an expert in beginner’s mind which will talk more about it next time


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