Letting Love Be the Guide

When confronting the need for discipline with our kids, we can look to spiritual traditions and teachings for inspiration. Photo: Ben Kerckx on Pixabay “You can’t teach anyone anything without love, and without being happy with them.” ~ Adi Da Samraj, Spiritual Teacher, Writer, and Artist As our children get older, the challenges of parenting …

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Finding Silence & Simplicity in a World Trending Toward Speed

As parents, the pandemic has served up immense juggling obstacles, but also opportunities for fewer distractions and new habits. Image: Pixabay “In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive resolves itself into crystal clearness.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi As parents, the pandemic has served up a …

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The Fruits of Commitment: Saying Yes to the Crucible of Family Life

In family life, love itself can become the container within which we live. Photo: Deborah McNamara (Dubois, Wyoming) “Love does not arise, abide or dissolve in connection with any particular feeling. Love has instead become a container within which we live. Through time, riding mysterious waves of passion, aggression and ignorance, we begin to live …

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What Do Goddess Archetypes Have To Do with Parenting?

Tending the hearth right here at home can also be a sacred act. Photo: Deborah McNamara “The symbol of Goddess gives us permission. She teaches us to embrace the holiness of every natural, ordinary, sensual dying moment.”~ Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter New mothers receive, often unexpectedly and without adequate preparation, …

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Time Outs, Strong Emotions & Needing Space: Lessons Learned from a Buddhist Preschool

Photo: Alaya Preschool, Darlene Lorraine Over the years, I’ve written a bit on the amazing preschool that my boys attend in Boulder, Colorado. It has been a beacon of wisdom and insight, and I’m eternally grateful. Rooted in the tradition of Shambhala Buddhism, the teachers act based on the premise that there is a basic wisdom inherent in …

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Let’s Try Something New: Lessons Learned from a Buddhist Preschool

Photo: Deborah McNamara Over the years I've written on Principles of Contemplative Parenting — and my reflections inspired by them. Thanks to Alaya Preschool in Boulder, Colorado for outlining some of these suggested points. Here I share a few more, accompanied by my experiences. After a challenging spell with my boys, these served my life like guideposts, …

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A Midnight Lightbulb: How Sleepless Nights With the Baby Transformed Me for Good

Learning that love can shine through, even with a shrieking child at 3 am. “Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby — awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.” ~ Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events One of the consistent times when I needed to “practice” …

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How Parenthood Can Devour Our Egos in the Best Possible Way

Sometimes we can set ourselves free by setting ourselves aside “Much of motherhood, from the very first hour, carries the early warning signs of ego warfare. I want to sleep. She wants to eat. I need to do this. She needs to do that. Not again. Again. It can feel as though someone were eating …

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The Borders of Choosing Love: What Place Does Anger Take?

Our closest relationships can teach us the art of staying connected, even when setting a fierce boundary. Photo: Deborah McNamara (Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming) "Conflict and tension are as much a part of the human condition as interdependence is. There are times we have to have conflict, and tension has to exist to bring something …

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How Family Life Dishes Up Life’s Greatest Lessons

And why you should know about the Buddhist practice of “Beginner’s Mind.” Photo: Deborah McNamara (Glacier National Park, Montana) "Having a beginner's mind means having an attitude of openness, eagerness and freedom from preconceptions when approaching anything...It is that delicious state when you are sure of nothing, yet completely fearless, totally available to the moment." …

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