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Thread: Buddhist approach?

  1. #1

    Default Buddhist approach?

    Hi, not sure if this is right place for this query - I was wondering if anywhere on BB there is a discussion around buddhism. I think it is very complementary with the gentle parenting approach.

    I have used a lot of buddhist and yoga approaches in my life and particularly in the lead up to birth. And especially now that Clarrie is here!

    Can anyone point me in the direction of any threads here? Are there any on BB interested in a buddhist approach to parenting?

    cheers, Julie


  2. #2

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    There are no threads here in regards to religion as such, but feel free to discuss their philosophies in the Gentle Parenting threads and how it relates to gentle parenting.

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    Hi! My husband has a great interest and respect for a lot of religions (and majored in religion with high distinctions in the degree he recently finished - he is SO passionate about religion - all sorts!) Wow, he'd be really impressed with your approach, as he was wanting to write a parenting book based on buddhist appraoches. The other day we were in a book store, and he came across a book written in very much the same way he had planned on writing his book! I forget what it was called, so I shall ask him for you. But yes, as I remember, the buddhis approach to parenting allows one to let go of hang-ups, to conect with themselves more, to understand the world, to be mindful, to be without stress, and to just bring about a state of peace within your family. I was all for it, I think it would lead to a longer and healthier life for anyone who just took a bit of knowledge from that sort of approach (and I'm not a religious person, but I greatly respect the ideas in regards to mindfullness and a state of pure bliss for oneself and ones family!) Rock on....I'll discuss it with him again tonight and then answer your queery in more detail.

  4. #4

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    Thanks Sherie

    Liana, look forward to hearing the book title. I know there is one called Buddhism for Mothers - haven't read that one. It's supposed to be good. I've got an excellent (and huge!) book called Mother as First Guru. The title may be a bit off putting, but it is a fantastic book for pregnancy and beyond, and includes CDs of meditation, etc, plus yoga poses during different stages of pregnancy.

    The author basically has a pretty down to earth approach to things and it really struck a cord with me. I reckon that it had a huge influence on how my pregnancy and birth went.

    Yeh, letting go of hang ups, especially about your own childhood is a big thing. I think the biggest thing that I am learning is just to be in the present moment with Clarrie . Sound easy!!

    cheers, Julie

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    juliec,

    hi...well, I only remembered to discuss it with him just before I fell asleep last night, so I don't remember all of what he said, lol. But, he spoke of the eight-fold path, and how each can be incorporated into ones parenting. He has offered to write a bit about it, so that I can then cut-and-paste it for you here....so, I should have that ready for you tomorrow. The book is the Buddhism for Mothers one, yes. I haven't read it, but it looked good.

  6. #6

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    Hi Liana, I might try to get this book from the library. Would love to 'hear' from your husband via cut-n-paste!

    cheers, Julie

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    Here is parenting from a Buddhist perspective, as my husband understands it:

    ["Buddhist Parenting in a nutshell: Using Buddhist Theory and Practice, and Interpreting it in light of the responsibilities of Parenting. As you may be aware, Buddhism can roughly be divided into the following traditions: Theravada, Mahayana (Path of the Bodhisattva, Zen, and Tantra).

    Theravada for Parents:

    The Noble Eightfold Path of Parenting.

    1. Right View.

    To see your children, not as burdens, but as special, beautiful, and precious.
    Buddhism teaches us to realise that all things are impermanent. Cherish the
    time you have with your children as much as possible. Viewing your children
    as annoying, tedious, or stressful (whilst human) constitutes Wrong View.

    2. Right Intention.

    Right Intention is to decide from the outset (or this very moment) that you
    will provide your children with a spiritual, and beneficial upbringing, allowing
    them to be the best that they can be, both in a worldly sense, and a spiritual.
    Right Intention is to make sure that your children will have been blessed for
    having been yours.

    3. Right Speech.

    Right Speech is to make sure that you do not verbally abuse your children,
    or introduce them to concepts that they are not ready for. On the other hand
    Right Speech also means educating your children about the realities of the world,
    and enabling them to be able to deal with it. Ignorance is not always bliss.

    4. Right Action.

    Right Action refers to our physical actions. As such, Right Action refers to
    playing with your children, and giving them lots of affection.

    5. Right Livelihood.

    Right Livelihood refers to making sure that our employment will not be
    damaging to our children. Examples would be illegal trade, jobs that
    demean people, or jobs where toxicity is a problem, and thus the parent's
    health may be adversely affected.

    6. Right Effort.

    Right Effort refers to the fact that when we are tired, or sick, or stressed,
    that we remember Right View and Right Intention, and do our best
    to be the best parents we can be, even under trying circumstances.

    7. Right Mindfulness.

    Right Mindfulness refers, both to a) being aware of our children (such as where
    they are, are they safe, are they happy, are we giving them attention) but
    also to b) the practice of mindfulness, which can dissolve a lot of our stress
    and make us much better adjusted people.

    8. Right Concentration.

    Right Concentrations refers to a) Making sure we are aware of our goals as
    parents, as well as to b) the practice of meditation, for which, when the children
    are all asleep, may well be the best known method of recharging those parenting
    batteries known to man. Better than Drinking, or watching TV (not to be too
    judgemental!).

    Quickly, The Boddhisattva Path of Parenting would be to view your role as a parent
    as a sacred decision, as a vow that you have made to be compassion to these
    beings who have been reborn as your children. The Zen Path would be to view your
    children as Enlightened Buddha's. As such, when they are throwing a tantrum, it is
    because they are testing you, and humorously pointing out your attachment to peace
    and quiet. The Tantric approach to parenting is similar, except that you would be
    aware of the negative emotions that you might be feeling, and dissolve them into
    moments of clarity. You might be extremely angry. Let go, and be aware of the love
    that you feel, rather than the temporary situation.

    That's All. If you'd like any reading suggestions, just let me know.]"

  8. #8

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    Liana,

    Thanks to your husband and you for the Noble Eightfold Path as it relates to parenting. I'm away for a few days and madly packing, so will re-read more closely on my return!

    Julie

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    Thanks for sharing..its really interesting

    Jo

  10. #10
    Marcia Guest

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    Oooh! Have seen the Mother as first Guru in a yoga mag and thought it looked good. Just wondering Julie, where did you buy it? The website listed in the mag doesn't exist anymore. Also, did you find it helpful during pregnancy and during labour, or is it more focused on after the birth?

  11. #11

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    Marcia, that is where I saw the book initially and thought it sounded good. I bought it from her but have noticed that the website is no longer operational. I have no idea where else it is available. Sorry that I can't be much help. From memory the book was reviewed by Sarah J Buckley, who has her own book out and website. Maybe if you contacted her she may know how to get it? It was expensive, about $100 I think, but well worth it, especially if you do yoga or are wanting to take it up during your pregnancy. I definitely found it useful for pregnancy and labour and pehaps I would not have had such a good experience in both without it.

    Julie

  12. #12
    Marcia Guest

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    Thanks Julie. I will have to have a search around and see what I can find out! I'm not pregnant yet, but TTC, so I might have a bit of time before I need it. I took up yoga after having my first child and love it, so would like to continue it through pregnancy. Hopefully it has a good effect on labour next time around as first one was not a good experience at all. Still, I'm hoping yoga has taught me a lot about my body since last time, so it's bound to be better than the first, right LOL!?

  13. #13

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    I have a very wise Buddhist friend whose gentle advice helped me very much in recent years. It is hard to fault Buddhism ... really they are marvellous principles that would be of so much benefit to everyone. Mindfulness in particular is so important when we live in a world in which it is increasingly hard to maintain focus.

    If anyone wants to chat about it, please feel free to PM or email.

  14. #14

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    Liana, I meant to get back into this forum and say that I printed out the Eightfold path that you posted - good to refer to at certain (trying) times! Thanks for that.

    Melbo, I agree with the mindfulness being so important and yet I find it so hard to focus. I think I am even worse now than I ever was! I've been reading from a book of essays and one I could really relate to. The author was reflecting on how hard it was to follow her buddhist practice as a mother. She wrote:

    "I have always been task oriented. even though I am not working outside the home, I still get caught up in all the things I have to accomplish, and focus on them instead of the children. It is hard for me to take time just to play with them. It made sense that learning simply to be in the present moment is one's task, regardless of whether one is a monk, a laborer, or a mother. Once one has the perspective that mothering is a spiritual path, the teachings can be applied to that context as well as any other."

    I often find that I am thinking too much of what I have to do next and also getting distracted and going on to another task before finishing the first. When I do spend time with Clarrie 'being in the present moment' it is such a beautiful time. I wish that I could calm my mind down more often!! No doubt it will happen come with practice...

    Julie

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    Julie, agreed. I think the reason the Buddhist principles appealed to me so strongly was just that. My head is constantly filled with thoughts of what I should/must do that I forget that the present moment is all I have and all that ever will be. I have some times of clarity but it is a constant struggle to overcome the habits of a lifetime. Accepting the many imperfections in my own character is also part of it I guess and the trick lies in not letting them get in the way. =)

  16. #16

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    Melbo, you are so right about habits of a lifetime.

    I've been thinking more about this and even though I 'know' all about this (i.e. in my head), I'm still just not 'getting it'. I guess by that I mean that there is something deeper that is stopping me from being less task focused and feeling that I haven't achieved much in that particular day. Maybe by thinking about this and discussing it, this deeper block will be revealed!

    Not sure if this makes sense....

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