on parenting

  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    Finding What's Right in Front of Us Paid Member

    A parent and practitioner explores the difference between free time and freedom. Having a baby has been an unquestionable blessing for my wife, Maile, and me. Our son, Navarre, now three months old, has been a healthy, happy, and loving presence in our lives. And yet, despite the immeasurable pleasures of being his parents, we find ourselves faced with a challenge familiar to all new parents: adjusting to the absence of free time. We both remember when our lives were very different. For a good part of our twenties, before we met, Maile and I were both wanderers. I spent years traveling through the U.S. and Asia, visiting Buddhist monasteries and even joining a global environmental walk. More »
  • Tricycle Community 13 comments

    Family Practice Paid Member

    I’d been away on a silent retreat for several weeks. We’d engaged in a Dzogchen preliminary practice of self-inquiry in which one asks, “Who is meditating? Who, what is aware?” By retreat’s end, wondering how my family was doing, I called home. Jonathan, who was three at the time, answered the phone. “Daddy!” he said, excited. “Yes.” “WHO are you?” I was stunned; my mind stopped. Jonathan giggled. “Just teasing, Daddy!”Tibetan heart-mind training translates ordinary thoughts and feelings into fuel for the path. These practices redirect clinging and suffering into compassion; these practices empower mind to disclose its innate openness. More »
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    As If I Were Your Mother Paid Member

    My son was less than twenty-four hours old, and I knew he was going to die. The yellow cotton hat snuggled on his precious head, the brown handknit blanket securing his winging arms, he lay silently in the neonatal-ICU clear plastic crib. Veins no longer pricked, oxygen hood gone, lungs finally clear, he was healthy. Skye was coming home, yet I knew he would die. Some day. More »
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    What Name Did the Buddha Give His Son? Paid Member

    This morning I quizzed my eight-year-old daughter on her knowledge of Buddhism. This isn’t catechism class, just question and answer. I’m curious about how much she knows. We don’t belong as a family to any formal Buddhist organization, but since birth she has seen various bhikkhus, rinpoches, and Zen masters pass through our house—friends from my monk days or because of my writing. She asks lots of questions and remembers the answers she gets. This morning it’s my turn. The questions are historical and not esoteric at all. “What name did the Buddha give his son?” It sounds like a game show question, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she answered, “What is Rahula, or 'Hindrance.’” But she doesn’t. “Wasn’t it 'Get-in-the-Way’?” she ventures. Which the judges deem a correct answer, since it tells it as it is.More »
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    The Dharma of Motherhood Paid Member

    There have been moments in my life when I’ve felt that I found Buddhism mostly so that my daughter, Maud, now fourteen, could grow up around a dharma practitioner. It’s never been a problem, trying to practice with Maud around the house: At five, she was as fascinated by the idea of my sitting as she was by everything else I did. For a five-year-old, how was my practicing shamatha different from my putting on makeup, doing yoga in the middle of the living room floor, driving a stickshift, struggling for hours at my computer over a single paragraph? It was all the same to her—the mystery of Mama, and of womanhood, and of humanness. More »
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    Cartoon As Path Paid Member

    Jonathan (nine years old) reads to us from his favorite comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes. First panel: young Calvin’s teacher gives him a math problem. Next: Calvin stares at the problem, dumbfounded. Final panel: Calvin, dressed in a private eye’s hat, looking tough, declares: “It was another baffling case. But then, you don’t hire a private eye for the easy ones.” Calvin copes hilariously with teachers, parents, and friends, all mediated by his private eye fantasy. But because he is never fully present to the realities, he falls into trouble repeatedly without ever understanding why. More »