Many of my fears in divorcing related to my daughter, specifically believing that her upbringing would be compromised without me there every day. Who would shield her from the big bad world? Who would drive her past, rather than through, McDonald’s?

Parenting as a Meditation

by Craig Gordon


When my daughter arrived here five short years ago, she chose to make her entry into this life through a home birth, right here in Woodstock. It was the most spiritually enriching experience moment of my life. Watching her emerge from her mother’s womb, on the living room floor, was divine. I saw God in that moment. Spiritual evolution to the max. What I didn’t know, however, was that the real lift would come as a result our divorce, and my experiences as a single parent, that followed.

Divorce is never easy. Divorcing with kids presents a host of potential problems that wouldn’t exist without them in the mix. For the benefit of our children, we are inspired to work as partners in parenting even after our love for each other has died. As someone who has experienced divorce both with and without children, I have weighty credentials in this field of social research.

When our marriage ended, when our daughter had just turned three, I was devastated. I was overcome with feelings of loss, hurt, anger, jealousy, fear… I can go on. While bathing in this stinky emotional gumbo, I needed to be strong for my daughter. I was also committed to joint parenting, which provided me custody of her three days a week. This factor was the catalyst for my inner growth, and for what became my Parenting as Meditation.

Many of my fears in divorcing related to my daughter, specifically believing that her upbringing would be compromised without me there every day. Who would shield her from the big bad world? Who would drive her past, rather than through, McDonald’s? Who would protect her from those wild boys as she grew up? I was simply scared to death. Can you relate?

As the reality of divorce began to sink in I began to notice that on the days that I had my daughter, I was happy. The other days were often spent in the gumbo, and in counseling. This pattern continued for about two years, a few days of joy followed by a few days of pain.

Keep in mind that I am no stranger to the pursuit of enlightenment through meditation. And yes, I was trying to meditate during my alone days to quiet my mind. I couldn’t turn off, however, my thoughts of my daughter’s well being in my absence. The Buddhist tenant of non-attachment is a great concept when our happiness is attached to the ownership of luxury cars. I did, however, feel incredibly attached to my daughter.

What eventually became clear to me, was that during the daddy days I was present, I mean really present, in my parenting efforts. I had no fateful thoughts about her little life. Being with her kept me in the here and now, and loving it. And the more I immersed myself into the present of her presence, the better I began to feel when I was alone.

It’s been said, and often, that there is no one way up the Mountain of Enlightenment. With that in mind, it’s important to realize that many of today’s popular New Age enlightenment techniques are rooted in ancient traditions. There are little similarities between the culture that the Buddha lived in 2,500 years ago and our modern American culture. Our lives are much more complicated, today. We need to incorporate ancient philosophies into our modern lives. While I’m not here to criticize meditation as the path to enlightenment, I am saying that meditation does not occur only in the Lotus position. My meditation has been parenting my daughter. By the way, she does know how to Om.

 

 

 

 

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