Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Children deserve as much respect as any person. Their feelings are just as important as ours and they trust us to listen to them, guide them and help them. When we give a child the attention that he or she deserves we teach them mindfulness and that everyone's opinions and feelings count (even if you don't agree with them).

Mindfulness is paying attention. Mindfulness is also taking care of what is right in front of you, tending to it and nurturing it. As a great teacher told me this weekend, "Mindfulness is a floodlight." It is not just a spotlight. We have to see the big picture with big mind, not just what we want to see with our small mind.

When Z gets upset it reminds me to stop dead in my tracks and give him the respect he deserves. Even when his anger or sadness is inconvenient (say in the middle of the grocery store or when I am cooking), he deserves respect and attention. When I fail to give it to him it blows up in both of our faces and we both feel worse. Respect begets trust and shows love - that is what being a parent is all about.

I think I should try this with the big folks too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not right now

On the morning of Z's second birthday we went downstairs to a room of presents. He immediately slam dunked the basketball into the goal and smacked the soccer goal until it shouted, "GOAL!!!" He didn't even notice the wrapped presents on the table until we pointed them out. He opened one that contained Hot Wheels and sat to play cars. After a few minutes we asked him, "Ready to open another one?!" His reply was simple and meaningful, "Not right now. I'm busy."

How many times do we adults want to hop onto the next task or next present without fully appreciating the one right in front of us? Too often.

The presents sat there until after dinner and birthday cake.

I love that grateful little man.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's O.K.

You know the moments.
The moments where everything seems to be wrong all at once.

My small mind sees:
The kitchen is messy, I'm are late making lunch, for some reason the T.V. is still on, and I wonder why I didn't make more coffee.
So I start to dwell. And stress. And make something out of nothing. Then Z runs in the kitchen and sees me frustrated and smiles, "It's O.K., Mama." His simple observation hits me hard. He is right. Again. Instantly, that little smile melts my heart into loving submission and I realize, yes, it is O.K.

His big mind sees:
Dust and grass are easily vacuumed, lunch is quickly finished, the T.V. is turned off and all I really need is a glass of water and the wisdom of a child.

Monday, October 18, 2010

One More Time, Mama

There is nothing like a child to remind you to be present in each moment.

My son, Z frequently requests that I do something, "One more time, Mama." I think to myself and sometimes say out loud, "Again?" He clarifies, "One more time, Mama." So I do it one more time. Over and over. One more time. Then I get it. He really does mean one more time. It's all we ever have. What exists is what is happening now, not yesterday, not tomorrow, not in an hour, but right now, this one more time.

He is the best teacher I have ever had.

I'd also like to give a special thanks to the Karen Maezen Miller (author of Momma Zen and Hand Wash Cold) and the Austin Zen Center for keeping me inspired and full of love.