Parenting is the Highest Form of Meditation – By Susan Leahy

“Parenting is Highest Form of Meditation.” This small sentence has become a personal mantra for me as I take part in my daily parenting practice.

Wikipedia defines Meditation as  a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or as an end in itself.

I have found without a doubt, parenting provides more opportunities to “train my mind” then any other activity that I have participated in. Day in and day out, opportunities present themselves in the form of quarreling kiddos, hungry bellies, sudden falls, and the 101 other emergencies that can happen during just one single day of parenting a 3 ½ year old and a 17 month old.  This mantra that I have adopted and say multiple times to myself daily, is such a great reminder and gives me something to strive towards as I am being thrown up on or talked to harshly because I am having to say no. Meditation is easier when we are sitting alone on a beach or in a yoga class with others who are projecting a similar energy. But real meditation, practical meditation, meditation in real life is your own ability in the moment to go to that higher space inside yourself in which personal peace resides. It is the ability to go to that higher space while you are still actively engaged as a parent responding to and managing the chaos of the current moment.

I know that I have achieved greatness in my parenting practice when I can be fully present in that chaotic parenting moment, yet be experiencing an internal calm, which feels like an ancoredness to my center. I am happy to share that I felt it today when I was sitting on the couch having a cup of coffee. I literally just sat down when my 17 month old wandered over to me and without warning vomited all over my lap and the couch. I took a breath and said my mantra “Parenting is Highest Form of Meditation.” I was standing there with vomit running down my legs, hot coffee in my left hand, holding my sons hand in the right hand and trying to verbally sooth my 3 year old who was an eye witness to the entire event. In the split second after it happened I literally saw a road in front of me with a fork in it. Would I go left and be angry and react to this situation or right, take a deep breath and work to find the joy. Which way would this moment go? Inducing a mode of consciousness takes practice, takes awareness and takes dedication. You know you have chosen the right direction when you are able to be cleaning up vomit while feeling at peace and even happy. Today, in this moment I did well.

What is dynamic about my parenting practice is that moments of personal triumph sit right next to moments of weakness and “failure.” This stark contrast reminds me that I am never going to be done. I am never going to be there (wherever there is) and that my parenting practice is about trying to be fully present during the journey, because the journey is all that I have. This mantra, “Parenting is Highest Form of Meditation,” is what I use in the moment when I find myself feeling disconnected from my center or when I feel myself being seduced by the feelings on the dark side of parenting. The mantra “Parenting is Highest Form of Meditation” motivates me to stay diligent in my parenting practice. Try using it next time you find your parenting practice a little trying.

I hope it gives you the same peace that it gives me.

“Parenting is Highest Form of Meditation.”