Peaches and Cream: Joyful Beginnings
For parents of infants and toddlers - from birth to age 2
Facilitator: Dr Meyrav Mor
Duration: Once a week, for two hours
Time: 6.45 - 8.45pm - Nepal time (9 - 11am East Coast time)
Format: Online (Live streaming)
Language: All sessions and instructions are in English
Fee: $60 for 6 sessions*
* Limited financial aid is available for those in need.
In these six weekly online sessions, we will create a sacred space for parents, where they can feel safe to share, learn, meditate, and be nourished. The time together offers a short pause for parents from their daily routine to foster a connection to themselves and others, as well as provide an opportunity to explore how the parenting journey looks from varying cultural perspectives.
The sessions aim to find a balance of head (knowing/ the View), heart (experiencing, meditating, contemplating), and habit (applying the view and meditation into our lives as parents) in the parenting experience by offering useful insights in the Buddhist worldview. We explore weekly themes specific to those that arise in the first part of early childhood. We begin with contemplating the preciousness of human life and having a human body to progress on the path to Buddhahood.
These sessions take place online and parents from any part of the world are welcome to join and connect with other parents and explore the variations and similarities in the journey of parenting in different cultural contexts.
There will be ongoing sessions for a period of six weeks to begin with. A second deepening workshop will follow. These sessions are for parents who are in need of ‘an island’ of nourishment and a short pause from busy life to reconnect with themselves, their path of parenthood and to grow.
Some examples of themes that may be covered in the course include:
How to nurture self-confidence in infants and toddlers, and in ourselves as parents.
Parents want to sleep! Parents want the baby to sleep! Let’s explore peaceful, practical approaches.
Feeding, weaning and introducing solid food. Awareness of raising babies and children with food for nourishment not entertainment or bribery or stuffing emotions. Meals can be simple, healthy and easy.
From nappies to potty to full toilet training.
Slowing down and simplifying life. Slowing our own pace can calm the whole family.
The child is a sponge, drinking in the world. We will look at the world through the child's lens and find ways to nurture and protect, while being in the real world.
Observation and Awareness:
Practising just being and being present, allowing awe and wonder to develop, as opposed to the "hurry up and grow up" mentality.
Releasing Habitual Patterns:
The babies grow and change in all ways, as they grow into the toddler phase and reach new developmental milestones, they are more capable but parents still act as if they are an infant due to habitual patterns. We will discover how to shift that gear while fine tuning our ability to see the sometimes subtle and not so subtle changes in child development.
Creating your own unique family rhythm to nurture and create security and peace for the whole family. Rhythm can include sleep, meals, chores, playtime and more!
Less is more. Calming the environment with the art of decluttering, calms the whole family. The external environment has an effect on our inner life.
Parenting is physically demanding and exhausting and can be at times emotionally challenging. Raising infants is a great honour filled with joy and precious moments but it is a lot of hard work! Being real together is healing.
In the first months and couple of years of a child's life, parents nurture a new appreciation for one another in their new journey of parenting while still juggling life demands and their own internal processes. Welcoming an infant into our lives is also filled with many magical joyful moments and a new heights of feelings of love, attachment, and protectiveness. We will discuss the joys
and struggles in our relationships with our partners while raising an infant or young child.
Enduring crying spells:
At times the frequency, pitch, and intensity of the baby crying can cause parents physiological and emotional reactions from the depths of their being that is not always easy to manage for the sleep-deprived parent. We will explore approaches to awareness and mindfulness meditation and inward-focused spirituality to offer some support in dealing with these new experiences with a good dose of love and patience.
The Growing Family:
Many parents have reported that the transition from having one child to two is overwhelming in the first couple of years. We will share our experiences of how to manage meeting the needs of an infant and a toddler or a young child.
How to manage the stress of dealing with a normal crying baby who, despite eliminating all other potential causal factors (has she eaten? clean nappy? warm temperature?) is still continuing to cry for no apparent reason.
Buddhist View Contemplations:
A central view of Buddhism is suffering and the cessation of suffering. When our baby cries, she expresses discomfort, suffering. The parent’s immediate response is how can I alleviate my baby’s suffering as I don’t want her to suffer. I want my baby to be happy. I wish for my baby to smile and be content. Buddhism teaches that suffering exists because of personal attachment and desire and so the way to prevent suffering is by eliminating attachment and desire. That is, my baby’s own wish to be happy and not to suffer expressed through her discomfort and cries and my own wish for my baby to be happy so I do not experience distress, worry, and anxiety over her suffering.
The parent’s suffering may manifest in impatience and aggravation with the incessant baby crying caused by the desire for the baby to be happy coming from the deep attachment to her. All parents desire that their babies stop crying and smile.
May parents manage to decrease their suffering by letting go of the desire for their baby to stop crying every time they do that? Can we separate ourselves from our desire for the baby to stop crying and try to "embrace the moment" and more intentionally try to accept whatever is happening.
Practicing letting go and accepting to try to not have an expectation for a quiet, peaceful baby sleeping session and instead be more mindfully present and enjoy the rare privilege of getting to raise a child.
Contemplation and Meditation:
We contemplate and meditate on the Four Immeasurables, Four Thoughts, and how to breathe and go back to awareness, and calm abiding meditation, throughout the rich and varied experiences of parenting an infant and a toddler. We notice how sitting meditation affects our life in motion, bringing more mindfulness and awareness to the sometimes fast pace of parenting and everyday life.
The course will take place when a minimum of six participants are enrolled.
We hope that you will join us in creating an island of nourishment for you and others on this path of parenthood.