Enlightenment and Babies

I am thinking, my two week old daughter in my lap with a perfect latch to my nipple. All at once I am blogging, listening to the 'Morning Edition' at NPR, and I am a food/warmth/brain development source for my youngling. She makes little sounds which I repeat without thinking. She yawns and stretches, which I also repeat. I talk to her, I hold her close to me. These I can do without thinking. I also adjust her head, relatch her perfect little mouth when needed and squeeze her food source from time to time for more milk.

So what does this all mean for me? It has been two weeks plus few days since her birth. As I am healing from a very smooth breech cesarean, I am discovering certain things among them my new body and my new role in life.

I meditate in between nursing, sometimes I have exactly a minute sometimes less, sometimes I have to do it on the toilet. My little one is very attached to me. Not through the now encapsulated placenta we shared once (the one I am swallowing three times a day), but through the scent of my milk that entices her and the scent of her head and wrinkly parts that endlessly entice me.

I think about Buddha who left his children and wife to find enlightenment. Dalai Lama: single, Thich Nhat Hanh: also single, Ataturk: one failed marriage, no children, and Oprah: relationship but no children. As you may ponder how humble it is of me to compare myself to Buddha, Dalai Lama and Oprah in the same sentence, I am pondering this: will I ever get enlightened?

I once listened to a conversation with Dalai Lama's English translator Thupten Jinpa who is a buddhist scholar and former monk. As he traveled with Dalai Lama he admits that he had a hard time following the rigorous schedule of his holiness who starts his meditations at 3am every single day. Thupten sometimes would sleep till 6am and feel bad about it (!). He then explains how understanding Dalai Lama was of his not keeping up. When Thupten decided to leave monkhood to get married and have children, his Holiness encouraged him. When asked about comparing his married life with children to monkhood Thupten says both have their challenges except with having children you have endless opportunities to practice compassion, patience and experience suffering and love in a condensed day (or hour) and in a powerful way.

So I feel like life handed me lemons (Eda) instead of oranges (a monk's robe or a media empire). It may be sour, sometimes bitter but I sure will make my own lemonades :)



Anonymous said…
nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

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