A few years ago while teaching on retreat in Greece I downloaded a book which came highly recommended by my favourite online teacher, Jo Tastula, the book is called ‘Make Me One with Everything’ by Lama Surya Das. Everything in the book spoke to me but there was one section about how we can create a sense of calm and connection within our everyday family lives and not only on retreats or our yoga mats that particularly grabbed my attention.
Lama Surya Das, a great Buddhist meditation teacher, recommends a practice called 'Inter-Meditation' which kinda means instead of thinking that we can only find peace when we are away from the world or when we are alone (of course we do still need this precious time to ourselves), that we can also find this sense of tranquility when we are in the midst of our busy, hectic and sometimes challenging family and working life.
At the time when I read the book life was pretty darn sweet, Bella our daughter was 4 and was just so easy and good, Ru and I had just decided to get married and everything was flowing like a breeze - and then our new beautiful baby boy came along. Jacob sure was a gift from God, one that lovingly and naturally took all of our spare time. If I wasn't soothing Jacob to sleep or feeding there seemed to be a 100 million other things to do with the yoga studio and our daughter. Slowly but surely I went from feeling like Mother Earth to a new Mum with seriously erratic energy and then I remembered the advice from Lama Surya Das.
Now I try to make snippets of time with the kids into my practice. For example, when I put Jacob in the bath and he's entertained with his rubber ducks I sit crossed legged on the floor watching him and Inter-meditating with him. When he's asleep I spend 10 minutes watching him and inter-meditate with him. I can honestly say it has turned mummy related chores into moments of immense love and gratitude, moments that light up my day. Of course I don’t manage to do this all the time and I accept that at times I am eractic and grumpy but it feels so good to have another path to walk along when I feel things getting on top of me.
If you fancy a go, here’s the technique:
. Inter-meditate by sitting in your kids room at night after they go to sleep.
. Let a feeling of absolute love and appreciation wash over you.
. Let go of all the things you need to do just and allow the tension to melt away.
. Bring your attention to the breath and the sensations in your body.
. Let the breath become very gentle and relaxed, maybe focusing on lengthening the exhale, keep looking at your gorgeous baby/child and allow your heart to keep feeling a wave of unconditional love.
. Watch your children’s chest rise and fall with every breath and begin to breathe with them.
. As you breathe with your child notice how everything feels calm, like there's nothing in the world as important as this very moment.
. Take this feeling into the challenges and the noise and remember to breathe through it all.
Blessings to all you gorgeous parents.