Many years ago, when I was in my twenties and before I had children, I had a Tibetan Buddhist teacher in Oxford (England). I trusted her, admired her and was willing to learn from her. She felt familiar to me. I accepted her presence and practices as soothing and helpful. I had not started remembering past lives then, so I did not know I had had many lives as a Tibetan. I even argued with her teacher that past lives were not real and I did not have to believe in them! No argument from him. He smiled and said: “Nobody is expecting you to believe in anything. You can only believe what you have experienced as being true.” I guess his answer was a lesson all in itself!
After many months of sitting in meditation with my teacher and her students, she moved to Wales. When I went to say good bye, she looked at me in the way that honest, wise, very intuitive teachers can look into your eyes, all the way into your soul and beyond, and she said: “Wouldn’t it be the ultimate challenge, to have children and to love them unconditionally and without attachment?” then the conversation moved on. The words rang through me like a loud bell, and I thought: “You are crazy, woman! For one thing I don’t want any kids and for another thing, OF COURSE you need to be attached to your children1 How else will they know that you love them?”
Soon afterwards I had some serious health issues. Which lead me to reconsider my life completely and to realise that I did want to have children. It happened that one of the midwives assigned to me by the hospital to attend my first child’s birth was a fellow student from my Buddhist meditation group. The thread of my teacher’s teaching was right there, running through the midwife who connected me to her as I embarked on this journey of loving unconditionally without attachment.
Then what saved my sanity was “Attachment Parenting”, in which you allow the child to attach to you and stay as close as they want to, but you also let them leave you and explore the world on their own, trusting that they want to live and be safe and that they will come back to you when they need your support. Loving unconditionally without attachment to the outcome. Trusting that life wants to flow, create, and heal itself always. The thread of my teacher’s ‘assignment’ for me was still there.
Being a mother of very attached children and volunteering as a breastfeeding supporter were my training for being a healer in many ways that I won’t describe here today. I teach the way I parented. By pointing me towards parenting as a spiritual practice, my Buddhist teacher opened the path to my life’s work as a healer and as a teacher. (For details of this year’s Awaken the Healer Within that starts Sept 16,2014, go to: http://www.attunementsforthesoul.com/mentoring-for-healers-class)
Right now I am letting another child find her way into the world, trusting that they know what they need. Loving unconditionally, without being attached to the outcome. And I am reminded again of what happens when you trust your spiritual teacher: they see where you need to go and what you need to learn, even before you do. They give you those cryptic clues that turn out to be diamonds with so many facets that you can learn from them for the rest of your life. What happens when you trust your spiritual teacher is that their love for your divinity sends energy ahead of you, to open the way and make your awakening easier. They don’t tell you what to do, they just point to a portal, or to a road you may benefit from traveling.
The last time one of my spiritual teachers looked at me in that ‘through me and beyond me’ way, he asked me: “Where do you come from?” But that’s a story for another day.