Saturday 11 July 2020 (16:30 -18:00)
Ancient Wisdom for Modern Families
Parenting (can be) . . . based on the notion that human beings are fundamentally good. Their most basic qualities are positive ones: openness, intelligence, and warmth.
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, The Sanity We Are Born With
In this age of anxiety, parenting requires courage. There are so many balls to juggle; so many philosophies and recipes to consider; so many ways of how one can give in to the temptation of striving to be the perfect parent and create or educate the perfect child; so many ways how to label oneself as not being a good enough mother or father; and so many doubts.
Fearless parenting is about stepping out of that situation and daring to be without a recipe. It is about the courage to simply be present and to be willing to explore what we already have - and always had - to offer as mothers and fathers and rely on that: our own heart, the rich world of our own experiences, this whole human cocktail and our ability to be with, feel and deeply listen to a being we love.
In the three Saturday afternoon classes of Fearless Parenting there will be short talks and time for discussion, dialogue work and experience - based exercises.
The topics of the classes are
1. The Parent’s Path: The Courage to be Present
11th July 2020 16.30 - 18.00
About the willingness to meet our own mind, to mature and to develop who we are as (adult) human beings
When I practice I am always willing to meet what is there - sometimes it will be good sometimes not so good; but I will always be willing to meet it - even if it is me.
2. The Child’s Path: Become Who You (already) Are
18th July 16.30 - 18.00
How going beyond our fears and hopes opens the gate to truly meeting our child
“Without giving up hope - that there’s somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be - we will never relax with where we are or who we are.” (Or with who our child is…)
3. Walking Side by Side
25th July 16.30 - 18.00
However hard we try; we cannot prepare a perfect world for our children. We can only prepare our children for the world as it is, with all the ups and downs that life displays.
To cover all the earth with sheets of leather -
Where could such amounts of skin be found?
But with the leather soles of just my shoes
It is as though I cover all the earth.
And thus the outer course of things I myself cannot restrain,
But let me just retrain my mind,
And what is left to be restrained?
Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva, 8th century
During the week, between each class, we invite you to do homework (in a very literal sense): exercises such as journaling and individual contemplations, that allow you to integrate these teachings into your own everyday family life. Each of you will also have the opportunity to have a one to one exchange with one of our well qualified mentors.
The Parent’s Path: The Courage to be Present
Becoming a mother or a father is one of the most promising and at same time most challenging metamorphoses (and transformation processes) that we can experience in our life.
In Fearless Parenting you are invited to view your parenthood as a precious opportunity to mature and develop who you are as a human being.
As a parent, one might discover how much love, generosity, patience, and discipline one has - maybe much more than we ever thought. At the same time, one comes to realize how painfully often one cannot access these qualities and how one gets caught in destructive patterns.
This is not the end of the world but the starting point of a parent’s path. The willingness to meet it all, to embrace the whole spectrum of experiences, and to work with one’s own mind is in any path the first step to take.
The first afternoon of Fearless Parenting offers tools to support discovering and appreciating our natural resources and how to recognize when we lose confidence and therefore react with habitual patterns. We will explore how self-compassion balances the importance of discriminating what to accept and what to reject and the unnecessary torture of self-accusation.
Mindfulness practice will be presented as the main tool for the parent’s journey. It increases our awareness in everyday life and cultivates the courage to be present.
The Child’s Path: Become Who You (already) Are
Can we relax with where we are as a family and with who our child is? Do we even know who they are? How would it be to allow yourself to marvel at who your child is?
Not assuming that we already know the universe of another human being’s experiences is a good basis for deep listening and for true curiosity and care. It liberates our perception from concepts and projections, so we can give the child the freedom to really become who he or she is.
The second afternoon of Fearless Parenting explores mindfulness based dialogue and contemplative techniques which support us in relating to our child(ren), coming from an open, accepting and non-judging place.
We touch into our (hidden) fears and expectations that shape the way we are with our child(ren).
Walking Side by Side
It’s natural that as parents we want our children to be happy and free from suffering. Because we love them so much we tend to think that our main role is to protect our child from the world.
Yet, however hard we try, we cannot prepare a perfect world for our children. We can only prepare our children for the world as it is, with all the ups and downs that life displays.
In the third afternoon of Fearless Parenting we will be on the lookout for some kind of space between the extremes of either letting our child(ren) alone in the world’s turmoils or over managing their lives and attempting to fix their problems, small and large.
There will be individual contemplative investigations of the concept of responsibility - our ability to respond to a situation. When does our way of being responsible feel too tight so that responsibility transmutes into taking over the child’s life - and when might it be too loose so that care and protection are missing?
If you would like to register as two parents, the second parent will receive a 50% discount.
Total cost for one parent = €30
Total cost for two parents = €45
To take advantage of this discount please let us know in the comments box of the registration form.
If you miss a live session, a recording will be made available to you afterwards.
This programme will be taught in English with no translation available.