“Meditation and Parenting as Medicine” was written by Jaya Kula student Sahaji Fisher.
Being a mother to my son is a potent medicine that has opened my heart.
Through the process of mothering, a curiosity about life has blossomed inside me. I’ve been born into a larger version of myself through giving up who I thought I was and simply being myself with my son.
I was pregnant during a summer 2014 meditation retreat with my teacher in Maine. It was my first time practicing meditation, and I had a lot of nausea, dizziness, fear and all kinds of things coming up.
After every sit, I would find myself thinking, “I survived!” Then, I would laugh and say, “Oh no, I survived.” The “I” that was surviving was the one holding on for dear life.
I had a hard birth and a long and hard recovery. I can honestly say that meditation was the best medicine for labor and birth. There’s a stillness, a pouring of self into self, a letting go.
I’ve experienced ongoing fatigue and sleep deprivation since then. The letting go continues. I’ve had to let go of what I thought my practice should look like since becoming a mom, actually listen to my body and practice what is practical. I don’t have the support to sit uninterrupted for an hour or more every day, but I get small chunks of time to do spiritual practices.
I rarely get to practice meditation now. The fatigue is real. Some days I find myself lying down on my cushion and using it as a pillow to rest for a while. Then my son wakes up, and the next breath starts.
There is always a pouring of self into self with him. We feed each other, sweep together, sleep together and offer flowers to one another. He throws tantrums, and I do breath practices.
His father and I support each other as best we can, know our limits and when we need a break. We’ve had an intense ride as a new family, but it’s been honest and real, and my practice has given me a solid foundation to live from.
The biggest thing for me being a practitioner and a mother is realizing that my son has his own set of patterns of body, mind and energy that have nothing to do with me. I can support his growth, but in the end he has his own karma.
When I was pregnant, my teacher mentioned that it’s a great blessing to be born to parents on the path to waking up, but at the time I didn’t really hear her. Now I have a new understanding.
It’s been good medicine for me to become a parent. Now, I practice when I can, enjoy the curiosity of life from the lens of my 16-month-old son, and laugh. My practice and community has softened me, supported me to let go and has loved me all the way.