Friday, February 22, 2013

Spiritually Oriented Parenting Books

In follow up to my last radio show and podcast, Natural Parenting, I am listing some of the books that have been most helpful and inspirational to me as a parent, and as an evolving, spiritual being.

In some cases, I have found the writing itself to be simply beautiful and poetic, and so the poet and lover of literature in me is also recommending here. Here we go:

Parenting from the Heart, by Jack Pransky

This is the go-to book for parenting from a 3 Principles understanding, and has been recently updated to reflect a simpler and more profound understanding of the Principles.


" ... warm, beautiful loving thoughts for our children are always there; they've just been covered up by extraneous thoughts."

"We do not have to do anything to make our children become good kids. They already are."

Parent as Mystic, Mystic as Parent, by David Spangler

You can perhaps see from the title why Your Mystical Mama might like this book.

"If I thought I understood the mystical path before, it was nothing to what I have learned in the past fifteen years in being a parent to four wonderful individuals: John-Michael, Aidan, Kaitlin and Maryn.

It may seem strange to equate mysticism with parenting. The one seems so transcendent and pure while the other seems so mundane and--with four kids at least--messy! But mysticism for me ... is not found only in some higher, numinous realm. It is found all around us, waiting to be recognized and nurtured ... in the people and places that make up our world ... A mystic seeks the presence of God not to escape the world, but to be more present in the world in a loving and empowering way. And nothing draws you into the world in a loving and empowering way than learning to be a good parent."

Spiritual Parenting: A Guide to Understanding and 
Nurturing the Heart of Your Child, by Hugh & Gayle Prather

One of my personal favorites.

"Our spiritual unity with our child is the reality that allows us to love our child and our child to love us. This connection exists between all living things, but within the parent-child relationship, most adults tend to be more open to the ancient mystical insight that to give is to receive."

The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents
a new interpretation by William Martin

From Chapter 6, "Relax Your Grip":

"The Tao is continually giving birth
to your children
and to you.
You are not their source.
The Tao is the Great Mother
and the Source of all that is.
Her resources are inexhaustible.

If you empty yourself
of your own expectations,
you will see that your children
will never be
outside Her love."

Whole Child/Whole Parent, by Polly Berrien Berends

This book was such a surprise to me! When a friend gave it to me, I could not believe that one woman had written such a profound and far-ranging masterpiece on parenting and spiritual consciousness. I fell in love with it.

" ... now we are going about love differently. We recognize, affirm, and proceed as if our child really is perfect consciousness; and we treat everything else as transitory. We still deal with the immaturities--ministering, caring, correcting, comforting, teaching, serving as needed--be we do not affix them to our child. Instead, we consciously separate him--his true, conscious, whole self--from everything else that seems to be. In this way, an environment of letting be occurs in which the child most effortlessly becomes what he truly Is." [Note, bold face is mine.]

And let's not forget what my own daughter, Ali, age 9, recommends for all parents and caregivers in the simplest, and perhaps most profound terms:

1) "Just relax."

And if you feel you cannot "relax," and too many "things" (thoughts) are stressing you out:

2)  "Do things more slowly."


Join me for "Natural Parenting Part II" at 10 am PST at Contact Talk Radio on the internet, March 8, 2013 ... On the "On the Front Porch with Ami Chen" radio show.

With Love &
Happy Parenting!

Your Mystical Mama

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Little Gurus Everywhere!

We have an almost invisible, immediate cadre of spiritual teachers available to most of us--for some of us, within our very own homes.

I am speaking of children.

Having just hosted seven young children here at my home for a birthday sleepover, I observed the following highly enlightening traits of these smallish gurus.

1) They do not think much about time (if at all) and so tend to trust their natural inclinations. (Time to eat! Time to play! Time to throw all the couch pillows on the floor and use them as stepping stones.)

2) While they can occasionally be petty and squabble, they are more often than not kind and extremely generous. They are ultimately Loving. Love is a natural (as opposed to "reached for" or earned) condition, in which they live. They like to hug and be hugged.

3) They are not afraid of feeling or expressing strong emotions.

And, at the same time ...

4) They are quick to move past a strong emotion and simply forget all about it.

5) When they are sick, they are not particularly interested in why they got sick, who is to blame for their sickness, nor what type of sickness it is and/or how it might have been avoided. They are simply sick, and hope to get well.

6)  They seek to find the joy and fun and humor in every moment and circumstance. They are deeply interested in the Present.

7) They care more about candy and sweets than money.

8) They (generally) do not care how their hair looks, nor whether it has been combed or washed in the past few days.

9) They like to wear bright colors with shiny stuff. It is OK if socks do not match, and also OK if pants, shirts, etc. do not match.

10) If we are parents or caregivers, children can push us to the outer limits of our own thoughts and beliefs about life, and how life and children should be. If we are attentive, we can learn to become wide open, vulnerable, courageous and tough. We can learn to love more deeply than we ever have before, and let go in ways we never thought possible.

Join me this coming Friday, February 22, on the On the Front Porch internet radio show for more about the gifts of children, and how we, as parents, can learn from them--and bring out the best in our kids. At 10 a.m. Pacific Time (U.S.) on the Contact Talk Radio network. Live callers welcome.

With Love,

Your Mystical Mama!