I don’t have to tell you what a wonderful and wild ride parenting is. With all its sleepless nights, the toll on the body, and what seems to be the end of peace and quiet forever, parenting is still one of the most enriching things that any of us could ever do with our one precious life. And as lonely as it feels sometimes, I am here to tell you that you are not alone.
Many of us are swimming against the tide, trying to stay conscious in the middle of a culture and a body-mind that often prefers to be asleep. What is it that drives us to be awake — to make choices for the benefit of not only our own children and family, but for the lives of all beings everywhere? Born with an ancient nervous system that sees threat everywhere, how do our hearts and minds continue to open? Is there a larger intelligence at work here?
My experience over the last decade tells me unequivocally YES!
There is some beautiful, intelligent, and dynamic force that weaves the buzzing chaos of this world into greater and greater arrangements of complexity. Your child — a human of Being — is a living, breathing process that is unfolding right before your eyes. How ever did they learn to breathe this air, to smile and communicate with us, to walk, to become responsible, to act compassionately, and to investigate and question like a philosopher?
Could it be that the process of maturation is mostly not up to us after all? Might we be able to shift from “pushing the river” to riding the ever-present current?
My hope is that this Home Course will provide you with the insights you need to rest back into your wise and loving heart — the heart that knows in the words of Jack Kornfield, “what is just, loving, and beautiful.” We have so much collective wisdom to share with one another and I hope that you take this course for what it is — a conversation starter.
For the last 15 years I have been heavily engaged in exploring the questions
- What is a human being?
- How does one grow, develop, and mature?
- And how can we best support this process of maturation?
The Essential Parenting Home Course is a distillation of that exploration.
It is always dicey to try and say anything definitive about reality. As soon as the words leave your mouth, they are already untrue in some way. But I hope in some way that the insights contained within this course at least get you thinking, looking, and especially feeling into life and this spontaneous process of maturation in new ways.
And especially, I hope that Essential Parenting will help you feel less isolated and alone. We conscious parents need to stick together. Trusting life and our children can be scary at times, and yet we each have the courage and desire to love through our fear. May we each embody a presence that nourishes our children, each other, and this crazy, beautiful world.
Chris White M.D.