1 - The Bodhisattva Parent (attachment)

The bodhisattva represents an enlightened being who, rather than ceasing the perpetual re-birth cycle and remaining in a state of infinite, blissful buddhahood, chooses to return to the human form with the mission to relieve the suffering of other beings.
 
There is no responsibility more humbling than that of being a parent. From the time our children are born we quickly realize that our lives are not our own and that we now serve a new master and a greater good. If a healthy attachment has developed, we instinctively relinquish self-concern in the interest of our child's safety and health. As our attachment deepens, we recognize that our sacrifice is worthy of our mission and we continue to put aside our own pleasure and convenience in order to support them in their development.
 
As our children grow and become less dependent, it becomes easier to lose sight of our original inspiration and seek reciprocity in terms of need fulfillment. It is a mistake to expect our children to meet our emotional needs. The element of unconditional love that is present at the birth of our child must be nurtured and acknowledged and the mission to take care of them and to live in the service of their healthy maturation and physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth must be renewed on a daily basis. Our initial intention to serve their needs regardless of the time of day or night, and regardless of their intention or ability to return the favor, is a humble undertaking that lasts a lifetime and it becomes real the moment we look into their awe inspiring eyes.
 
I am not suggesting here that we clean up after them with no expectations and no consequences for behavior that does not agree with our values – in fact the servant mission itself is carried out through instilling the character and responsibility we aim for in skillful intentional ways. We simply connect with them everyday on a personal level. We talk to them, listen to them, have eye contact with them, and we help them get their needs met.
 
The 7 Aspects of Restorative Parenting

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