I’m back posting after a busy holiday visiting with family on the mainland.
4 to 6 week old twins. I was with them for what was a fourth of their life thus far. I saw changes – in weight, hair loss and gain, in their ability to focus on people and objects . . . talk about a lesson in impermanence! Their world is wondrous and alive – full of possibility and a desire to explore – not prejudged and predetermined. Theirs is literally a beginner’s mind.
And no matter what I already know about infants, each one is different. Similarities exist between all us humans (let alone some similarities with other beings in the animal kingdom). However, there is nothing like a set of twins to awaken the Self to “possibility” of “not already knowing”. They do not respond exactly the same and what works for one does not necessarily work for the other – what interests one does not necessarily interest the other. They are unique – as we all are. (I hope I can remain this open with them as they grow older – I hope I can be more open in the present with others in my life as I have relationship with them).
As Shunryu Suzuki wrote, “In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
This theme reoccurs in my life no matter how it is communicated, phrased or written.
You can prepare and read and even have experience of past infants, but each baby makes you well aware of what you don’t know and how none of us is exactly the same. They will quickly make you aware of your attachment and the difficulty of letting go ( I am very attached to them and very aware of it).
And then, as their wise mother said to me – “look how she (the baby) went to sleep after her gas passed – I’d still be complaining about the pain for an hour after it passed, she just went into an immediate relaxed sleep”. And believe me that little thing screamed in pain and then just as quickly let it go and dropped off into slumber.
I spent so much time “in the moment” with them. Whether it was seeing through their eyes (it’s amazing how captivating Xmas lights and ceiling fans are) . . . or realizing how uncomplicated and “in the moment” their needs currently are. . . I’m hungry, I have gas, I need to be changed, I’m going to sleep, I want to be touched . . .
I found zen moments in washing bottles, dancing with a baby in my arms, in feedings, burpings and in changing diapers.
A gift given to me by Lucas and Julia. The challenge for me now is to be of beginner’s mind and mindful in other areas of my life.
Happy New Year Everyone,