Written by Elanne Kresser, BZC Member and new Mom
We recently had a baby welcoming ceremony at BZC to welcome our 10 week old daughter Sylvie into the dharma. One of the things that has stuck with me the most from what Diane said during the ceremony is that Sylvie is on a path that started long ago. As her mother I feel relief when I remember this. It is a reminder that Sylvie’s path is her own, born of many conditions that started long before her birth. Her father and I are a big part of the conditions on her path, but it’s not all up to us.
There are many other conditions and forces both seen and unseen that will shape who she is and how her life reveals itself. Inseparable from welcoming Sylvie into the dharma is welcoming my husband Chris and me into the dharma of parenting.
Parenting is a most difficult practice – having a baby is like having a Zen master in the house! My tendency to worry and fret has blossomed after giving birth to her.
“What if” can be a chronic thinking pattern when it comes to all the dangers my child might meet in her life and all the ways I might fall short as a parent. When I am reminded that Sylvie has her own path in life I recognize that it is my practice to simply do my best to support her and continue to learn to trust life’s unfolding.
Diane gave Sylvie the dharma name Hummingbird, which is also one of the middle names we gave to Sylvie. Diane told a story of the hummingbird who does her best to put out a forest fire that was endangering the lives of many animals. She did it drop by little drop of water — all that she could carry in her tiny bill.
This is a beautiful image of practice that I hold as a parent and that I hope Sylvie will learn from.