Published by Second Light Network of Women Poets, Parents, an anthology of poems by women writers (Enitharmon/Second Light, 2000) was the inspiration for this month’s theme. What a wonderful idea. Parents are after all universal, even when the one who parents is a surrogate. This month The Bardo Group Beguines and friends have taken on parenting as well as parents and present an interesting blend of insights and experience.
BUDDHA AS PARENT
The lead feature, Buddha as Parent, is by Gil Fronsdal. Gil was ordained as a Soto Zen priest at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1982. In 1995 he received Dharma Transmission from Mel Weitsman, the abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center. Gil currently serves on the SF Zen Center Elders’ Council. He is the primary teacher at the Redwood City Insight Meditation Center in California and he teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California where he is part of the Teacher’s Council. His books include the ever popular Issue at Hand: Essays on Buddhist Mindfulness and A Monastery Within: Tales from the Buddhist Path.
If you have read the life story of Buddha, you may have been disconcerted to find as I was that the Buddha was an absentee father. Gil says however:
“…that after his awakening, the Buddha became his son’s primary parent for most of the boy’s childhood. From the time Rāhula was seven, he was under the care of his father, who proved to be a remarkably effective parent: Rāhula had reached full awakening by the time he reached adulthood. So we can ask, what kind of parent was the Buddha?”
In exploring the Buddha as a parent, we get some insight into how we too might bequeath a spiritual inheritance.
We move on to read Corina Ravenscraft’s touching feature Art Lessons about the support and inspiration her artist mother provided and Priscilla Galasso’s The Nature of Nurture, about her experience of parenting.
“Parenting is a living thing, a responsive dance with biology, and although we humans are biologically social creatures, heavy-handed social structure can strangle our relationships and bind us into damaging patterns.”
Resident storyteller Naomi Baltuck – whose family wins the award for most original family photos and best costume parties – generously offers two of her wise photo stories on theme.
We have a rich collection of poems under both “Parents and Parenting” and the “More Light” section. These include works by three poets proudly added to our pages: award-winning New York poet, Matt Pasca along with Lance Sheridan and Ampat Varghese Koshy. Incuded among the poets are Myra Schneider and Dilys Wood, who share their poems from the anthology, Parents.
Under music you’ll find Walkin’ Home, so beautifully written and sung by Iris DeMent.
James Cowels and John Anstie offer thought-provoking essays under “More Light” and Marlyn Suarez-Exconde – also new to our pages – combines words and art into a pleasant nugget of wisdom.
Getting to Know You, a new section, features charming interviews of team members, Cornia Ravenscraft and Priscilla Galasso.
Read. Learn. Laugh. Cry … share your thoughs in the comment sections and show your appreciation of contributors with “likes.” Join us next month for “All God’s Creatures.”
Special thanks to Moshe Dickel for letting us use his painting for this month’s header, to team member, Michael Dickel, for introducing Matt Pesca, and to award-winning British poet Anne Stewart for her kind and constant assistance in getting permissions for me from writers and publishers in the UK.
Don’t forget to visit The BeZine sister site, the spiritual community, Beguine Again, where you can enjoy Terri Stewart’s inspirational posts for daily spiritual practice. These have been well-received and are beginning to go viral. Bravo!
On behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines and in the spirit of peace and community,
PARENTS and PARENTING
Budda as Parent, Gil Fronsdale
Art Lessons, Corina Ravenscraft
The Nature of Nurture, Priscilla Galasso
Remembering Mom, Jamie Dedes
Squeezing a Penny, Jamie Dedes
Nursery Rhymed, Michael Dickel
Hearts and Glowers, Joseph Hesch
Three Poems by Ampat Koshy, Ampat Varghese Koshy
Jigsaw Puzzle, Charles Martin
Walking Around Monaco, Matt Pasca
Soup and Slavery, Myra Schneider
Christmas Fare, Dilys Wood
Walkin’ Home, Iris DeMent
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
When the Heart Speaks, Marlyn Suarez-Exconde
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Back Issues Archive
October/November 2014, First Issue
December 2014, Preparation
January 2015, The Divine Feminine
February 2015, Abundance/Lack of Abundance
March 2015, Renewal
April 2015, interNational Poetry Month
May 2015, Storytelling
June 2015, Diversity
July 2015, Imagination and the Critical Spirit
August 2015, Music
September 2015, Poverty (100TPC)
100,000 Poets for Change, 2015 Event
October 2015, Visual Arts (First Anniversary Issue)
The BeZine, Volume 2, Issue 1, Nov. 2015 (At-risk Youth)
The BeZine, Volume 2, Dec. 2015 (Waging Peace, An Interfaith Exploration & The Hero’s Journey)