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The Anti-Dogma Dogma, in Parenting and Spirituality

October 20, 2009

There were several comments on the Tibetan Parenting post (thanks for those) that I would like to delve into more, but for this week I thought I would expand on what I said about relationship and intent being more important in parenting than philosophy. Several people commented on this, and as it happens, I have also been revisiting this same theme in terms of spiritual practice. Or perhaps I should say ‘formal’ spiritual practice, because if you’re of the opinion that we’re ‘spiritual beings having a human experience’, than what in life isn’t spiritual practice?

I’ve written before about how motherhood initially made me realize how attached to my own meditation and certain meditation states I had become, and how in retrospect, having to let go of that opened me in ways that sitting practice never had. That being said, I’m a big believer in formal practice, for those that feel drawn to it. And not everyone is drawn to it – I think if the intent to awaken is there, we are drawn to whatever we personally need. Then staying true to that insight, and committing to it, becomes key.

With commitment however, comes something else, something that happens to almost every spiritual practitioner eventually – the ego tries to take over the spiritual process, a form of ‘spiritual materialism’ as Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trunpga called it. An arrogance creeps in, based on experiences that are had, or insights that are gained, that our ego wants to ‘own’. And a superiority develops – a subtle one to be sure, as spiritual egos are the trickiest kind – based on the notion that those who are consciously pursuing light/truth/peace are leading the world to a better place, or living closer to God, or whatever. And often along with this comes the belief that the way we have discovered is in fact the superior way for everyone. Dogmatism arises, from what began as a very open and personal quest.

I was thinking about this in relation to parenting recently, after watching the movie Away We Go, directed by Sam Mendes, which I absolutely loved. Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a stellar comic performance as a continuum concept parent, which I won’t even begin to try and describe here, although I will say don’t let this be your introduction to continuum parenting (it is a comedy!) I think the whole scene is less a commentary on continuum parenting than on dogmatic parenting. And dogmatic parenting is just like dogmatic spirituality (or dogmatic politics, or dogmatic nutrition – you get the picture) – it becomes more about the ego, in this case the parent’s ego, than anything else. I think all too often when parenting is done this way, a parent can’t really ‘see’ their own children and their needs, because they already ‘know’ what they need based on their own philosophy/story. And not seeing our kids, or anyone for that matter, becomes a much bigger issue than any particular parenting practice we might have.

I think what I have come to is that in both spirituality and parenting for me it is all about responsiveness. Is there an openness and fluidity? An intent to truly see/seek, to explore, as opposed to just sticking with what is comfortable or known? Or is there a defensiveness, a rigidity, that prevents new information, and feeds a sense of superiority? In the case of parenting, is there a willingness to truly see our kids and what it is that they as individuals need? While at the same time recognizing what we need as a human being, and trying to strike a healthy balance between our own needs and theirs, when they come into conflict? And on the spiritual path, is there true release and surrender going on? Or is there gripping – of beliefs, of superiority, of practices? And in both cases, is there a true recognition that this is a highly individual process, different for every seeker/every parent/every kid?

I realized recently that blogs have become one of the main ways I explore on both these fronts, and I’m frequently confronted with ideas on the blogs I read that are new to me, or that I’m not sure I agree with. And that’s good, because it’s very easy to get closed off. (Miruh at Spiritual Healing Journey covered this beautifully recently.) Personally, I am always on the lookout for a defensive reaction in my own mind, one that says very strongly ‘that can’t be true’ or ‘that can’t be right’. It’s not that I don’t have opinions – I actually have very strong opinions on some things, but I don’t want them to be unconscious or based on an emotional need. I think whenever there is an intense defensive reaction in our awareness to something that is said or read (you know what I mean, I know you do!) it’s often a sign of some emotional need to hold on to a belief, and that’s not the same thing as holding a belief because it’s been examined and known to ‘work’.

Of course trying to be anti-dogmatic can itself become dogmatic, something that I seem to pick up in non-duality type circles quite a bit – the idea that anyone dedicated to any practice other than simply ‘seeing the truth directly’ is off track.  And really, trying to be completely un-dogmatic can take you down a rabbit hole very quickly (one of my favorite comic blogs, Monk Mojo, finds the humor in this brilliantly.) I do think you have to ‘pick a lane’ to some extent, in both spiritual practice and parenting. If you don’t do so in parenting, your kids will be completely confused, and if you don’t do so in spirituality, you’ll just end up smoking cigarettes alone in a dark cafe.

But like everything else, it’s all about striking a balance. Walking the razor’s edge. Swinging too far in one direction, realizing it, and swinging back. With honesty and humor, without self-punishment or guilt. Then, doing it all over again, on a hopefully subtler level. That’s the path. That’s life, from what I’ve seen of it so far.

I think the ‘without guilt’ part is particularly important, and particularly difficult. I’m all for personal responsibility, it’s just the self-punishment part of guilt that doesn’t do anyone any good. I think kids learn as much from what they feel from us as what we say or do. So if we are feeling guilty much of the time for not being the perfect parent, that self-punishment might become the message, and that’s not what we want. And in spirituality, harsh self-judgment and guilt can be an even bigger trap, as we swing hopelessly in our mind between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ judgments – “Oh, today I was so peaceful and mindful, I was a good seeker”, and then, “Oh, I really blew it today, I missed my meditation, I got mad at my co-worker, I’m a terrible person, I’m not making any progress.”

Humor might be the saving grace in both, which is why I loved Gyllenhal’s performance in the first place. And Trungpa devotes an entire chapter to humor in his Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. It’s also why I will laugh at movies like the Love Guru, that almost everyone else panned. Take  your humor where you can get it, that’s my view! And [God] knows, our kids and our egos provide plenty of opportunities to laugh, if we are looking:-)

So that’s it, my anti-dogma dogma, in parenting and spirituality. Any comments?

33 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2009 9:23 pm

    Great blog post. Yes, even anti-dogma can become dogmatic. I’ve seen that happen. I almost feel like we need to be trees that sway with the wind. We’re grounded in some beliefs and yet open to feel what comes by with the wind and bend with it. Does that make sense?

    I strongly believe that we need to be the type of parent our children need us to be not what we imagine for ourselves as a parent. Every child is different and needs something unique from his or her parents. I try to remember that as I look around at the other parents around me and start to judge them. It’s difficult but critical for us to all do that. We should try less to judge each other and try more often to lend a helping hand. That’s what I’ve learned in being a mom.

    Thanks for your thought provoking blogs!!! And keep ’em coming!

  2. October 20, 2009 11:13 pm

    Yep, once again we are on the same wave length! I have observed many people become VERY attached to their chose spiritual practice, which in the tradition I am involved with, is ironic as part of the journey is non-attachment..They seem to become so programed to how things “should” be done that very often the point gets missed. The same goes for parenting of course, especially in those circles where you have chosen a particular style of parenting. I have often felt shunned by people following the same parenting style as me because I might do something a little different to how it “should” be done. I come from the position that these paths that we chose are guidelines which are there to help us but the “shoulds” that are perceived as coming with them are not helpful at all.

  3. October 20, 2009 11:16 pm

    Gee, there must be something in the water. Or in the air. I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of dogma, too, in my case in relation to healthy lifestyle. I actually have another post ready that is mainly about how dogma can be both guiding and binding, both in healthy eating and spirituality. The skinny of that post is, I think dogma is esp helpful in the beginning when we benefit from clear guidelines, but as we progress, we need to develop our individual sensitivity to consult with our own inner guide.

    I’d be careful with the “anti” dogma, though. As you say, it can become another dogma of its own.

    I’ll check out that movie. Sounds fun!

  4. mommymystic permalink*
    October 21, 2009 2:50 am

    Melinda – thanks, and I agree. It’s not always easy not to judge other parents, but I’ve had so many experiences where I think I misjudged, or have realized later on that something I wouldn’t necessarily do worked for another family, or been judged myself in a less than perfect moment, that I think I’ve finally learned this lesson. And in general, what good does judging do anyway? It certainly doesn’t encourage anyone to question what they’re doing, it just leads to defensiveness. As for lending a helping hand, I so appreciate when someone does this now, even something as simple as holding the door when I’m trying to get three kids through, or picking up something one of them dropped. Parents need to feel like they do have support around them, not like they are an annoyance. ‘It takes a village’ and all that…

    GM – glad you liked it, of course the parenting part of this was partly spurred by some of the comments at Holistic Mama and your own recent posts, as well as others. Seems to be in the air lately, and then I saw Away We Go. Just thought I’d carry the same theme over to spirituality. I think it is something we all fall prey to at times, I know I certainly have. And I do believe in committing to a path, there’s just a difference between commitment and dogmatism, I think…

    Akemi – It definitely is in the air, that seems to happen a lot in blogging. There’s been a lot of posts with themes similar to this recently, related to both parenting and spirituality, so that’s why it was on my mind I guess. I look forward to reading your take. Based on what you’ve written here, I agree with you. I do think dogma, in the sense of clear guidelines, is beneficial, and that we do have to ‘commit’ to something. There’s just that extra step that the ego takes sometimes, towards superiority, that becomes problematic. But of course, then I might sound like I’m being dogmatic about being anti-dogmatic, and that gets difficult too! I almost didn’t write the post for that reason, but nothing else was really coming together, and I thought it would be interesting to see people’s responses…Your comment about needing to develop our own intuition re: our path as we progress reminded me of something a teacher I know used to say, which is that the beginner’s path is about rules, the intermediate path is usually about either dogmatism or ego rebellion or both, and working through that, and then the advanced path is realizing there actually are no rules.

  5. October 21, 2009 3:32 am


    I enjoy reading your posts and have for some time.
    I read this piece a few gently nudged some deep dormaint feelings that needed awakening. I have struggled with Dogma and anti Dogma my whole life. I have experienced and lived feeling them both. The balanced act is the challange especially having past experiences that were extreme.
    Having studied various traditions I chose not to favor one practice and stick to it solely.
    I agree “picking a lane” to an extentis best in both parenting and spirituality.

    You have given me some things to think about

    Much Thanks~

  6. October 21, 2009 4:03 am

    Lisa, you’ve articulated something that many of us come across and don’t really know what to make of. The anti-dogma message is perfectly valid–dogma as in thought and belief and mind is the very thing that keeps us in delusion. And yet, sometimes the message seems egoic and heartless and dogmatic.

    Most off us cannot simply drop the attachment to the mind. Many turn to spirituality–and this, as you point out can be a tight subtle trap. It takes a doing; some sort of practice. Effort, it seems, is necessary to see that it is not. Peter Fenner says, “Without doing what we didn’t need to do, we wouldn’t realize that we didn’t need to do it.”

    Awakening is the falling away of the false, and at least in my experience, the falling away happens in layers. It might take some sort of doing or practice to encourage a layer to fall off, but in retrospect it is always seen that it was more a matter of letting go than anything else, and if so, why couldn’t I just have let go in the first place?

    I don’t really know. In time of confusion I always go back to the basics. Be aware, release, don’t cling to any fixed point of view, and then at some point the flow into this gentle, unoccupied, intuitive innocence is inevitable.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to write so much. You’ve covered this with balance and compassion.

  7. October 21, 2009 8:58 am

    Oh boy, if there’s one thing (ok, one thing among many) that I harp on about is to consider the INDIVIDUAL. Every time someone talks about methods and philosophies, I ask – ok, but what resonates for THAT person, what’s THAT child’s personality?

    This why I’m never extreme about anything b/c it ALL depends.
    Like with homeschooling – I’m not anti school becaus eit does work for some children, and there are some great schools and some wonderful teachers.

    With spirituality – we are all at different points on our path, at different junctions, no one way could possibly make sense and work for every person.

    But yes, your point is how we take this inflexibility and stop seeing others. As parents the moment we become certain of an approach/philosophy, that moment our child has taken second position.

  8. October 21, 2009 10:29 am

    I guess I’d like to start with really the importance of humor (and laughter) in our lives. I strongly believe this – that when we can laugh (at ourselves, with others) – this breaks down barriers…barriers that we’ve created because of our ego’s. And I find that to be a powerful tool in each of our own anti-dogmatic approaches to the dogma that sometimes we let seep in. Especially in laughter that is real.

    It can be so easy to get caught up in “my way is the right way” in parenting, in spirituality, in driving down the highway, etc. And when we can find a mechanism that can help us to break away from that – that’s a good place to be.

    Maybe that’s laughter. Maybe it’s taking time to openly understand other methods in [whatever] feels like we solved the “right way”.

    I personally believe there is no one right way with anything. The argument could be spirituality, I suppose. That’s a hard one for me too – I just can’t believe I have a God who wouldn’t love us all the same, even though we don’t believe the same things…in an area that is so much felt from within, and much less concrete…

  9. October 21, 2009 12:08 pm

    “I do think you have to ‘pick a lane’ to some extent, in both spiritual practice and parenting. If you don’t do so in parenting, your kids will be completely confused, and if you don’t do so in spirituality, you’ll just end up smoking cigarettes alone in a dark cafe”. Heeehee…I have to agree.

    It is a constant balancing act isn’t it? Perhaps dogma is arising from the need for safety in solid answers. A fear of not being able to control what arises unexpectedly (life!) and to thus have a default plan/mechanism/action for every situation.
    I remember a number of times as a new parent how intimidated I felt around the continuum concept crew. How put-off and inadequate I felt. Such a shame, because now I love so much about this approach. But the fact that it was expressed as dogma distracted me from the heart of the philosophy – obscured it. Oh and I shall have to check out the Mendes film! I am a fan of his stuff.

    I really resonate with what you’re saying in regards to the ego and spiritual practice/meditation. I find myself falling into that trap, and what really strikes me about it is that it starts to erode my compassion. It’s a very uncomfortable truth I am faced with.

  10. mommymystic permalink*
    October 21, 2009 2:00 pm

    Carla – so glad you came by! Yes, the extremes of dogma can really do a number on us, we end up always feeling like we are falling short, which is totally pointless, right?

    Kaushik – I love this quote, and what you said about the false in the mind falling away in layers…this is how I experience it also…and you just keep cycling around, with some sort of practice as the center point, the guiding light.

    Mon – Well I knew you would like this one, I think the first post I read of yours had to do with breastfeeding and the unnecessary guilt/angst often put on moms who have a hard time, which I could definitely relate to. FYI – I almost wrote about the whole feminism/energy body conflict thing after that Tibetan post instead, especially after reading this big survey that recently came out on the state of American women, with most moms with children now working outside the home, and 40% the primary breadwinner for their families. How to put this all together, i.e. the knowledge that is inherit in the thinking coming out of continuum and homeschooling camps (and others) with the reality of women’s lives today? I am still noodling on it, not sure it is my post to write (feel free to take it on!) I’m digressing, but the whole dogma issue kind of relates to this for me. If a parent/individual feels good about their choices, I think that counts towards something too, as it will radiate out to their child. Not that the actual choices don’t matter, but I just wonder about it…Anyway, re: Away We Go, I think you would like it, maybe you can rent it in the UK when you are there? It didn’t get much play here…

    Lance – your openness and generosity re: all points of view is something that always shines through in your writing and comments, and I think that is pretty much the point of any spirituality. I think it’s the Dalai Lama that said “My true religion is kindness”, and that pretty much sums it up. And I’m glad you mentioned the laughter thing, I added it the last minute, and I think I could just write a whole post on that (and maybe will some day!)

    Robin – you know, Chopra is in the Love Guru:-)

    DW – you bring up a good point, I absolutely think a gripping of dogma stems from fear. Certainty is a way to build a wall against it. When I look back, whenever I have gripped in this way it has definitely been about my fear of being wrong, or of letting something (often a cherished belief) go. And thanks for bringing up compassion, I often think it is the opposite of fear – an expansiveness outwards, instead of a constriction inwards. Re: Away We Go, do try and see it. I just saw Revolutionary Road this weekend, partly because you and several others on your movie post listed it! It has definitely stuck with me, even though it was so tortuous to watch. I think together these 2 films really are a treatise on marriage and parenting. Although I DID like the Love Guru, so take that into account:-)

  11. October 21, 2009 5:34 pm

    If there were actually cafes left where smoking was allowed, I might be the one sitting there smoking alone. Although I’m quite attached to reading your blog and a few others, nonattachment probably best describes my approach to life in general. Spiritually, it simply feels right, more fluid. As a parenting approach, it has allowed my children to captain their own ships.

    The problem with nonattachment is how it seems to fly in the face of traditional mores that seek to honor the wishes of parents. Attachments to dogma get passed along in families and show up in views relating to politics, parenting, education, religion, etc. I’m with you on the anti-dogma dogma. It’s fearless and honors the individual. However, there remains a need for group dogma for those who live in fear of displeasing parents, pastors, teachers, and others. Teaching children to fear what others think is wrong, but it’s also a time-honored motivator.

  12. mommymystic permalink*
    October 21, 2009 7:52 pm

    Brenda, you are right about how dogma is used, and it’s true, it’s much easier to say ‘this is the way it is, this is the truth’ to our kids. I struggle with this actually, because I do want to pass on certain things, clearly. So finding that balance between passing on my values but not being dogmatic is the trick. Passing on the value of questioning. In religion/spirituality especially, this is becoming trickier than I thought it would be already, because I value religious literacy, but don’t want to pass on the baggage…I also don’t want to just make it sound like I view all religions the same, because I don’t…

  13. October 21, 2009 10:30 pm

    Hello Lisa,

    I will look for that movie, I can always use some humor.

    It is ironic that many of us leave Religion in search of a spiritual path because we are put off by dogma. Then we become dogmatic about the path we found. There are born again Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, New Age and whatever else.

    The same goes for parenting. We say to ourselves,”I’ll never do what my mom did.” Then we find a parenting style that is all the rage and then that becomes the right way.

    It is ironic too, that until we become more evolved we would tend to cling to ‘right’ and “wrong.’ Perhaps we just have to live with dogma until our karma runs over our dogma. 😀

    Great post! Much to think about. Thanks for the shout out!

  14. par permalink
    October 22, 2009 2:53 am

    “When I look back, whenever I have gripped in this way it has definitely been about my fear of being wrong, or of letting something (often a cherished belief) go.”

    I’m sure I do it at other times but my meditation practice recently made me more aware of gripping which, before I read your post and about “grasping” in The Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying, I could only describe as feeling desperate. Now it’s making much more sense and at those moments parts of me didn’t want to be in the state of mind/feeling where I was & attempting to control the present.

  15. October 22, 2009 4:13 pm

    Figuring out how to take the guilt out of parenting or at least ameliorate it would be a breakthrough – it’s so widespread. People who are obviously good parents seem to be as subject to guilty feelings as parents who are clearly doing some things wrong.

  16. mommymystic permalink*
    October 22, 2009 4:49 pm

    Miruh, who wouldn’t love the phrase ‘until our karma runs over our dogma’! You are so right, in both religion and parenting, we have this tendency to either blindly adopt or rebel against what we were raised with, and then all too often become just as dogmatic about that…and both adoption and rebellion can really just be a form of acting out…

    Par – great, I’m glad this resonated for you. I find that so often it is just a slight difference in phrase that makes something click. Desperation/grasping/gripping, usually all a sign of some fear of letting go, and we go just keep coming back to it, and letting go on deeper and deeper levels…

    Paul – I know, what is the deal with parental guilt? Although it really is a 20th/21st century thing I think, because I don’t think a lot of people were thinking much about parenting style before that. I am not sure why it does seem so prevelant these days, what trend it is a part of…In a way it is part of a good trend, in the sense that as a culture we are talking more about how parenting impacts children and how they will respond to the world when they are grown, but it does seem like the guilt part of it can become really burdensome and counterproductive…

  17. October 22, 2009 8:42 pm

    I just watched that movie last weekend. Seems we have similar senses of humor, Lisa! I so appreciate what you’re talking about here.

    As a specific example, I feel triggered by those who are dogmatic about attachment parenting, which has confused me, since I have embraced some of those practices … as I’ve seen fit for Lucas. That’s the key. The dogmatic and judgmental attitudes I’ve seen on some listservs and such have really turned me off to the whole AP idea and those who feel they need to define themselves as “AP Parents.” At the same time, I most closely resonate with many mothers who appear to practice AP, but don’t approach it dogmatically.

    My task, then, is to explore why my ego is being triggered by this. Why not just connect with what connects and let the rest go? Maybe it’s like what Par said, a “gripping” sort of fear of being wrong. I think I do pretty well at staying in a space of openness and curiosity when it comes to parenting, but maybe I “grip” more than I think I do. This is a great topic to ponder further. Thanks!

  18. October 22, 2009 11:47 pm

    For me it HAS been a matter of letting go of the fact that there is an archetypal truth that we all can live by.
    I have been told by religion and philosophers that there were certain ways we have to think and behave or else, with the purpose to put the fear of God in me so I would not question it.
    We have been made fearful to make up our own mind.
    Luckily I am realizing that I have a right to and that I can reclaim my own responsibility in looking for what my truth is.
    I needed to learn to let go of my fear that I might NOT know, that I am backing the wrong horse and therefore ruin my children’s life.
    Thus for some time it felt safe to follow an archetypal truth, a dogma; at least I could blame them and if we would go under at least we would all go in the same way!
    However I have escaped from such destructive thinking.
    I now know that finding a truth to live by is my OWN responsibility and is one of my purposes in life.
    I also see it as a responsibility to my adult daughters, to show them to think for themselves.
    But funnily enough I do find that scary some times, to explore a different way of thinking with them as with that they are leaving the herd and are sticking out.
    However the call to map out my own path is becoming stronger and stronger and it certainly helps to be encouraged.
    Thanks Lisa, love Wilma

  19. October 23, 2009 3:57 am

    Thanks, Lisa… I have the same feelings and thoughts and struggles… finding my own middle way. 🙂

    I want to see that movie — I watched the trailer a while ago. I so agree about certain types of parenting (especially “alternative” ways) getting a bad rap when really it’s the dogmatism that rubs folks the wrong way.

  20. mommymystic permalink*
    October 23, 2009 5:22 am

    Alexis – It was amazing to me personally how much insecurity and doubt I experienced re: parenting decisions, when I first became a mother. After the amount of work I had personally done to ‘face my demons’ before that, I really was not expecting that. It was partially all the energy and hormonal adjustments that occur when you give birth anyway, but also it was just this sense of a tremendous responsibility, and being overwhelmed by it. And then of course parenting makes you revisit your own childhood in new ways. So I think parenting just really triggers so many layers of our psyche, and this is partly why it is ripe for dogmatism, and for strong reactions in all of us re: choices others are making. We all fear we are making wrong ones, and this makes us more prone to judgment.

    Wilma – Thanks for bringing up the comfort and sense of safety that is often associated with following a dogma, or doing what we were taught unquestioningly. I think that is such an important point. It does require a kind of bravery to try and go our own way.

    Stacey – Yes, and of course the dogmatism is just as bad related to ‘mainstream’ parenting approaches, and even more unconscious because they are accepted by everyone. I like the phrase ‘middle way’ for this too…not too rigid, not too loose, just like Buddha said. I thought this movie was so great, really a touching and probing look at parenting overall, I’m interested to hear what others think.

  21. October 23, 2009 9:38 am

    Just delighting in the connection you have articulated about the dogma in parenting. You have voiced what I have struggled to name. Thank you.

    A sense of healing and relief has come my way in both arenas: my spiritual life and in parenting. A sense of balance I seek. Another thank you.

  22. October 23, 2009 2:29 pm

    Great post, I agree that all life can be a spiritual practise. I came to that conclusion quite a while ago. Rules, forms and dogmas have their place, but they don’t draw me, most of the time!

    And I agree the spiritual ego can be a tricky one 🙂 That’s why I prefer to have an ego that says “I’m imperfect, but at least I don’t pretend I’m not!” That way my ego is where I can see it, and I think most people prefer to deal with people like that.


  23. October 23, 2009 3:30 pm

    The lane chooses itself, and whatever it is, is just fine. I find the less I agonise, the more I freely and mindfully parent; the less I think about it, the more naturally and healthily it all unfolds. The less I have to do with anything in general, the better it goes!

  24. mommymystic permalink*
    October 24, 2009 5:29 pm

    Nicki – I’m glad you feel you have found peace and balance in both. What else could any of us ask for? Thanks for expressing it.

    Andrew – yes, and this is the tricky part with discussing spirituality in terms of a quest for ‘egolessness’. No one really means having no ego, but you have to talk about it in some form, and that’s the form that has become used in the West, in English, where we don’t have that many terms for these concepts. But it creates this potential for people to feel ‘I have no ego’ after they have an experience where it felt like that, when in fact, that was just one experience, and one way of talking about it. So I agree, perhaps it makes more sense to just say, ‘here’s my ego and it’s imperfect, and I always remember that’, as a way of preventing this spiritual ego from developing.

    Suzanne – “The less I have to do with anything in general, the better it goes.” Yes, I know just what you mean. Although I love to seek out new ideas and concepts, as inspiration, and to get me thinking outside my own box of conditioned mind. But once you have some info, then you have to just let go, and trust your heart.

  25. October 25, 2009 6:46 am

    Trust, indeed…eventually trust is moot, and everything falls into place. BTW that stuff you said about guilt being useless is right on the money. Responsible acts certainly come up over and over again, and it seems more frequently. But I have to say I am finished, done, and absolutely ended with beating myself up for being human! And that spreads, it seems, to everyone else and their humanity, too.

  26. October 25, 2009 5:49 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    You made such a great point about spirituality and dogma. So often people are drawn to spirituality as a way to escape from dogma but then somehow it creeps back in. I have seen that happen on so many levels and it always humors me due to the irony.

    You are so right about the defensiveness that arises when we read something. It took me a long time to accept that when I reacted to something, it was a reflection of something within myself. Now whenever that happens, I always look within to see what is going on.

    Your line about the razor’s edge is so true. The Upanishads states “that the road to salvation is as narrow as a razor’s edge.”

  27. October 27, 2009 5:11 am

    Hi Lisa,
    Call me lame but I can’t figure out how to email you so I’m replying to your latest blog post. It’s gotta work.

    Anyway, I answered your question for Yeoshua/Mary Magdalene from last week about 2012 and the ‘new age’ on my most recent blog and I’d like to put your first name and a link to Mommy Mystic on there but I wanted your permission to do so. Let me know. Check it out at:


    In love and light,

  28. October 27, 2009 6:52 am

    When you do what feels right there is no doubt or second guessing. You listen to the heart and move beyond the control of the mind.

  29. mommymystic permalink*
    October 27, 2009 6:15 pm

    Suzanne- I am with you on the done with beating yourself up for being human. And why would we want our children to pick up that habit anyway??

    Nadia – Yes, I so agree, and I know you have written beautifully on this before – that our triggers are always showing us something about ourself.

    Melinda – yes, I will come right over and let you know! Thanks for asking my question!

  30. October 29, 2009 4:07 am

    Wonderful article and website. It really made me stop and think. I agree with your statement that “…kids learn as much from what they feel from us as what we say or do”. Thank goodness for humor and the ability to laugh at ourselves.

    I’m currently reading a book called “Mystic in a Minivan” (author Kristen White). She writes a modern day parable designed to teach women about the spiritual nature inside us all. She believes that through service to others we ultimately find ourselves. Its been a very enlightening book!

  31. November 2, 2009 10:08 pm

    Hi Lisa,
    Dogmatic and authoritarian parenting, we have all crept into those nefarious realms at one time or another, either being parented or parenting.

    Dr. Marais, a physiologist has wonderfully connected biological responses to dogmas and old belief patterns. Speaking of blog posts expressing similar ideas, I am going to interview Dr. Marais soon, I think many will enjoy her model.

    And guilt, ouch, puts us on that ‘ole hamster wheel spininng as fast as possible but going nowhere!
    And last but not least, hurrah to allowing our children to be authentic and congruent free from their parents and authorities mind games and prisons… children see, feel, and live the energy fields that surround them.

  32. November 3, 2009 9:41 pm

    Parenting is a very personal experience. Many perspectives exist on the subject. Each person makes choices that resonate with them.


  1. Dogma, Anti-Dogma, And Choosing Your Path In Diet And Spirituality Dogma, Anti-Dogma, And Choosing Your Path In Diet And Spirituality | Yes to Me

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