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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer


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lookingup

On babies plugging me into the world

I just had a few precious minutes of quiet awareness time with Zoë (she's 2 months old now), as we sat together looking out our window to the trees and the lake behind our house. So far, she's a morning person like me, and she loves to be awake early, just looking around quietly and happily, checking out the world around her.

When I first started to develop an intellectual understanding of nonduality from reading Nisargadatta, Ramana, Jerry, and other great sages, I remember settling into a practice of negating the world, kind of. In trying to accept that I was never born and that I would never die, I would shun any evidence that anything was happening in my life. If I was having a bad day, I'd tell myself, "Look man, this isn't even really happening, so just ignore that stuff that's 'bugging' you and get on with the business of just BEING, okay?" Sometimes this kind of thinking would create a lot of conflict in me. Cognitive dissonance, I think it's called.

Over the past couple of years, I've started to develop a more balanced approach to living in the world with a nondual understanding, as it were. However, I still remember thinking before Zoë was born that her birth and our lives afterwards would be no different. "It will just be another occurrence in a multitude of occurrences in my life," I thought to myself. "I'm sure it will be great, and fun, and fulfilling, and all that, but it won't substantially change who I am."

Well, of course that's true, to a certain extent -- who I AM is changeless, immutable. But what I've noticed recently with Zoë -- especially as she nears the end of her 'fourth trimester' and is becoming more comfortable in the world -- is that having a baby DOES change your physical being quite radically. At least for me, it has made me focus instantly and clearly on the changeless, and on the deep connection that she and I and my wife share as human beings. Instead of negating the world and its experiences, I feel like I'm more fully plugged into it; especially now that I have this new responsibility to introduce the world to my new baby daughter.

For the past six months, I've been wrestling with ways to reconcile my intellectual nondual understanding with how I live my life, and somehow, having a baby is helping me to do that. Nonduality expresses itself in my life today as equanimity, as clear awareness, and as objectivity regarding the world and its contents. Having Zoë here has started a beautiful fireworks display in the middle of that, and I'm loving every minute of it so far.

Note: I cross-posted this on a new yahoogroups list I created yesterday called Nondual Parent. Funny, huh? Open invitation to join though, as you like -- the home page for the group is here.

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millennialhippy July 12th, 2002
that's her.. in the userpic, right? First time I've seen here this grown up! ^_^ She's beautiful..

kumaraka July 12th, 2002
If there's one book/essay/website you would reccommend for understanding what nonduality, which would it be. I'm equally interested in why as what.

Zoe

heatherz July 12th, 2002
She is adorable. Congratulations.

Babies are definately life changing...

ilenebook July 12th, 2002
She is just precious...what a cute face.

essence July 12th, 2002
Zoe is lucky to have aware parents :)

teawhiskers July 12th, 2002
Such a pretty baby. :)

chaizzilla July 13th, 2002
Nonduality expresses itself in my life today as equanimity, as clear awareness, and as objectivity regarding the world and its contents. Having Zoë here has started a beautiful fireworks display in the middle of that, and I'm loving every minute of it so far.

wahoo!

Re:

iamom July 13th, 2002
Yeah, baby.

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