Nourish Mama by Sherry Rothwell
Nourish Mama, a nutritional program by Sherry Rothwell

Motherhood as a Bodhisattvic Path

(originally published by Kindred Magazine)

During the birth process, we transform at the cellular level and become the archetypal bodhisattva. The process of being aware as we conceive, gestate and open our wombs to the creative force or the all that is, becomes our attunement as woman healer, giving rise to the higher functioning that we need to mentor our children into their vast potential and greatness.

Parenthood is a spiritual path and awareness is the practice. 

As mothers, we have great honor and great responsibility.  The consciousness and tone with which we conceive, gestate, birth and parent our children, becomes the fabric from which they create their very lives. We come to conscious awareness through mindfulness meditation, although it often looks different for the householder. “Householders are challenged to watch our natural attachments to our children and let them be manifest in their fullest and purest sense. It is a goal to revision this attachment with eternal eyes, not just with temporal sight”. (Jeannine Parvati Baker).

On the spiritual path of parenthood, we do not go to the ashram or to the monastery. We instead make our homes a Sacred Space and the practice most often looks like kneading bread, shelling chickpeas or washing dishes and sweeping the floors. We sit in awareness for 15 minutes at a time, rarely longer with little hands just begging to pull us off the meditation mat.

We breathe deeply when we notice our self about to rote respond to the discomforts, whining or misbehaviors of our children; instead we stop in that moment of awareness and we respond to a child, rather than to a behavior.  We know that our relating to them comes first and that right action follows, never the other way around. We are connected so deeply to our children that we feel their pain to greater degrees even than we feel our own; and our love for them is eternally unconditional.

The actual process of opening to give birth is a gateway for complete transformation on all levels of our being. Inherent in this transformative process is the awakening of dormant capabilities that give rise to expanded states of being and self empowerment that include knowing how to raise this child. We come back to relating, just as we come back to our breath. This relating informs our way of being with our children.

As mothers we give up the freedom to live by our impulses, yet what arises in its place, is awareness and expanded states of being that could not be experienced by any other means or path!

No other practice but motherhood could conjure up the sensation of a heart beating inside our wombs or the experience of feeling love again as though for the first time; and even again with the subsequent birth of each new child coming thereafter. From feeling the life force move through our yonis as we give birth, to the awe that comes with seeing our babies for the first time outside of our bodies and simultaneously getting that, it was this baby that we nurtured in our womb for nine moons.

There are so many altered states of consciousness inherent in co creating, carrying and birthing a child; right from the time of conception and before that, as a women’s climax coaxes the sea-Men into her watery depths. The whole journey of Motherhood is an altered state of consciousness that is informed by the birth process; just as the birth process is informed by who we are, that life is. The altered states that we experience are unique to motherhood; there is no other path by which to attain such incredible states of being and awareness.

As pregnant women and mothers who have taken great care to nurture the souls that gestate or have once gestated within our wombs; we are privy to the very sacred task of mentoring the evolved souls who come to us disguised as children. Yet in the modern context of motherhood, we are often not acknowledged or celebrated and rarely apprenticed and finally initiated into the bodhisattvic path of service called motherhood.

Mother as bodhisattva, is a very real, honoring and empowering archetypal image in which to view motherhood in the modern context. The path no longer chooses us, for today we have the freedom to choose not to mother a child.

Let us acknowledge ourselves and one another for putting aside our own personal nirvanas, to instead merge in service for the highest good of our children, and subsequently for our planet. As we choose to offer ourselves up to mother in awareness, we consciously raise the consciousness of our children, and ultimately we generate the enlightenment of humanity as a whole.

Books for Embracing Childbirth as a Spiritual Path:
Prenatal Yoga and Childbirth by Jeannine Parvati Baker
Sacred Birth by Sunni Karll
CalmBirth by Robert Newman
Childbirth with Insight by Elizabeth Noble
Queen Jin’s Handbook of Pregnancy by Fred Jeremy Seligson
Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful by Gurmukh



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