The Daily Groove


Zen Koans for Mindful Parents

A Zen koan is a paradoxical statement or question designed to trigger spontaneous enlightenment as you contemplate its deeper meaning:

  • If a tree falls, and no one is there to hear,
    does it make a sound?
     
  • What is the sound of one hand clapping?
     
  • Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.
    After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.

Parenting is fraught with paradox, so it shouldn't be too hard to come up with some koans just for us, inspired by our little gurus. :) We might begin by modifying existing koans:

  • If a baby cries and no parent is there to hear,
    does it make a sound?
     
  • What is the sound of one breast feeding?
     
  • Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry toddler.
    After enlightenment: chop wood, carry teenager.

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