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Posted by msanjay | Posted in parenting | Posted on 29-09-2011

This whole process allowed me to really learn the very practical application of meditation. One thing is the total unpreparedness of natural events. Actually the delivery was due a week or so later. When Vijetha started to develop labor pain early in the morning (well, around 7 AM… ok not THAT early!), I wanted to say “I’m not really ready today, let me relax for some time and then lets go to the hospital” But of course that nonsense totally does not work! Natural events, whether it is birth or death, do not wait for our whims and fancies or planning! “Chance favors the prepared mind” said a scientist Louis Pasteur – and how we fare when we are tested, is totally dependent on our preparation when situations had been conducive earlier.

I am really thankful for the one day’s silence I happened to have observed the previous Sunday. It had installed a deep sense of peace and made a lot of difference to my calmness during the delivery. Instead of panicking, I could be a source of strength for Vijetha.

There are certain situations where physical pain is inevitable. But what happens in reality is that because the mind dramatizes the whole thing, the pain gets amplified way out of proportion.

Some learning from this delivery, everything is merely my (father’s) perspective:

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In this delivery, I could clearly see the application of “seeing things as they are”, where the mother was following the doctor’s instructions, but not blindly.

Doctor: “Push! Push”
Mother: Stopped pushing, suddenly stopped and just relaxed.
Doctor looked perplexed, and mother calmly explained “I don’t feel the contractions right now”
Doctor: “If you don’t feel the contractions, then don’t push”
A few moments later, the labor continued as usual. But overall it was a relatively relaxed approach compared to our first baby.

As the doctor validated, it was not important to exert pressure when there is no real natural movement. I imagine (merely a speculation) that a lot of complications during childbirth may possibly be occurring because the mother does not really have the ability to be aware of what is truly going on inside, and what action is really required at that moment.

Also it is a very strong cultural habit to express the pain moaning loudly. Here the doctor advised her not to make any sounds, as that would waste her energy at her throat! Instead she should focus all her energy on the job at hand. She was able to actually follow this (I suppose very difficult!) instruction, and it made a lot of difference.

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From my point of view, I had a lot of concern when the assistant doctor at a few occasions seemed to be somewhat rough. I don’t know – perhaps they’ve seen so many deliveries that its become a mechanical process for them. Or perhaps the situation required such an action from them. In either case, it was extremely important for me to be non-judgemental, to be aware of impermanence, and merely a witness, without interfering with anything. There were on a couple of occasions a strong urge for me to exclaim “Please be a little more gentle!” ๐Ÿ™‚ (Perhaps this interference would be exactly the reason why men aren’t usually allowed in delivery rooms in India! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

So what could I do, during the times my better half was going through intense spasms of pain? Romantically hold her hand? I don’t think it made any difference to her! Apart from having a lot of good will in my heart, I was really clueless about “what can I do?”. I threw the question into the deep space within me and let it go. Within a few moments, an answer rebounded: During the quieter moments I reminded her about a time when she’d displayed exemplary strengthย  – how strong she really was. Another time, I told her to enjoy the moment instead of resisting and wishing it was not this way. Just few words can make a lot of difference in changing one’s perspective.

Frankly speaking, it is hard to say whether what I said really made a difference or not (though Vijetha did assure me later that I had helped ๐Ÿ™‚ ). But atleast I had the immense satisfaction that I had done my best ๐Ÿ™‚

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Even one hour a day of daily silence I find so helpful, so an important basic question I had and re-understood recently: why one hour in the morning and one in the evening? Compared to once in 24 hours, de-cluttering of the mind is completely effective when done every 12 hours.

When we are not meditating regularly (ie 2 hours per day), it is really difficult or perhaps impossible, to see the real importance and applicability of it. While life is good or even just OK, sitting quietly in a corner observing silence looking into oneself seems just like ‘some hobby‘ or just a ‘good thing to do when we have some extra time‘. Much like aerobics or yoga being a good thing, but people who do not do those things manage just fine as well!

But esp in the light of this delivery, it was really clear now the unique importance of daily meditation compared to any other aspect of life, and how one simply cannot afford to underestimate its pragmatic relevance.

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