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Welcoming little Bodhisattva, in Chan Meditation Center, NY

On this Saturday afternoon (11/4/2017) we were so lucky to join the seminar of “welcoming little bodhisattva” led by Dr. Ya-Ning Amy Hsu at Chan Meditation Center, New York. As the modern well-educated scholar, Dr. Hsu has years of work experience and rigorous academic training in language education and child development. Also, she is a successful mother who has 3 children and has accumulated lots of experiences from her own family. So this time, she gave us the wonderful talk and shared her experiences.

The seminar was divided into two parts: “Read with our children” and “Have it all: kids, career, and your own life”. For the first part, Dr. Hsu emphasized the importance of the reading with our children by using the paper books (not E-books). For the babies and toddlers, the most efficient practice is always communicating. The more the parents talk with children, the fast the language and logic systems will be established. In addition, reading with them can calm down their emotion as well, especially while travelling and waiting. Company and communication should be set up among parents and kids daily. The role of the parents cannot be replaced by electronic devices, such as iPad, cell phone or electronic version of books.

As a new mom, I’m always over-worried, such as how to teach the baby, how to balance the relationship between my son and my husband, how to chase my own dream, and how to find the balance between my career and my son. So, the second part actually answered lots of my questions. When a child is born, the first person he/she meets is a parent, especially the mother. while growing up, the child will adopt the society better if he or she has a better relationship with the parents. Therefore, the most important thing in the family is “harmony” between the spouses and between the parents and children. Therefore, there is no need to make extra effort to train the baby in normal emotional development. The nature and easy way is to show the love and to respect them. The love between the spouses will infect the children. Therefore, the spouses should find a way to keep their relationship fresh and to be always in love with each other. Because of this, the endless work and other burden should not be the excuses for being absence in the family activities. Another thing that impressed me a lot is Dr. Hsu’s “lazy men’s theory”, which means that parents need to prioritize their life. Parents should finish those that they think are important and ignore others temporarily. After practicing for a period, you will find that your life will become more organized, easier, and peaceful. At the end, you will find you own all of these (teaching children, career and your life) but may not be at the same time and at the same place. Her theory shocks me by emphasizing the importance of “treat yourself well first”. The theory changed my tradition and conservative thoughts. I grew up in the cultures of women who needed to sacrifice themselves and needed to work hard for their families. After listening Dr. Hsu’s talk, I realized how important to treat myself well first. Furthermore, raising babies and to have my own hobbies are equally essential. Thus, parents should learn from experienced experts in the modern ways.

At the end, I would like to show my gratitude to Venerable Chang Hsu, Dr. Hsu, and volunteers at CMC.

Article by Michelle Jia
Photos by Yin-Li Ting

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