Adventures of a Meditator, Episodes #13-16

Susan Hills Nelson lives in Columbia, SC, and works as an attorney for Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. She has also been attending Ganden Kadampa Buddhist Center for about four years. This year, she made a New Year’s Resolution to meditate every day. She’ll be giving us weekly updates on this blog to let us know how it’s going.

Susan Nelson


May 29, 2014

It has been almost four weeks since my last post. My apologies dear cyber-readers. I promise I have a good excuse. Pregnancy. Yes, I plead pregnant. With child. Expecting. Pea in the pod. Bun in the oven. Passenger on Board. Human parasite at work. However you chose to call it. I will be a mother come October to a little girl who remains unnamed. From one perspective, until she is named, she does not yet exist at all. Yet she grows, and grows, and grows.

I can honestly say this was the biggest surprise of my life to date. My expecting was entirely unexpected. And mother was not a label I ever anticipated would be associated with Susan Hills Nelson. So I can also definitely say I would not have managed to process this news without three essential things, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

I have noticed major changes in my dharma practice as a result of my present condition.
First, I am constantly wondering how what I think, say, and do affects this child. My consideration for others, especially the little human living in my body, has increased immeasurably.

Second, my compassion for all pregnant women, past, present, and future, has dramatically increased. Pregnancy is no joke. Last year I trained for and ran a half marathon. That was a cakewalk compared to these past five months. It ain’t easy growing a human.

Third, my meditation practice is more focused once I get my mind settled. I have a sense of urgency because I am so grateful to be able to have peace and quiet to meditate. My current space and time will be dramatically altered come October, and I am keenly aware of this impending deadline.

Fourth, my emotions are running high, which is good for generating a strong feeling surrounding the object during my meditations. I am definitely less in my head and more in my heart of late. For example, this past weekend I went to Camp Gravatt for the Love Heals meditation retreat. We meditated on three types of love: affectionate love, cherishing love, and wishing love. I never realized that the Lamrim meditation on recognizing that all living beings are our mothers is actually a meditation on affectionate love. I have a newfound appreciation for the kindness of my own mother, who chose to give birth to me just 17 months after my sister was born, so this meditation was much more powerful than it has ever been before.

So please, dear reader, go and thank your mother for carrying you in her body for 10 months and for putting your needs above her own needs to bring you into this world. If you spend your time on this planet wisely, your human birth is the greatest gift you will ever have.


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