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  • Daniel Rodman

Discipline and Nurturance

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

Two primary forces in our lives are Discipline and Nurturance. Discipline calls for recognizing and respecting the correct way to act and supporting that over other ways over time, whereas nurturance is the love that doesn't care what you do, but loves you no matter what to support your growth. Traditionally, these two forces are expressions of the divine masculine and feminine respectively, though we have both in all of us, whether male or female, and may emphasize one over the other towards ourselves, others, and may experience those forces more or less in life in general.

In life, there may be experiences we encounter that either support us through discipline or through nurturance. When life gives us discipline it means that we are given an obstacle to rise above. Through the obstacle we achieve a greater sense of what choices to make and how to continue being alive despite what we have gone through, and therefore become better and wiser people in the long run. When we experience nurturance on the other hand we receive bounty, plenty, are comfortable, and are happy. In nurturance phases of life we can be grateful for what we have and celebrate life fully.

When we raise children we also have a balance between discipline and nurturance. Being able to discern which one is to be emphasized is an art that allows for children to grown and learn. Too much discipline without nurturance can be harsh and unforgiving, whereas too much nurturance without discipline can spoil kids and teach them that they can do whatever they want and not get the right feedback when they do something wrong. On which side of the spectrum you emphasize can tell you a lot about your parenting. Discipline and nurturance can also play out in work situations, in sports, in art forms, and pretty much any field of human action and learning.

When we practice our meditation, we also must hold a balance between discipline and nurturance within ourselves. To not be too tight, and not too loose, but just right. This is a primary teaching when it comes to our concentration in meditation, that it must be a balanced attitude to achieve optimal concentration during meditation. Our attitude towards our practice in general can also have a balance between the two, not being to hard on ourselves, but not being lazy. Nurturance and discipline are the yin/yang of spiritual life, one to support our being and one to support our doing. May you come to know the contrasting and yet complimentary forces of discipline and nurturance that you may know how to navigate the two in all areas of your life as well as your spiritual life.

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