Sylvia, United States, Burstein discussed on On Being
When I was first having idea for this show her book, that's funny. You don't look Buddhist. Sylvia is one of the people who literally brought Buddhism to the west to the United States in the nineteen seventies and was Jewish like a lot of the people who brought Buddhism to the west in the nineteen seventies. A lot of people who we still are household names with autism in the United States. But she's also written over the years about how she has come back to really richly integrate that with her Jewish identity finding again in two days, the imagery and poetry and ancestry and continuity that nourish her and she's also passed onto her children. So when I thought of Sylvia's, this wise person, I started googling to see if you ever wrote about children and parenting and grand parenting. What I found is that in her bio description everywhere, I could find it. She lists herself this way, she has lots of credentials, but it started out, Sylvia. Burstein is a wife, mother grandmother. Author teachers psychotherapist, and I thought that's it. This is our person. Actually, I'm happy. I'm happy that you discovered that. I have I think it's true. I normally described myself that way. And I find that when people say, what are you proudest of in your whole life? The it's clear to me that I am most proud of the fact that might might children now really adults all of them. Now. Three of the four of them are in the fifties. So that's a substantial credential, and they're all very very nice people. And that is my best. That's what I'm proudest, and my grandchildren are coming along. And they have very good people. And I'm so proud of that this this. I don't think I've done I have certainly haven't done it alone. I've done it the father, and I've done it with their teachers without community. But they are. I think my most important work in my life. I'm gonna grandchildren. Do you have seven? So you know, one thing that I enjoyed reading in figure was in your book. That's funny. You don't look at your father's mother. That would have been your Jewish grandmother was your first Buddhist teacher that she used to tell you where is it written? We're supposed to be happy all the time. In fact, you have to know that I grew up in a post depression house, both my parents had jobs, and I'm an only child from my parents, and my grandmother who was widowed. My father's mother, and my parents went off to work. So my grandmother did a great deal of the mothering of and she was very very solicitous. So that I remember her as bathing in washing and dressing me and making braids and preparing the kinds of foods that I like the only thing that she was pretty not moved to respond to was the coming and going of childhood bouts of I'm not happy. I'd say, but I'm not free. And she'd say that it my grandmother was not a learned woman in that sense. But it's a it's an ethnic thing to use that time you to turn the phrase, and she'd say, where's it written that you're supposed to be happy all the time? And I think it was the beginning of my my virtual practice that life is difficult. And then forty years later, I learned that the Buddhist said the same thing in life is inevitably challenging, and how are we going to do it in a way, that's wise and doesn't complicate it more than it is just by itself. So I wanna talk tonight about about that wisdom that you've learned and how it might apply to our lives as parents, not just the spiritualize. If our children are how we nourish ourselves, right? As we are present to them. And as we impart what we want to impart to them. I I have to say, Sylvia, you're sitting here you are. So so calm, and and and you you radiate, wisdom and your books radiate wisdom, but so it was somewhat comforting for me for you to also describe yourself as a lifelong warrior. Threat full comes naturally because you've talked about that from your own childhood that your mother was ill. Reason to be actress as a child my mother did have a what they call them. Those days a week heart she'd had rheumatic card she had rheumatic fever as child and she had the consequence of a she's with a chronic Karner insufficiency, and I worried about that. And she actually died when I was in my very early twenties. So I've passed more than fifty years now without a mother, and I I wish I'd had one longer. But when I was a child I worried about it a lot. But you know, what I've found Krista that there are people who are given to fretting without a fretful environment. I think it's actually it's a it's a genetic glitch of neurology. And that it happens to some people and that for other people actually, the Buddha's said, we have one of five genetic fullback glitches when which he said, some people Fred. Some people get angry, some people lose heart, and all they read energy goes. And they don't have to do with themselves. Some people think oh, it's me. I didn't do things. Right. It's always my fault. I mess things up. And some people need to be sensually sued. They think whereas the Donut shop whereas pizza. People had different different tendencies. It was very, very helpful. For me is that adult to learn that because it's completely comes without a judgment. I don't have to say, I am a chronic fritter. I could say, you know, what I'm challenged fretting arises in my mind, and it's not a moral flaw, and it's very good for people who have a short fuse to be able to think, you know, I have this unusual that naturally arise. This is what happens when I'm challenged. But to take it as a I tell people that visit Mike Lynch is I I when in doubt worry. I said it came it came with the put -ment, I'm also sure that I have Brown eyes. And the if I could see that in the same neutral, it just came with the equipment, then I don't have to feel bad about it. But I can work with it wisely. It's that's really the important part. When we see as adults. What it is that our fallback glitch is say, oh, I think at a certain way that's a sign of wisdom when you begin when when a person begins to be able to delineate this is what happens to me on detention piece of self knowledge is a piece of self knowledge that that makes a break in between a certain next step. And that next step is, oh, so what I'm going to an airport, for instance, or if I come to a place where I've I've agreed to meet my husband on the corner of a certain street at five o'clock. I come there at five, and he's not there in the five five, and there, I could start to think maybe this. Maybe that maybe this maybe. But I think to myself, wait a minute. That is just my peculiar neurological glitch kicking in probably not I could just wait here quietly. I can look at windows. I look at the people I could say relaxing, phrases to my own mind. I could wish well to the passes by they're just lots of other things I can do..