Editor's Note: We recently a new study that shows how mindfulness practice reduces stress, anxiety and depression in parents of children with special needs. Rabbi Yael Levy integrates mindfulness practice into Jewish worship and offers suggestions for how we can use mindfulness to prepare for the High Holy Days.
The experience of parenting of a child who is affected by the more severe end of the autism spectrum reminds me daily that there are numerous things that I can’t control. My first impulse when my son was diagnosed was to try and “fix” as many of the symptoms of his disability as I could.
My husband has become increasingly involved with yoga, meditation and mindfulness over the last year or so. He says that his practice helps him calm down and feel more peaceful. I notice that he seems much more interested in these activities than anything synagogue- or Jewish-related, and this worries me. I don’t think he is setting a good example for our children, and I worry that his hobby can become cultish.