We celebrate Mother's Day once a year, but memories of the mother in our life remain with us all days. Mothering influences come to us from other than the nurturer who raised us and to those men and women we can give thanks and send our blessings on this special day.
Even if we were not raised in a traditional home those who raised us deserve recognition for the time and devotion it takes to raise a child. So, here is a special meditation in honor of Mother's Day:
To begin: Prepare your meditation altar by laying out a clean cloth and lighting a central candle to represent the light and learning brought to us by our mother or mother figure. Put fresh flowers in a vase to represent the delicate love it takes to give care and nurturing. Light an incense cone or stick because its sweetness permeates the atmosphere of the room just as a home is sweetened with mother's love.
Sit up straight on a cushion on the floor with your legs folded in, or sit on a chair with the soles of your feet on the floor for balance while meditating. Fold your hands in your lap or place them palms up or palms down on your thighs. Then gently close your eyes without straining.
Begin to breathe in an even and regular patterns such as 2 counts to breathe in; 2 counts to breathe out; 2 counts to breathe in, and continue for a minute to establish the rhythm. Then, let go of the counting but keep up the even breathing during your meditation.
Breath is a tie between body and mind. Even and regular breathing harmonize us when our mind or body is out of sorts. And when we feel in harmony the answers to our problems come most easily to mind.
Start by thinking with appreciation about at least one person in your life who has given you mothering care; if not your mother perhaps a grandmother, aunt, sister, cousin, teacher or friend. Mothering appears in many ways at different stages of life.
Appreciation puts us in a positive mood and as a snowball rolling along in the snow growing bigger and bigger, we develop more positive traits through being appreciative. Notice that when you say "thank you" to someone you feel better and elicit a smile from another. It forms a conscious memory of how we are all in a human bond with each other and the world, too - the environment and planet.
Spend some minutes in quiet enjoying the side effects of appreciation and think how you can carry this feeling into your daily life.
Now take a deep breath and slowly release it. Open your eyes and go forward into your day more relaxed and refreshed from feeling appreciative for the care and mothering you've received in your life.
Article by Susan Kramer; photo of honeysuckle by Stan Schaap
For offline reading
Meditation for Teens and Adults
More than 70 offerings, from guided meditation techniques to on-the-go stress relief and relationship meditations interspersed with verse, and a section of special occasion prayers. 114 pages.
Meditation for all Kids Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.