In honor of Mother's Day this Sunday in the U.S., I have a collection of articles and resources for you all related to the theme of motherhood and Buddhism. The first is an article exploring the common teaching that 'all beings have been our mother.' This is part of teachings on rebirth, or transmigration, and is also used as a foundation for metta, or lovingkindness, practice.
All Beings Have Been Our Mother:
You may also want to read about Pajapati, the Buddha's own aunt and stepmother, who raised him after his own mother died in childbirth. Pajapati became a student of Buddha's and played an important role in founding the first order of Buddhist nuns, or bhikkunis:
Pajapati - Buddha's Stepmother and First Buddhist Nun:
If you are a mother or would like a wonderful gift for a mother in your life, consider some of the books I have reviewed in the Buddhist for Parents section of the site, including the wonderful Buddhism for Mothers series of books:
Finally, for any of you interested in my own feminine energy body teachings, please note that I will be doing a 6-week Teleseminar on Empowering the Sacral Chakra starting June 4th. You can participate from anywhere in the world! Details here:
Please don't forget about our wonderful Buddhism forum, where you can offer your own thoughts on Buddhism:
And in closing, here is the full text of the Karaniya Metta Sutta, excerpted in the All Beings Have Been Our Mother article, here translated in full by The Amaravati Sangha:
This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,
Not proud or demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born —
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires, Is not born again into this world.
Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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