May 7 2014 Buddhism Newsletter
In the U.S. it is Mother's Day this weekend, and so it's a great time to probe more deeply into one of my favorite teachings - that all beings have been our mother.
All Beings Have Been Our Mother
In honor of Mother's Day in the U.S., here is an exploration of the Buddhist teaching that 'all beings have been our mother.' This is part of teachings on rebirth, and is also used as the foundation for metta, or lovingkindness, practice.
Last week I also posted an article on working with the three poisons:
Anger, Greed, Ignorance – The Three Poisons
Anger, greed, and ignorance are often referred to as the 'three poisons' in Buddhist teachings, and uprooting them from our mind is an important part of Buddhist practice. Learn their associated states, and methods for working through them.
As always, there are many threads in the forum, including ongoing threads on the Way of the Bodhisattva, Mindfulness in Plain English, Meditation Tips, and Spiritual Practice and Our Brain:
In closing, also in honor of Mother's Day, here is a passage from Lama Tsultrim Allione. Prior to becoming a mother, she had been one of the first Western women to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun, and had spent four years engaged in intense practice and training before returning her monastic vows and marrying. She writes in her preface to her book Women of Wisdom that she often longed for solitary practice in the early days of motherhood, and was saddened by her seeming 'failures' as a Buddhist and mother. Over time, she came to see the great opportunity motherhood afforded her to develop a love and compassion not dependent upon solitude:
"How often I felt my failure to enact boundless compassion and immeasurable patience. Through becoming a mother I irrevocably lost the realm where compassion for all beings is visualized from a retreat cabin…
Gradually, however…I began to see mothering as a great practice opportunity…
As I cooked in the cauldron of motherhood, the incredible love I felt for my children opened my heart and brought me a much greater understanding of universal love. It made me understand the suffering of the world much more deeply. This has been an important thread for me, both as a practitioner and as a human being."
- Lama Tsultrim Allione, Preface to Women of Wisdom
Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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