Author Topic: Repaying our mother's kindness  (Read 18342 times)

negra orquida

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Repaying our mother's kindness
« on: May 12, 2012, 02:12:55 PM »
Since it is mother's day tomorrow, I thought there ought to be a post here to pay tribute to mothers.

Buddha's mother Queen Maya passed away 7 days after his birth.  She was reborn in Tavatimsa Heaven, or the Land of the Thirty-three Heavens, so-called because it has thirty-three different types of gods.

After attaining enlightenment, Buddha wanted to repay his mother's kindness, so he went to Tavatimsa Heaven to teach Abbhidharma to his mother.  He stayed there for 3 months, where he also taught the other gods living there, and returned on the day now known as Buddha's Return from Heaven Day.

It is said that a mother's love is one of the closest to being unconditional love, and the practice of boddhichitta begins with remembering the kindness of our mothers and seeing that all beings had been our mothers.

If you are a mother, how has motherhood helped in your spiritual practice? If you are not (yet) a mother, would you want to become a mother (in this life or next life =p)? Why?

Midakpa

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 04:03:16 PM »
Mother's Day is a special day to remember our mother's kindness and if she is still alive, do remember to repay her kindness. Here are the ten types of kindness bestowed by the mother on the child mentioned by the Buddha in the "Filial Piety Sutra" (Sutra about the deep kindness of parents and the difficulty of repaying it):

1. The kindness of providing protection and care while the child is in the womb.
2. The kindness of bearing suffering during birth.
3. The kindness of forgetting all the pain once the child has been born.
4. The kindness of eating the bitter herself and saving the sweet for the child.
5. The kindness of moving the child to a dry place and lying in the wet herself.
6. The kindness of suckling the child at her breast and nourishing and bringing up the child.
7. The kindness of washing away the unclean.
8. The kindness of always thinking of the child when it has travelled far.
9. The kindness of deep care and devotion.
10. The kindness of ultimate pity and sympathy.

The Buddha said that "the virtue of one's parents' kindness is boundless and limitless. If one has made the mistake of being unfilial, how difficult it is to repay that kindness!"


Dolce Vita

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2012, 04:51:36 PM »
I do not think I want to become a mother after learning Dharma. Before I met Dharma, I dreamed of having my own family, I was going to have 2 children and I will be happy ever after. After learning Dharma, I realised how having a family is actually an obstacle for learning and practicing. Taking care of the children is a full time job, I would have less time to study and practice, there will be minimal or close to 'no progress' at all. On the other hand, our cute little angels might grow up to be a monster. Not only we have to take care of our children's physical needs, we have to make sure they grow up with the right attitude and behaviours too.

I am not saying having children is no good, I am just saying having children is a big responsibility. I might sound selfish but not having children, I would be able to help more people and dedicate more of my time to help the needy.

Aurore

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2012, 05:22:49 PM »
I never really wanted to be a mother, I don't quite know why other than the fact I preferred fur kids more than the kids. Since I don't have a kid, I would choose not to as the responsibility of a mother huge. Kids will take up a lot of our time to care for one person when you can do so much more for others. In some ways, having kids could be due to selfish pursuits. If I think back, perhaps some of the reasons why I would consider having kids is because I want company, younger ones to take care of me when I am older and sick or purely because all my friends have kids. I don't want to be left out. In my case, I did consider and tried before eventhough I wasn't so up for the idea but it was to make my partner happy because he wanted kids.

However, if I do have a kid, I would use motherhood as one of the reason I should do better in my spiritual practice. We are after all a reflection of how our kids will turn out to be! Learn more dharma, teach them dharma so that they will become good people and contribute to the society. That's the best thing we can do for them.

lotus1

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2012, 07:03:08 PM »
Being a mother, it is not really good or bad things. If being a mother helps us to develop the qualities of Bodhicitta, I would say it is a good move. However, if being a mother also means we would not have more time to learn and do Dharma, then it may not be a good move.

In this world, we have been conditioned into thinking that grow up, get married and have a family is a normal process of our lives. The thought of not having children in order to spend more time on Dharma is kind-of new age. Nevertheless, we should also check honestly with ourselves that by not having any children, do we really spend the time well into doing something Dharmic and spiritual and benefiting to all beings? Or we just use the time to indulge into more activities that boost up our self-cherishing.

Happy mothers day to sentient beings, mother of my past lives.

ilikeshugden

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2012, 03:34:51 AM »
Happy Mother's day! We should repay the kindness given by our wonderful mothers by transforming our mind and improving for the better. Even remember Mother's day and wishing your mother is something we should all do. Regarding the question on whether I would like to be a mother, I won't be a mother in this lifetime but I hope I can be one in my next life. Having a child would be so awesome yet so painful. I respect mother's for their ability to endure the pain of childbirth. I personally do not think that I am able to endure it.

RedLantern

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2012, 03:35:06 PM »
Buddha explained clearly in the ten types of kindness bestowed.
1) the kindness of providing protection and care while the child is in the womb.
2) The kindness of bearing suffering during birth
3) The kindness of the birth forgetting all the pain once the child has been born
4) The kindness of eating the bitter herself and giving the sweet to the child
5) The kindness of moving a child to a dry place and lying in the wet herself
6) The kindness of suckling the child at her breast nourishing and bringing up the child
7) The kindness of washing away the unclean
8) The kindness of thinking of the child  and when it has travelled far.
9) The kindness of deep emotion.
10)The kindness of ultimate pity and sympathy.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!

kurava

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2012, 10:59:19 PM »
I'm a mother. I think being a mother taught me a lot of things, such as all the 10 types of care and love that had been listed down by Buddha. Without becoming a mother, it would have been very very difficult to give such unconditional love and care to another being.

Mother instinct is such an amazing force that it drives one to do all that you could never imagine you would do including taking a bullet to save another life. Of course a mother's love is still conditional to a certain degree as compared to the Buddha's, but it is the closest to pure love. That is why Buddha used the example of mother's love.

If a mother has spiritual practice, this is even more beneficial in bringing up her children. One of the students of Chogyum Trungpa Rinpoche related how her Guru told her to use motherhood as a spiritual practice - she can train for all the 6 perfections with her child. A mother with spiritual practice will impart all the qualities she learnt from her own practice to her children. What better time to start such virtuous teachings than from a tender age and to receive from one's own mother?

Happy Mother's Day to all !

yontenjamyang

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2012, 07:40:05 AM »
Mothers are the kindest person on earth to us. Minimum, they suffered to give birth to us. Be it human or animals. That is a fact. In Dharma, we say "mother sentient beings" because all sentient beings had been our mother in our infinite number of past lives. Hence, because of this, we should treat all sentient beings with the kindness we treat our mothers.

Mothers day is a celebration of all mothers. For some, that it as their own mothers and for men, mother of their children, ie their wife as well. But if we apply Dharma, then it should be a celebration in thanking all our mothers; that is all sentient beings. In that sense, why then we only "celebrate" during one day of the year. Why not everyday?

The answer is that we find at least one day to focus on the mothers especially for lay people. That will at least do some good. Yes we should celebrate mother's day.

Jessie Fong

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2012, 05:14:21 AM »
My mother was a strong lady, considered tall for someone her generation.  She never asked for much, never expected much.  She was an introvert in a way.

Seeing how she struggled to raise us monsters almost single-handedly, I would rather not have kids.  The trouble we got her into with our pranks, got her coming after us with a cane. 

As she aged, she learned to let go of a lot of unhappiness.  She had always been the quiet type, never wanting to open up to share what was troubling her. 

Someone asked "Why do we have Secretaries' Week but only Mother's Day?" - indeed, everyday should be Mother's Day to thank the wonderful person who brought us into this world and shaped us to be what we are today.

bambi

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2012, 05:18:02 AM »
Found this inspiring quote :

"The Buddha once said that if you were to carry your parents around with you for their whole lives—your father on one shoulder and your mother on the other—even to the point where they were losing their faculties and their excrement was running down your back, this would not repay your debt of gratitude to them. But you could repay the debt if your parents were not virtuous and you established them in virtue; if they were not wise and you established them in wisdom; if they were stingy and you established them in generosity; if they had no faith in the spiritual path and you led them to it."

http://archive.thebuddhadharma.com/issues/2006/summer/reflecting.html
and
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/filial-sutra.htm

This is why we dedicate our merits to all our mother sentient beings past, present and future. This is what I will do to repay their kindness. My kids taught me a lot on how to be more patient, loving, kinder and a better person in every way! They could've have been my mother too in past lives!  :o  I thank them for teaching me all those qualities in return I appreciate and love my mum the best way I can.

May they have the merits to be in Dharma, may they have good rebirth in every life, may we repay their kindness in all lives.

ratanasutra

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2012, 08:33:25 PM »
Wow!! this is very interesting..

To become a mother for a child it take such a lot of responsibily, love and care in order to raise children to grow with right attitude, motivation and actions. So it seem like most of mother have bodhicitta mind towards their child. But to have same bodhicitta mind to other child or other people is not that easy as our love always not pure love but it love with agenda. so to be a mother doesn't mean that you will be kind than other people.

i will prefer to not be a mother of one child but for everyone as the fact of everyon is one life time had been our mother before, this is make sense and it good enough for us to start to practice bodhicitta and cut out all the delusions mind and attachement.

DS Star

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2012, 09:26:53 PM »
Well-said ratanasutra...

Be a mother not only to your own child but to everyone else and please include every sentient being also... then that is Bodhicitta; and yes, as explained in Lamrim, all sentient beings have been our mothers before, not only once but many times over...

So while we remember our current life's mother on Mother's Day, we also need to remember and to repay the kindness of all our previous mothers thus we have to be kind and not to harm other beings too.

Becoming mother can help one to cultivate patience for sure... but for most mothers, their love and care only conditioned to their own child... so a mother's love while is great, is still unfortunately contaminated with attachment, false expectation, etc.

Happy Mother's Day, nevertheless  :) :) :)

Q

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2012, 07:14:33 AM »
Since it is mother's day tomorrow, I thought there ought to be a post here to pay tribute to mothers.

Buddha's mother Queen Maya passed away 7 days after his birth.  She was reborn in Tavatimsa Heaven, or the Land of the Thirty-three Heavens, so-called because it has thirty-three different types of gods.

After attaining enlightenment, Buddha wanted to repay his mother's kindness, so he went to Tavatimsa Heaven to teach Abbhidharma to his mother.  He stayed there for 3 months, where he also taught the other gods living there, and returned on the day now known as Buddha's Return from Heaven Day.

It is said that a mother's love is one of the closest to being unconditional love, and the practice of boddhichitta begins with remembering the kindness of our mothers and seeing that all beings had been our mothers.

If you are a mother, how has motherhood helped in your spiritual practice? If you are not (yet) a mother, would you want to become a mother (in this life or next life =p)? Why?

I am fortunate to have a loving mother, loving parents ever since I was born... and later in life, I'm fortunate to meed my kind Guru, who I view as my mother and father... Whenever topics about mothers/parents comes up, I'd always feel and remember how fortunate I am to have received so much love from my parents and my Guru. Although sometimes my parent's love for me is conditioned... but I am blessed that my Guru cares for me despite all my imperfections, and pushes me to be a better person... spiritually.

I wish to be a mother, but not a conventional one... instead I'd wish to play a mother role, in nurturing Dharma in all who meets me... and for that I am learning to be better each day. Let all who meets me leave being a better and happier person. Having received so much kindness from my biological parents and a motherly Guru, it is only befitting if I repay their kindness through giving kindness.

For us, people that are fortunate to have Dharma in our lives... some of us have parents that are in Dharma, while some not. My parents wasn't initially, but I am so happy that my mother now loves Dharma as if it was her life. The only way a child can ever repay their parent's kindness is by bringing the Dharma home. What greater gift can we give to our parents if it's not lasting happiness that Dharma can bring them?


Big Uncle

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Re: Repaying our mother's kindness
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2012, 07:37:05 AM »
I love my mother and until now, i have not had the fortune to bring her to the Dharma yet. But i will not give up so easily nor do I want to force her into it. It is not a Buddhist way to force my mother into a religion. However, I do agree that most people today shouldn't have kids. They are just too selfish and caught up with themselves and their own cycle of problems and difficulties. If they were to have kids, the kids will grow up with this influence to do the same and not think higher.

For some people, having kids are used as an excuse not to do more for Dharma practice/work. The kids are not really the reason and if they didn't have kids, there would be other reasons not to do Dharma anyway. There are many examples of awakened Lamas and householders who achieved great attainments even when they had kids. So, the kids shouldn't be the reason not to do but a means to practice Dharma even more.
I know some people would find this unsettling but that is the truth of the matter according to how I see it. It is not right or wrong but a different perspective on things.