Sunday, May 13, 2012

Motherhood, Love, and Mindfulness

Mother's Day . . . has arrived, and with it the usual onslaught of happy stories glorifying mothers everywhere. 

Mother's Day . . . for me is a day to reflect on Ayya Khema's commentary on  the Buddha's fourth remembrance:
"Everything that is mine and is dear to me must change" relates particularly aptly to our relationship with our children and our partners. Children begin changing from the day they are born. But they disappear or they can disappear [. . .]
None of us really believe that our children or partner belong to us. Nevertheless we feel that way about them and want to hold on to them. The various relationship problems in families arise out of this. 
[. . .] We think we have to determine the way our children develop. We think we can decide what they should and should not do. We not only want to keep our children and partners for ourselves, but we think they should live in accordance with our wishes and our conception of them. And none of this is true. 
We have to let go if we want to live and love in freedom. Not even one's own body is "mine", the Buddha said, so how can another person be "mine"? Everyone creates his or her own karma. 
[. . .] Pure love is love that has not wish to hold and to keep but is simply given freely. 
~ Ayya Khema, I Give You My Life
Mother's day . . . is a time to thank both of my daughters for helping me awaken to the nature of true motherly love, as so beautifully expressed by Ayya Khema. 

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