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The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong recognition that all living beings are my mother, and then to meditate on this recognition in light of equalising self and others.

I began with dissolving my Guru into my heart and mind, and remaining with this recognition for a while.

I then started looking at the fact that my mind is a continuum and in my previous lives I have had mothers. All these mothers from my past lives are, in fact, the other living beings I see around me are actually my mothers. Each and every one of them has been my mother in the past, and loved my as dearly as any mother loves her only precious child.

I focused on this recognition and felt a bond with others stretching back through time. I reached a determination that I will keep this bond in mind and always recognise others as, in essence, my mother.

After keeping this determination in my mind for a while, I decided to see what this means in light of equalising self and others. There is a close relationship here, because once I am convinced that all living beings are my mother, I can generate very warm positive feelings towards them easily. This will help me equalise my love for others with my love for myself. I returned to my meditation on the recognition that all living beings are my mother, and strengthened my determination to maintain this view throughout the day.

Dedication

May all living beings recognise their true relationship with others, and through this recognition experience the true happiness of enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will maintain the view that all living beings are my kind mother.

The purpose of this meditation is to strengthen our conviction that all living beings are our mother, and then reflect on what this means in the light of our precious human life.

I began by remembering that all the living beings around me have been my kind mother in our past lives. Just because they cared for me many lifetimes ago does not change the fact that they were my mother. I thought deeply about this and it seemed to me that I was standing, surrounded by my mothers. All living beings were essentially my mother. It is only because our external appearances have changed that we do not recognise each other.

I felt a deep warmth to all living beings with the additional recognition that they are my mothers, and I stayed with that feeling for a while.

Then I considered what this means in the light of my precious human life. In this life I have had an extremely kind mother, who cared for me more than anyone else. My kind mother was one of the most important endowments of my human life, and it was only possible to meet her by my having this precious human life. It seemed that although all living beings were my mother, they became extremely precious and rare, and my care for them became more intense. I remained with this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings recognise the true nature of other living beings, and thereby become enlightened for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will retain the recognition that all living beings are my mother, and continue to deepen my affectionate love for them all.

The purpose of this meditation is to develop the firm view that all living beings are our mothers.

I began the meditation by remembering that I have had a mother in all my past lives. Where are these mothers now? They are all the living beings I see around me. Each one of them has been my mother.

I remembered what Geshe-la says in his book, Eight Steps to Happiness:

“Even though we may find it difficult to prove for ourself the truth of the view that all living beings are our mother, we would nevertheless be wise to accept it because there are enormous benefits in doing so.

We should understand that ultimately nothing is true except emptiness. Objects exist only in relation to the minds that cognize them. Since an object’s nature and characteristics depend upon the mind that cognizes them, we can change the objects we see by changing the way we see them. We can choose to see ourself, other people and our world in whatever way is most beneficial.”

I contemplated this in meditation, and remembered that one of the best ways to accumulate merit is to perform helpful actions towards our parents. If I believe that all living beings are my mother, then every positive action I perform toward others will have the same effect as if I had performed it for my mother in this life, multiplied by the number of people towards whom the act was directed. I realised what an incredible amount of merit I could generate each day by holding the view that all living beings are my mother.

I made the firm determination to see all living beings as my mother, and perform virtuous actions towards them with this recognition. I remained with this determination for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings recognise their actual relationship with others, and through understanding that all living beings are their mothers, become fully enlightened beings for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remember that the nature of living beings depends upon how I view them, therefore I will view them as my mother, because this is the most beneficial view to hold.

 

The purpose of this meditation is to develop the firm belief that all living beings have been my mother in past lives.

I began by reminding myself that I have had countless past lives, wandering in the suffering of samsara. In each life, I had a kind mother who gave birth to me and nurtured me in my childhood. She fed me, cleaned me, entertained me and loved me, when I was helpless.

Where are all these kind people now? They have all taken rebirth too, and are the living beings I see around me today. Because of our changed appearance, we do not recognise each other, but we are still mother and son.

I thought of the story Geshe Kelsang Gyatso relates about a mother who gave up her son to a monastery when he was very young. Later she was able to return and met all the monks. When her son was pointed out to her, she wept. I can see her looking into the faces of those monks, and when she recognised her son, throwing her arms around him and hugging him tight, with emotions only a parent can feel for a long lost child.

I thought what it would be like if we could all recognise each other like this.

We would throw our arms around each other: we would instantly feel like we had rediscovered a precious and unique jewel. We would value and love  each other. There would be no way we could ever harm each other. We could naturally care for, help and protect each other.

How wonderful it would be if we all had this recognition.

I collected all these thoughts and focused on the idea that all living beings are my mother. I thought about how I must have loved each one of them purely and deeply. I imagined what it would be like if we could recognise each other. I would tell her how much I loved her, and how I had missed her. I cried. I tried to keep with the recognition that all living beings are my mother for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings recognise their mothers in the people and animals around them, and through this recognition quickly attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will resist the temptation to throw my arms around everyone I meet today, although I feel like I could.

Note:

Please click on the picture.

The purpose of this meditation is to help us develop affectionate love for all living beings.

I began the meditation by remembering that I have had countless past lives. I have been reborn continuously in samsara, and despite the fact I cannot remember these lives, they happened. I cannot remember my early years, but they happened. In each of these lives I had a mother who gave birth to me. Since I have had countless rebirths, I must have had countless mothers. Where are they now? They are all the living beings around me today.

I imagined the living beings I know at work, and in my social life, and I imagined that they were my mother in disguise. I remembered that they were actually my mother, despite both our appearances having changed since they were our actual mother. I thought about how they would weep if they could recognise me: all a mother wants to do is to be close to their child and know they are safe.

I focused on this feeling of being close to my mother. I focused on a feeling of closeness to others which I can achieve through simply being in contact or thinking about others.

I concentrated on this feeling of closeness for the rest of the meditation. It felt warm and protected, and full of love.

Dedication

May all living beings recognise their mother in everyone they see or think about, and quickly attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will regard everyone as my mother. As Geshe Kelsang Gyatso says in The New Meditation Handbook:

“If we regard all living beings as our mothers, we shall find it easy to develop pure love and compassion, our everyday relationships will become pure and stable, and we shall naturally avoid negative actions such as killing and harming living beings. Since it is so beneficial to regard all living beings as our mothers, we should adopt this way of thinking without hesitation.”

The purpose of this meditation is to recognise that all living beings are my mother.

I began my meditation by thinking about my mental continuum. I experience my life is a continuous awareness – even in sleep I have an awareness of myself. I thought about this awareness being continuous since by birth. Then, I recognised that my consciousness did not begin at my birth, or my conception. My consciousness came to have a link with this body after its link with a previous body came to an end.

I had a life before this present life. I thought about this, and realised the fact that I have been having life after life for countless years – millions of years. I am not 44 – I am an ancient being.

In all these past lives I have had mothers who gave birth to me. Where are all these mothers now? They are the living beings I see around me today. They have all been my mother. We are like cards in a pack, shuffled after each life, so that we have different relationships to each other in each life. Every life, one of them is my mother.

I brought together the ideas of being an ancient being, having had countless lives, and having had countless mothers. I recognised the vast numbers involved, and that every single living being has been my mother.  I felt a vastness in terms of time and scope, but also a closeness to all living beings, who have all been by mother. I focused on this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings recognise their mother in everyone they meet, and quickly attain enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.

Practice in the meditation break

I will regard everyone I meet as my mother and mentally address them as ‘mother’.

Modern Buddhism

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