December 16 : Kind Mother Sentient Beings

When my mother passed away, I reflected on how I still had the opportunity to benefit all my mothers from previous lives. The mother of this life has been especially kind by giving us our body, changing our diapers, teaching us to talk and walk, making sure we got an education, and disciplining us so that we can function in society and are not total brats. Likewise, the kindness of all other sentient beings that were our mothers in past lives has also been immense.

Usually, we do not see others in this way because we are too busy dividing them into categories of friend, enemy, stranger, the person I like, the person I do not like, come here, and get away. But if we can stop all that racket in our mind, we can understand that we have had a very deep connection with each sentient being as either parent or child, and they have all been kind to us in the same way as our current life’s parents. To repay that kindness, we practise the Dharma and try to share the Dharma with others in a way that is suited to their mind and mentality.

My mother of this life did not have a lot of karma to meet the Dharma, even though she did have some because she had me as her daughter. I prayed to be able to benefit her in a future life because eventually we will meet again. She is not going to go, “Oh, hi, Cherry,” and I am not going to respond, “Oh, hi, Mom.” It is not going to happen like that when our minds are very obscured by ignorance. But if we can break through a little of our ignorance every day and remember that all beings have been our mothers, a feeling of closeness with every other living being will arise, as well as an appreciation of our having met the Dharma and being able to share it with them in a suitable way. Whenever we see bugs crawling around, the way we help them is by gently scooping them up, saying a few mantras, and taking them outside. The important thing is not to miss the opportunity to benefit. To do this, we must do something about the tyranny of the self-centred mind that prevents us from benefiting others. The more we are able to recognise the kindness of others, the more we can break through the selfcentredness that only thinks, “me, me, me; I, I, I; my, my, my; mine, mine, mine.” When we can do that, we automatically want to repay their kindness.

For the kind mother sentient being who used to be Adelle Green, I did the King of Prayers and made prayers for her good rebirth and for her to meet the Dharma and be quickly awakened. I also dedicated in a similar way to all sentient beings because they are all equal. There is no inherently existent self in any of them (nor us), so there is no reason to keep some close and some distant.

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