All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

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tobes
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All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by tobes » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:50 am

Who has made some kind of tangible progress on this meditation?

How did it click for you?

i.e. what helped you make progress on it?

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:24 am

I have never been able to relate to it.
However, If I meditate on the idea that all beings have been my children in past lives,
because I am a parent myself in this life right now, that works for me.
I feel a lot of...can generate a lot of... compassion and loving kindness toward others.
Teachers say, "they fed you, changed your diaper, looked after you when you were sick"
But I don't remember too much of that. Or, yeah,I expected them to do that.
For me, a kid in the early 1960s, there was a popular child-rearing theory then,
"Don't try to impose too much on your kids...let them explore and do everything on their own and learn that way"
So, that probably has something to do with it.

I think it works for me because I see the day-to-day anxiety of beings very much like what little kids go through.
people freak out all the time because somebody else took their crayon or whatever.
If a little kid comes up to you and calls you a poopy-head,and sticks their tongue out at you, you don't get bothered by it.
That's just their thing right now, because they don't really know not to do that.
So, it's the same when some driver flips me off (gives me the finger). I don't care.
Instead, It just makes me wish for them to be free of their problem,
just as when a child falls down and scrapes their knee and cries,
in all these situations, it's all the same, dukkha,suffering, samsara, etc.
.
.
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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:50 am

tobes wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:50 am
Who has made some kind of tangible progress on this meditation?

How did it click for you?

i.e. what helped you make progress on it?
"all sentient beings who have been my mother and are as infinite as space"...somehow the infinite as space part clenched it for me.

Padma, a lot of times I think "we are really still like children" as I go throughout my day, I can identify with what you are saying.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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明安 Myoan
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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by 明安 Myoan » Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:54 am

Practices to benefit animals and ghosts.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen

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tobes
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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by tobes » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:50 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:24 am
I have never been able to relate to it.
However, If I meditate on the idea that all beings have been my children in past lives,
because I am a parent myself in this life right now, that works for me.
I feel a lot of...can generate a lot of... compassion and loving kindness toward others.
Teachers say, "they fed you, changed your diaper, looked after you when you were sick"
But I don't remember too much of that. Or, yeah,I expected them to do that.
For me, a kid in the early 1960s, there was a popular child-rearing theory then,
"Don't try to impose too much on your kids...let them explore and do everything on their own and learn that way"
So, that probably has something to do with it.

I can relate to this. For a while I actually tried the phrase 'all sentient beings as my daughters.'

But then, there is a crucial difference isn't there? With 'mother' one is acknowledging the intense care others have given you; with 'daughter', it is more about the care you can give to others.

So, seeing the kindness of others, and the dependence one has had on them in the past. It's hard!

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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by Simon E. » Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:41 am

It doesn’t work at all for me despite the fact that I had a good and loving relationship to my mother in this life.
Seeing everyone as my sister or brother has a positive effect if its not too much a result of effort.
But the whole parent thing is so distorted in our time and culture that it presents more problems than it solves.
Before retirement I would guess 60% of my time was taken up dealing with the fallout between sons and fathers, mothers and daughters and all other permutations. Tibetan culture runs on a very different dynamic, for good and ill.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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tobes
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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by tobes » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:03 am

If you throw a bit of Freud into the mix, it starts getting a bit wacky.....

But I'm prepared to put this on the table: the great Kadampa masters have actually developed genuine effortless bodhicitta, and despite my best efforts, I haven't.

So maybe I should just do what they did to get there? i.e. Maybe the there is something more than upaya/heuristic about the statement and meditation?

"That worm was actually once my mother....." There's something basically quite literal about it; maybe it needs to be quite literal to be effective?

Who has really gone there? Who sees worms as their past mothers?

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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by Simon E. » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:13 am

Loonies frankly. Unless they are Tibetan with an entirely different conditioning going back generations.

You cannot tell me with a straight face that you can or should see a worm as your mother?

I’m afraid we need to develop a whole new set of upayas, or look like Mike Myers type parodies.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by Aemilius » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:28 am

I see it as natural and straightforward. You are merely attached to your body, to yourself as a human, and to the present era. It helps very much if you meditate on the past aeons, epochs and eras that have been on planet earth, that you have existed during those time periods in some form, as somekind of a being or creature. You are not merely your present form. You have existed for thousands, hundred thousands, millions and thousand millions of years in countless different forms. You can start meditating on Geologic time scale, its the different eras and the different life forms that have existed on this planet. Then you go even further back in time. You can alternate meditating at times the Buddhist kalpas, that you find in the Sutras and the Abhidharma. And continue with this long enough.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by tkp67 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:32 am

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:41 am
It doesn’t work at all for me despite the fact that I had a good and loving relationship to my mother in this life.
Seeing everyone as my sister or brother has a positive effect if its not too much a result of effort.
But the whole parent thing is so distorted in our time and culture that it presents more problems than it solves.
Before retirement I would guess 60% of my time was taken up dealing with the fallout between sons and fathers, mothers and daughters and all other permutations. Tibetan culture runs on a very different dynamic, for good and ill.
I always thought Shakyamuni's realization of past forms was done in accordance to the tree of life relative to evolution even though those words where not transmitted. He realized all life was the precursor to his own so to speak.

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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by Simon E. » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:56 am

Yes but you believe in ET’s visiting Earth and that some people can time travel, so I will take your views on anything at all with a large handful of salt.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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tobes
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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by tobes » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:55 am

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:13 am
Loonies frankly. Unless they are Tibetan with an entirely different conditioning going back generations.

You cannot tell me with a straight face that you can or should see a worm as your mother?

I’m afraid we need to develop a whole new set of upayas, or look like Mike Myers type parodies.
I can't. But perhaps I should. That's why I'm thinking about it.

Say what you will, the Tibetans produced beings with genuine bodhicitta, and this was one of their most effective techniques. If there was some other means that we have that has proven as effective, then sure, bring it on. But such a thing does not exist.

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tobes
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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by tobes » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:02 am

Aemilius wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:28 am
I see it as natural and straightforward. You are merely attached to your body, to yourself as a human, and to the present era. It helps very much if you meditate on the past aeons, epochs and eras that have been on planet earth, that you have existed during those time periods in some form, as somekind of a being or creature. You are not merely your present form. You have existed for thousands, hundred thousands, millions and thousand millions of years in countless different forms. You can start meditating on Geologic time scale, its the different eras and the different life forms that have existed on this planet. Then you go even further back in time. You can alternate meditating at times the Buddhist kalpas, that you find in the Sutras and the Abhidharma. And continue with this long enough.
I think this gets to the heart of it, and also, why it is such a struggle. The meditation implies something deeply cosmological. And for me it is question begging, most obviously: it implies mathematically establishing a finite number of sentient beings in the universe and infinite rebirths of them.

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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by Simon E. » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:31 am

tobes wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:55 am
Simon E. wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:13 am
Loonies frankly. Unless they are Tibetan with an entirely different conditioning going back generations.

You cannot tell me with a straight face that you can or should see a worm as your mother?

I’m afraid we need to develop a whole new set of upayas, or look like Mike Myers type parodies.
I can't. But perhaps I should. That's why I'm thinking about it.

Say what you will, the Tibetans produced beings with genuine bodhicitta, and this was one of their most effective techniques. If there was some other means that we have that has proven as effective, then sure, bring it on. But such a thing does not exist.
Tobes mate..I have experienced the Bodhicitta of the Tibetans and I am in no doubt that it is of the essence of the Vajrayana path, and that my own capacity for Bodhisattva is sadly limited, but I am having to forge other ways of unlocking Bodhicitta within the general parameters set by my teachers. Imagining a wiggly worm as mummy does not cut it for me.
Which is not to deny that it works for some peoples and some individuals. But such practises are not holy writ. Their absence is not, to borrow DKR’s phrase, what makes you not a Buddhist. What I am saying is that we don’t need to model ourselves on other people. We need to find ways work this thing in ways that do not compromise our sense of self even though that sense of self is ultimately to be seen through.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by Aemilius » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:01 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:56 am
Yes but you believe in ET’s visiting Earth and that some people can time travel, so I will take your views on anything at all with a large handful of salt.
Serious researchers say that the situation is that there is mountains of evidence of visitors to Earth from somewhere else, but the general public is kept ignorant about it, or they stay ignorant about it by their own decision.
If you would like to know about this phenomenon, I highly recommend books of Richard Dolan, for example https://www.amazon.com/UFOs-National-Se ... 1571743170.

Your logic is erroneous in itself, if I believe that yeti or bigfoot exists, it has nothing to do with my views on other matters, like Buddhism, evolution, geology, etc...
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

Simon E.
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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by Simon E. » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:17 pm

You are quite correct in your critique of my logic. I am indeed doing just what you say I’m doing. Life as lived is not a symposium on logic. It’s messy.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by Meido » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:25 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:50 am
"all sentient beings who have been my mother and are as infinite as space"...somehow the infinite as space part clenched it for me.
Similarly I think, it has been important to me to look at the kanji used to write the first of the 4 vows: 衆生無邊誓願度

The second word describing sentient beings is often glossed in English as "infinite" (i.e. commonly understood to refer to the number of said beings). But it is more like "without boundaries."
Last edited by Meido on Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one’s true nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly [according to this understanding], in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Hidden Zen: Practices for Sudden Awakening and Embodied Realization

Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by LastLegend » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:38 pm

I was told: at that place of clarity, arise non-personal intention to benefit sentient beings.

That would be using the “uncanny principle” (in Linjii’s language). For unrealized people like myself, it works the same way as truly realized people because Dharmakaya is the same for all. Great things arise from it when our intention is non-personal because that’s in line with the great Dharmakaya and will manifest. Truly realized people can use it without limitations, so they become the prescriptors. So it’s not about using siddhi to benefit people even for truly realized people this is where they do their work but spontaneously. We have equal access to use it but are limited by our five aggregates/self while they have transcended the five aggregates.

Example: when we are in a room full of anxious vibe, we can start relax get to that clarity and manifest a wish for everyone to feel relaxed and we will notice the change in the atmosphere.

Or if people on the forum comes with issues, we can do the same.

Have to try and see though!

That’s Buddhist genuine prayer!
Make personal vows.

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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by LastLegend » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:56 pm

Otherwise behold the basic brightness or light I guess. Vairocana!
Make personal vows.

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Re: All sentient beings as my past mothers.....

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:18 pm

I think it depends on one's experience.

If it doesn't work for you then :shrug:

There's a lot of social commentary that could be made about whether one relates to the practice or not. There's probably a big cultural component to it but I wouldn't agree that the fault line is between East and West. I don't know if this discussion would be particularly fruitful.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

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There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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