contemplating mother's kindness

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Mirror
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contemplating mother's kindness

Post by Mirror » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:04 pm

Hello, I want to develop Bodhicitta. I approximately know, how to do that, but I have some problems. Many lamas say, that the origin of Bodhicitta is seeing others as our own mother. Although I know that mother is one of the most kindest person in our lifes, but that's not a rule. Our mothers are still dependent on conditions. Under specific conditions our mother could unkind to us. There are many bad parents in the world. So why so many lamas promote this idea of seeing others as our mothers? For me seeing others as my children seems much better, because children's behaviour is in my opinion much more undependent, because until a specific age, they are "pure" like blank sheet of paper and many bad stuff they learn from their surroundings. But this is only an example.

When we contemplate someone's kindness does their motive matter? If someone benefit us, even if they wanted to do the opposite, is this a sign of kindness (in the case, we don't know about their bad motive)? If our mother constantly harm us (child abuse), but in the same time, she help us (she gives us food, clothing, etc.), is this a sign of kindness? Even if others are kind to me, I believe that they have some hidden purposes behind their kind actions. Sorry for my confusion, but I was growing up in a christian society, where the most of people were pretending to be happy and kind, but the opposite was true.

Do you know any other methods for developing loving-kindness? Thank you very much! I'm so confused.

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LastLegend
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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by LastLegend » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:09 pm

Practice could be very simple as gently arising a non-personal intention of good thoughts for others. Can feel that too.
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:36 pm

Mirror wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:04 pm
Hello, I want to develop Bodhicitta. I approximately know, how to do that, but I have some problems. Many lamas say, that the origin of Bodhicitta is seeing others as our own mother. Although I know that mother is one of the most kindest person in our lifes, but that's not a rule. Our mothers are still dependent on conditions. Under specific conditions our mother could unkind to us. There are many bad parents in the world. So why so many lamas promote this idea of seeing others as our mothers? For me seeing others as my children seems much better, because children's behaviour is in my opinion much more undependent, because until a specific age, they are "pure" like blank sheet of paper and many bad stuff they learn from their surroundings. But this is only an example.

When we contemplate someone's kindness does their motive matter? If someone benefit us, even if they wanted to do the opposite, is this a sign of kindness (in the case, we don't know about their bad motive)? If our mother constantly harm us (child abuse), but in the same time, she help us (she gives us food, clothing, etc.), is this a sign of kindness? Even if others are kind to me, I believe that they have some hidden purposes behind their kind actions. Sorry for my confusion, but I was growing up in a christian society, where the most of people were pretending to be happy and kind, but the opposite was true.

Do you know any other methods for developing loving-kindness? Thank you very much! I'm so confused.
My two cents, coming with all the usual disclaimers that I'm no teacher, don't know much, etc.:

We are not supposed to simply contemplate our mothers kindness. Some of the contemplations involve drawing out our visceral reaction to our mother's suffering, and then generating Bodhicitta from that feeling. So like in the other thread, if a particular contemplation isn't working, then probably we should find another.

As to why Lamas emphasize it, well Tibet is (obviously) a fairly traditional culture with a sense of filial piety (not in the Confucian sense, just generally) that doesn't necessarily translate well to all cultures. Beyond that, perhaps the practice works just fine, and we are approaching it in a way that doesn't work due to our own cultural conditioning.

IME generating Bodhicitta is not an intellectual exercise, so in a sense even this question is taking you in a conceptual direction, the point of all these contemplations is to prompt a change in your being at the thought of others suffering, until you literally feel it in your chest, you an rouse Bodhicitta like that. This is why all the traditional recommendations say "do this contemplation until tears come from your eyes". So to find out why this doesn't work, to some degree you have to get out of your head and "listen" to whatever deeper level of emotional tone might be affecting your practice.

Once you find that raw, unadorned pain you can work with it and think "may all beings be free of this pain". You can think "what if my Mom had this pain", you can think about the things your mom has done that hurt you, and how in turn she must feel hurt and cut off etc.

The point is generating that basic empathy with anothers suffering, that's the fuel for everything, without it we are just in "fake it till ya make it" mode.

The other point to think about is that even a lot bad parents sacrifice a lot for their children. In this sense, such a contemplation becomes of a way of seeing the more "enlightened" bits of someone you might harbor animosity towards.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:49 pm

Mirror wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:04 pm
Hello, I want to develop Bodhicitta. I approximately know, how to do that, but I have some problems. Many lamas say, that the origin of Bodhicitta is seeing others as our own mother.

...


Do you know any other methods for developing loving-kindness? Thank you very much! I'm so confused.
ime, cause of bodhicitta's germination is simultaneous perception of emptiness and sentient being's unnecessary suffering, altogether, then compassion immediately, instantly, arises.

mothers dedication is a good exemplification, often used as a mind training for a gradual development of loving kindness in Mahayana-Sutra.

loving kindness can be developed in both ways.

this is how i see it.

TrimePema
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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by TrimePema » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:53 am

Mirror wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:04 pm
Hello, I want to develop Bodhicitta. I approximately know, how to do that, but I have some problems. Many lamas say, that the origin of Bodhicitta is seeing others as our own mother. Although I know that mother is one of the most kindest person in our lifes, but that's not a rule. Our mothers are still dependent on conditions. Under specific conditions our mother could unkind to us. There are many bad parents in the world. So why so many lamas promote this idea of seeing others as our mothers? For me seeing others as my children seems much better, because children's behaviour is in my opinion much more undependent, because until a specific age, they are "pure" like blank sheet of paper and many bad stuff they learn from their surroundings. But this is only an example.

When we contemplate someone's kindness does their motive matter? If someone benefit us, even if they wanted to do the opposite, is this a sign of kindness (in the case, we don't know about their bad motive)? If our mother constantly harm us (child abuse), but in the same time, she help us (she gives us food, clothing, etc.), is this a sign of kindness? Even if others are kind to me, I believe that they have some hidden purposes behind their kind actions. Sorry for my confusion, but I was growing up in a christian society, where the most of people were pretending to be happy and kind, but the opposite was true.

Do you know any other methods for developing loving-kindness? Thank you very much! I'm so confused.
kindness of the mother to carry you in the womb for 9 months and make sure you didnt die. it is on this basis that the other conditions have come to fruition for your interest in dharma.

children acquire all habits from a mix of their surrounding karmic conditions and the seeds of past actions in this and previous lives, just like everyone else. without knowing the 4 noble truths, there is no end to this continual cycle of action and re-action.

loving-kindness =/= bodhichitta

loving-kindness is an attitude
bodhichitta is the wish to liberate oneself and others from suffering

think about the basic kindness - your mother brought you into the world.

No, when contemplating kindness motivation doesn't matter because you can't know anyone else's motivations. In theory motivation does matter but there is no way to judge others' motivations without supercognition. Contemplate from an attitude of primordial purity, Buddhanature and so on.

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LastLegend
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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by LastLegend » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:23 am

loving-kindness =/= bodhichitta
That would the use of nature. Like we see someone suffers, we arise a loving-kindness thought with that person in our mind.
loving-kindness is an attitude
bodhichitta is the wish to liberate oneself and others from suffering
Yes. That would be vows. My understanding we can make those vows ourselves and they are specific. Like someone who works in the field of mental health can makes specific vows to liberate people with mental illnesses or people with illnesses. When people take rebirth, their vows will lead them to Dharma and complete their path if not completed in this lifetime.
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

humble.student
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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by humble.student » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:40 am

The very fact of having a precious human birth is the basic factor in gratitude towards one's mother, all else is a bonus of sorts.

Many commentaries on the Lojong texts (8 Verses, 7 Points, 37 Practices etc) will tell you that all beings seek happiness and seek to avoid suffering. This is just another way of developing a measure of empathy towards them, leaving the question of rebirth aside.

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tobes
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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by tobes » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:08 am

I have also been trying to make some headway on this:

viewtopic.php?f=39&t=32057

I think it is really about the recognition of dependence on (m)others. i.e. despite our individualistic preconceptions, basically everything we do depends upon the work and effort of others.

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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by muni » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:39 am

I think it is really about the recognition of dependence on (m)others. i.e. despite our individualistic preconceptions, basically everything we do depends upon the work and effort of others.
! dependence on (m)others! This is beautiful.

Freed from own karmic preconceptions, 'allows' freedom/the very openness of Bodhicitta.

:buddha1:
Which human beings are “fortunate and connected?” They are the ones who generate love, compassion, and devotion, as well as the commitment to remain steadfast on the path until all beings are liberated. Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches.

Not to identify oneself with something, or to associate things with the 'me,' and to see that the idea that there is a 'me,' which is distinct from things, is a delusion. H H Dalai Lama.

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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by yagmort » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:52 am

Mirror, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said that since there are many broken families nowadays with unkind/abusive/mentally unstable/etc. parents, mothers included, you may take as an example whoever loves and accepts you the way you are, without any conditions, who has been always kind and supportive to you. from what i understand the idea to see all beings as your mother implies a loving, caring and kind mother.

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tobes
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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by tobes » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:43 am

yagmort wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:52 am
Mirror, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said that since there are many broken families nowadays with unkind/abusive/mentally unstable/etc. parents, mothers included, you may take as an example whoever loves and accepts you the way you are, without any conditions, who has been always kind and supportive to you. from what i understand the idea to see all beings as your mother implies a loving, caring and kind mother.
Thankyou Yagmort - that's good advice. However although I've had a pretty fortunate life - good parents etc - I think my Buddhist path only really began when I realised that no one is really capable of that. Or at least, no one in my world.

i.e. even good, moral, relatively kind people are generally too caught up in their own crap to really offer unconditional love, kindness, acceptance etc.

But I would be open to the charge that this is itself my own conceit; a failure to see kindness when it is there. So, this leads me into a bit of chicken-egg problem....

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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by yagmort » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:29 pm

Tobes, i would guess they are capable, just not able to. it seems to learn what unconditional love is, to learn how to love is one of the biggest quests and challenges of our life. our western society is not conducive and supportive of this quest either.

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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by Tlalok » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:19 pm

In Tibet most of the young monks would be tiny children when they were receiving the initial training in loving-kindness. They probably really missed their mothers.

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tobes
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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by tobes » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:16 pm

yagmort wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:29 pm
Tobes, i would guess they are capable, just not able to. it seems to learn what unconditional love is, to learn how to love is one of the biggest quests and challenges of our life. our western society is not conducive and supportive of this quest either.
Good distinction to make - capable seems to imply 'potential to.' I agree that everyone has this potentiality. I think part of this is learning how to be loved, accepting that others love you. Challenging!

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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by haha » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:35 am

Mirror wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:04 pm

Do you know any other methods for developing loving-kindness? Thank you very much! I'm so confused.
Gampopa's "The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Chapter 7" could be supportive.

First, one chooses the person who is kind to oneself and then one can extend it to other. It is not necessary the person should be current birth mother. The important is one genuinely generates the mind of loving-kindness. Then, extend it to other. Later, even to enemy or to the person one has enmity or issues. It is not wise to start loving-kindness meditation to whom one has issue or attachment or hatred.

Mirror
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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by Mirror » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:35 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:36 pm
IME generating Bodhicitta is not an intellectual exercise, so in a sense even this question is taking you in a conceptual direction, the point of all these contemplations is to prompt a change in your being at the thought of others suffering, until you literally feel it in your chest, you an rouse Bodhicitta like that. This is why all the traditional recommendations say "do this contemplation until tears come from your eyes". So to find out why this doesn't work, to some degree you have to get out of your head and "listen" to whatever deeper level of emotional tone might be affecting your practice.
Wow! This helped me a lot! Thank you so much! Thanks to you, I realised that it's in my heart and not in my mind, where the true practice should be done. It's about feeling of love within.
TrimePema wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:53 am
kindness of the mother to carry you in the womb for 9 months and make sure you didnt die. it is on this basis that the other conditions have come to fruition for your interest in dharma.

think about the basic kindness - your mother brought you into the world.

No, when contemplating kindness motivation doesn't matter because you can't know anyone else's motivations. In theory motivation does matter but there is no way to judge others' motivations without supercognition. Contemplate from an attitude of primordial purity, Buddhanature and so on.
:good:

As Tobes said, I have a problem to believe that my mother's kindness is unconditional. Unlike Tonglen, I don't see this practice of visualizing someone, who is kind to us as a kind of 'ultimate' practice that could be used by everyone. I think there are a lot of people on this planet, who don't have kind and loving friend, mother, etc.

TrimePema
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Re: contemplating mother's kindness

Post by TrimePema » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:11 am

Mirror wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:35 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:36 pm
IME generating Bodhicitta is not an intellectual exercise, so in a sense even this question is taking you in a conceptual direction, the point of all these contemplations is to prompt a change in your being at the thought of others suffering, until you literally feel it in your chest, you an rouse Bodhicitta like that. This is why all the traditional recommendations say "do this contemplation until tears come from your eyes". So to find out why this doesn't work, to some degree you have to get out of your head and "listen" to whatever deeper level of emotional tone might be affecting your practice.
Wow! This helped me a lot! Thank you so much! Thanks to you, I realised that it's in my heart and not in my mind, where the true practice should be done. It's about feeling of love within.
TrimePema wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:53 am
kindness of the mother to carry you in the womb for 9 months and make sure you didnt die. it is on this basis that the other conditions have come to fruition for your interest in dharma.

think about the basic kindness - your mother brought you into the world.

No, when contemplating kindness motivation doesn't matter because you can't know anyone else's motivations. In theory motivation does matter but there is no way to judge others' motivations without supercognition. Contemplate from an attitude of primordial purity, Buddhanature and so on.
:good:

As Tobes said, I have a problem to believe that my mother's kindness is unconditional. Unlike Tonglen, I don't see this practice of visualizing someone, who is kind to us as a kind of 'ultimate' practice that could be used by everyone. I think there are a lot of people on this planet, who don't have kind and loving friend, mother, etc.
every being that is born from the womb is born due to the kindness of their own mother to give birth to them after having carried them in the womb.

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