“Understand that everyone has been one’s mother.”
Instructed by this phrase, we meditate on reincarnation, and that each lifetime has required a birth, a woman, and a mother. Up until modernization and its toll on well-being (increased stress), mother has been the symbol of dutiful, patient, and loving presence. Meditating on everyone having been our mother, we open to an appreciation of all that has birthed me into being here now, able to walk, work, create, procreate, enjoy my senses, and enjoy my life. Because I was born, I have this life. Because I have or had a mother, I could be born.
Yet this contemplation is only the beginning. In tantra, three levels of realization are encoded within a teaching: the outer, inner, and secret levels. Outer means more than the surface of something. Secret is usually more blatant that the sun. Thus, a contemplation on everyone having been one’s mother begins with appreciation for the obvious: a deep consideration of what our mother offered through her flesh and bone. With that gratitude and indebtedness, we cross the threshold into tantra.
Each moment exists as an interaction between self and other. Other is anyone or anything alive; and interaction encompasses every aspect of human action/non-action (body), communication of every kind (speech), and all internal thought/mind or awareness processes (mind). “Every person, all the time? That’s impossible!” Yet compassion begins with understanding cause and result.
Now each person is looked upon as the mother-source of potential realization, a birth point of pregnant interaction creating karmic fortunate results. In other words, how and what we do with our moment is paramount to the next. That which follows is predicated upon that which came before, like a child requires a mother in order to be born. As the Tao te Ching says, “Choices and deeds follow one like the cart follows the ox.” Contemplations such as these encourage us to look deeply into any moment, to wonder with heart-mind what is here right now. Who is here right now? And what is the guaranteed future karmic interaction that I am nurturing as I live, breathe, act, or communicate?
“Every moment? Every person? All the time?” Yes, that’s the understanding that comes from such a contemplation. Though the teaching is simple it isn’t necessarily easy. Yet, consider the results of doing so:
- profound awareness of cause and result, of seed and guaranteed fruit,
- full recognition of oneself AS the cause of one’s existence, one’s reality, one’s suffering or release from the same,
- and an embrace of one’s amazing causative responsibility in Existence itself. We are a source of energy, quality, creative spark and joy, or of imprisoning self-oriented frames of reference that box us and others into limitation.
“That’s impossible to live.” Not true. Many people have done so and continue to. This is empowering radical engagement of life. It is tantra.
Secret takes us to where our reality and perceptions collide, creating our applied set of knowns and values to all that is. Using the inner practice as foundation, one sets to confront and transform one’s emotions. Why? Because they are the net that we are caught in and that we cast onto others. Three root poisons lie veiled within our interactions. They are ignorance, attachment, and aversion. Ignorance has two aspects: not knowing something, and a lack of understanding about the non-reality of single self (me-ness). Attachment is every form of craving, greed, like, love, and so forth. Aversion spawns all hatred, envy, jealously, repulse, pettiness, criticism, and more. Meditating on all as mother reveals the womb-origin of how and why every interaction (including avoidance and denial) creates the reality each of us lives. Furthermore, this placental origin feeds all whats that we birth from our self-made reality.
Emotions are energy vibrations gestated in our personal womb-reality. They take on expressions that are masculine or feminine in quality. This father-mother energy within each emotion is found at the core of our interactions (engaged or avoided – avoidance is a set of actions). In tantra, it is taught that the emotions reduce to the qualities of red: feminine/passion and white: masculine/potency.
Through deep meditative processes, these are brought into union within one’s subtle systems. Doing so, the qualities are released from limiting personalization and are freed as Potency. This infers spiritual liberation. Also inferred is the super nova of Compassion with its Wisdom freed through the rarification of perceived reality.
Contemplation began with one’s mother. It proceeded to all moments as mother-birthing moments. Eventually, the meditation becomes alchemical, and changes our inner poisons to drops of awareness. We come to the livingness that the Mother of the Buddhas is within us. All beings, interactions, and Nows are Mother: the Mother of Enlightenment.
(a replayed post from December 2011)