Mother's Day | iHanuman


Love, Service, Devotion, Yoga

Mother's Day

OK, everyday is mother's day, please don't get so affected by Hallmark's marketing and propaganda, and if you do cave in and buy something, try to make it a sustainable, conscious, earth-friendly purchase (hint: massage gift certificate! yoga workshop!).
A good friend of mine (and revered yoga master) recently suggested that we adjust our students like they were our mothers, (not friends, siblings, or lovers). This was to encourage a neutrality and gentleness to the hands-on adjustment, so it is never done without awareness.
It reminded me of Thich Nhat Hanh's "Mother Meditation", in which you begin meditating on your mother, cultivating deep gratitude and respect for the fact she grew us in her womb, sacrificed her body, time, energy, to serve us, night and day, for roughly 18 years. This is huge, despite any short-comings she might have had. It is recommended to look past any grievances, and keep drawing back to gratitude and respect. When this starts to feel natural, then you take on these two feelings towards all beings. So that eventually, we treat everyone as if they were our own mothers, whom we have immense gratitude and respect. It is such a beautiful concept. It is perhaps another way to access kindness and compassion towards someone whom those feelings don't come easy. This practice is recommended not as a one time, experimental meditation, but a daily meditation for an entire year. I guarantee it will change you, which is ultimately the purpose of any spiritual teaching. As a result, more kindness, compassion, patience, respect for all beings. All because this one woman made a sacrifice, conscious or unconscious, to bring us not just into the world, but to help us be safe, warm, needs met.
I think we are all each others' teachers, and in a sense, all each others' mothers. Shouldn't we be taking care of each other? Helping to keep each other safe, warm, needs met? As a step beyond mother's day, I encourage you to offer up something of yourself in the way of SEVA, self-less service. This could be some volunteer time at the local food bank/homeless shelter, some free yoga classes to the elderly, or maybe a monetary donation towards a good cause. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I think it takes a village to keep raising that child, through adulthood, through trials and tribulations, through success and abundance. Let's help raise the village!


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