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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mothers and Zen Masters

Three friends of mine have lost their mothers in the past couple of months. I can't imagine a more earth shattering event, except losing a child.

I can't think of any relationship more intimate than a mother and child. We come out of our mother's body. The food she eats, the things she listens to, and the hormones running through our veins have lasting effects on our health and longevity.

Sometimes I gaze at my mother, almost incredulous that at one point I lived in her abdomen. I can hardly imaging that I lived in her womb with no concept of tomorrow or yesterday. A time so long ago when I didn't know what food was, what pain was, what music was, and didn't need to worry about a thing. I grew limbs, fingers, and toes without an ounce of effort or yearning.

Wayne Dyer says that an infant in the womb is the epitome of a Zen master, who just exists and depends on G-d for everything. If everything goes right we come into the world and our mothers show us the best way they try and take over that role to the best of their ability. To provide for us without us worrying, to answer our cries, to show us how to strive for things in the world without being consumed by the process.

We incur collateral damage from our parents' foibles and shortcomings, and may spend a lifetime healing or trying to erase it. We pile on insecurities, doubt, jealousy, and desire as we make our way in the world, but no matter what we go through and what wounds we accumulate, we always hold a special place in our heart for the ones who knew us when we were Zen masters . . .

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