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Seeing all sentient beings as having been our kind mothers

Seeing all sentient beings as having been our kind mothers

The text turns to training the mind on the stages of the path of advanced level practitioners. Part of a series of teachings on the Gomchen Lamrim by Gomchen Ngawang Drakpa. Visit Gomchen Lamrim Study Guide for a full list of contemplation points for the series.

  • The seven-point-cause-and-effect instruction for developing bodhicitta
  • Proving rebirth through reasoning
  • Since beginningless time we have been reborn countless times
  • Every being has been our mother many times
  • Reflecting on the kindness of our mother of this life
  • Generalizing the feeling to all beings who have been our mother
  • The wish to repay their kindness

Gomchen lamrim 62: Seeing all beings as having been our kind mothers (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Start by generating equanimity by investigating the categories of friend, enemy, and stranger that we looked at last week. Consider how these categories change all the time in this life and must have in previous lives. Get a feeling for how these categories aren’t out there, how we create them.
  2. Next, consider rebirth and how all beings have been our mother in a past life. Take some time to really investigate the process of rebirth, how we have had infinite past lives (many in which we had a mother), and how that every living being could have been our mother at some point in those countless lives.
  3. Then consider the kindness of our mother of this life (or other caregiver). As babies, we were unable to care for ourselves. Everything we know was taught to us by someone. Consider all our mothers gave us. Then think that every single living being has offered that same kindness in some lifetime.
  4. Allow the desire to reciprocate that kindness arise in your mind.
  5. How do each of these points make you feel? Do they create a sense of openness? How do you think meditating on these points leads to generating bodhicitta?
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.