Mother’s day

posted May 13, 2012, 10:18 PM by ‎(ash)‎ ever mindful
Dear <refernce to mother-in-law>, <reference to mum>, <reference to sister> and <reference to wife>,

Today by convention we celebrate Mother’s day, a ritual practice that one day we must let go of. But today I hope that when we unite with a contemplative mind and thus make it an auspicious occasion.

For sometime I have felt an inclination, an awareness, a knowing. What is that feeling? That feeling is that repeatedly, for a long time have you all been my mother, mother-in-law, sister and wife. It is for this reason that this same letter is written to all of you on such a day. I know that what I write and say is often heard but not listened to. I know that family relationships are a source of conceit. I know that this is just the way it is. So I ask for the next few moments that you head the words not from a loved one, but from a noble one. For a long time have you and I both had dust in our eyes…

My gift to you all this year is a gift of Dhamma. The gift is a blanket, but it is not ordinary blanket. This blanket is a meditative blanket, a contemplative’s blanket. I want you to wear this blanket when you meditate, when you reflect and when you contemplate. When you wear this blanket I want you to draw on your strength. I want you to be mindful, alert and ardent whenever this blanket is wrapped around you. 

This blanket is your shelter. When you roam around in this world without this blanket covering you, I want you to feel naked. I want you to feel embarrassed. I want you to feel heedless. I want you to feel like you have left your ancestral territory and that you can be seamlessly led into states of deprivation. I want you to recall the similes that Buddha gave of the quail that left the ploughed field and got caught by the hawk, the monkey that left the tress in the forest and got caught in the tar ball and the cow that left the pasture. All these animals left their ancestral territory and were snared. So I ask that you stay in your shelter.

This blanket’s purpose is to cover that which is your refuge; ie. this one fathom body – nothing else. When this blanket wraps you I want you to discern what is within and what is without. This blanket serves as the delineation between the two. In without, there are sights, sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations. In without, there is gain and loss of wealth, there is promotion, demotion, praise, criticism, pleasure and pain. Do not as you have habitually done take refuge in without. There is no point to it, there is never enough and it never ends. So I ask that you only take refuge in that which is within.

This blanket is all round, for all season and for all conditions that you may weather. Aging, illness, separation and death are all around you. It is to the north, the south, the east and the west. It is above and below you and every direction in between. You are surrounded and your time is running out. The time has long gone for you to be intoxicated with youth, intoxicated with health and intoxicated with life. So I ask that you wear this blanket soon and often. I ask that you stop searching for Dhamma that is outside of this blanket and search only within. Dhamma books and Dhamma talks only offer concepts and only serve as inspiration. Know that the knowledge worth having cannot be memorised and cannot be studied, it only comes from a still, cool and centred mind.

This blanket has hidden treasures that cannot be given but only taken. These treasures are the five supra-mundane precepts. 1) Do not let other people’s thoughts, words or deeds kill off your goodness within; instead only attend to your own greed, aversion and delusion until without remainder. 2) Do not take other peoples good/bad points for social judgment; instead use others people’s actions/results for your greater discernment and heedfulness. 3) Do not lie to yourself about your Dhamma practice and the release you gain incrementally; instead be truthful, observant and adjust your mental, verbal and bodily fabrications accordingly. 4) Do not indulge in sensuality; instead renounce those things that you hold dear. 5) Do not let yourself be intoxicated with youth, health and life, instead develop a sense of samvega and pasada to fuel your efforts. So I ask you take these higher level treasures hidden within this blanket.

This blanket has only one resting place. When you are not wearing this blanket I urge you to keep it in one place and that place is as the top-most layer over your bed. This blanket must serve as a daily reminder. Each time in the morning that you wake up, this blanket should be the first thing that you see. Each time before you go to sleep, again this blanket is the last thing that you should see. This blanket is your constant reminder of Buddha’s words; “As days and nights fly by, what are you becoming?” Hence, each morning and night may you reflect on your actions of or for the day. So I ask that you may not rest content with a mind defiled. My you be determined to make your remaining waking moments more heedful.

We are heir to our action, born of our actions, RELATED through our actions, live dependent on our actions, have our actions as our arbitrator. For good or for evil for that we will fall heir! 

So please, please, please! Out of respect for the samsara that we have shared together as son/mother, brother/sister and husband/wife, I ask that you heed these words and accept this as the last gift that I may ever give you in any form of consciousness. May your actions be to use this blanket as a cacoon to dwell in seclusion, developing disenchantment, leading to dispassion, leading to cessation and resulting in letting go.

With Good will