Tuesday, January 30, 2007


It's late and I'm awake finishing off sewing cushion covers for a rocking chair I plan to use for nursing. It will also be good to use it now for getting up, especially as it is newly covered. On my windows media player is a tape of one of the senior monks from Ian's tradition talking about mandala's. Although these figure predominantly in the Tibetan tradition I have little idea about them or how they are used, so I've been listening along.

From this, I get the gist that the 5 Buddha families are represented as points on the mandala, and that each of these has it's own representation as a "hindrance" ie greed, rejection etc. That the nature of each of the points is both hindrance and Buddha is wonderful. It means that each hindrance is to be considered a Bodhisattva.

In this light, it's is pertinent for me to realise that mum is my very own Bodhisattva, symbolising for me hatred, and ignorance. As I mentioned before there is a dark side within me that is almost glad to be able to use my own upbringing as an "excuse" for "failing" with my child. If these feelings are understood to be points on my own personal mandala, and often personified by the various people I meet on the way, how much more useful are they? I have been so grateful for this situation arising, as it's one I have always struggled with, and I have felt that I am really getting somewhere on the very superficial level of addressing my relationship with mum. On a more personal level, then what does this mean? In the same teaching, the monk talks about how women need to avoid hiding behind inadequacy and over adequacy - ie behind a traditional female role, or the more aggressive persona often adopted when we find ourselves battling in the workplace etc. I can see the link here between my fear (the inadequacy) and perfectionism (the over adequacy). So again, I am dealing with my two friends, but it is at a more subtle, certainly less physical level than the ME operated. Mind you today I have been fighting nausea, so maybe it is manifesting there too.

As the monk says, the guardians of the mandala points often have terrifying appearances, and it has been a bumpy ride recently. I am grateful however for the bumps and the scary faces, and for the continual power of Dharma to point me back to myself. I have written to mum with much love, I do feel it is a kindness to someone to say "its ok to let go" which in some ways was the essence of my letter to her. But, it is more important for me to take that kindness to heart and practice again just recognising and letting go of my 2 good friends, fear and perfectionism.

1 comment:

IsisDC said...

You always were much stronger than you realised.

You will really see it in true refection when you gaze into that baby's sweet face.

Peace and hugs, dear mother...