Comforting Words: Parenting 101b

Monday, May 23, 2005

Parenting 101b

Last week I wrote about Parenting 101a and your response has been tremendous. Thanks to all of you who sent me emails and shared your own story. Thanks also to those who were silent, this spoke volumes.

The most touching response I received was from my friend Sonya in Australia. In her email to me, she told me that she was in the process of writing an article for posting here at Comforting Words and suggested that it be titled Parenting 101b.

As you read this week’s post, you will note that I did not do as Sonya suggested. Instead, I named her article Ode to Mother, as after reading what my dear friend had written and as I reflected on our many conversations on the beaches in Jamaica, I knew this is what she was doing - naming her experience and paying tribute to her Mother.

Back in 2002, Sonya sent me a book with teachings from Zen Buddhism, and it is from it that both the Words from Scripture and Words from the Heart are drawn. These words may seem strange to some of you at first reading, however, I invite you to re-read them and meditate on them after you have read Sonya’s article.

I am also taking the liberty of dedicating both my words and Sonya’s to all daughters who are still naming their experiences with and paying tribute to their mothers - each in their own way.


From Gateway to Son (Ch’an) 163:

To be free from the karmic wheel, nothing could be better than seeking Buddha (enlightening); but before you seek Buddha, you should know that is just the mind. Do not search for the mind afar; it is not separated from this body.

Physical body is not true and is subject to birth-and-death’ but True Mind is like empty space which is neither finite nor destructive. Therefore, a sutra says,
While the hundred bones will be
Smashed and scattered,
Returning to the elements of fire and wind,
This-One-Thing is eternally self-gnostic,
Engulfs Heaven and Earth.


Ode to Mother


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