“Understand that everyone has been one’s mother.”
Instructed by this amazing phrase, at first we meditate on reincarnation, and that each lifetime has required a birth, a woman, a mother. Up until modernization and its toll on well-being (increased stress), mother has been the emblem of dutiful, patient, and loving presence. Meditating on everyone having been our mother, we open to an appreciation of all that has birthed “one” into being here now, able to walk, work, create, procreate, enjoy one’s senses, and enjoy one’s life. We think, “Because I was born, I have this life. Because I have or had a mother, I could be born.”
The person practicing a faith or philosophy that acknowledges rebirth with its golden opportunity for self-betterment and spiritual growth realizes that the gift given by one’s mother was at no small sacrifice. It was substantial and gave one the opportunity to develop compassion toward other living beings. Equally, this opportunity afforded the same to mother through pregnancy and birth.
Yet this contemplation is only the beginning. In tantra, three levels of realization are encoded within any teaching: the outer, inner, and secret levels. The words themselves are also veils – more on that at another time. Level is not necessarily vertical. Outer does not only mean the surface of something. Secret is often more blatant that the sun. As a result, a contemplation on everyone having been one’s mother begins with appreciation for the obvious, a deeply considered recognition of truly what this person offered through her very flesh, blood, and bone. With that we surrender to gratitude and indebtedness and cross the threshold into tantra.
Each moment exists as an interaction between self and other. There is no moment that is not this. Other is anyone and anything alive on any scale of aliveness; and interaction encompasses every aspect of human action/non-action (body), communication of every kind (speech), and all internal thought/mind/awareness processes (mind). The scale of such considerations contorts the rational mind. Personal defenses go up right away. “Every person, all the time? That’s impossible, I’m human!” Yeah, that’s our excuse. Yet to become omniscient begins somewhere. To become compassionate starts with understanding that there is cause and result. Buddhahood (profound awakeness) grows from the seeds of these recognitions and cultivated habits of Being.
Now each person is looked upon as the mother-source of potential realization, a birth point of pregnant interaction creating karmic fortunate results. In other words, how and what we do with our moment is paramount to the next. That which follows is predicated upon that which came before, like a child requires a mother in order to be born. As the Tao te Ching says, “Choices and deeds follow one like the cart follows the ox.” With these thoughts we are encouraged to look deeper into any moment, to inquire with heart-mind split-second wondering as to what is here right now? Who is here right now? And what is the guaranteed future karmic interaction that I am nurturing as I live, breathe, act, or communicate right now?
At first we are stopped by the literality and smallness of our creative imagination regarding each moment as one of potential kindness, goodness, patience, generosity, and loving wisdom. “Every moment? Every person? All the time?” Yes, that’s the understanding. But I wouldn’t be the first to say that though the teaching is simple it isn’t necessarily easy. And why not? Because of the power of insight that is cultivated by living this way. Consider the results: profound awareness of cause and result, of seed and guaranteed fruit, the full recognition of oneself AS the cause of one’s existence, one’s reality, one’s suffering or release from the same, and one’s amazing causative responsibility in Existence itself. We are a spring-source of energy, quality, creative spark and joy, or of imprisoning self-oriented frames that box us and others into limitation.
“Whoa,” you say. “That’s impossible to live.” Not true. Many people have done so and continue to, and regardless of the label they would give to their radical engagement of life, it certainly fits the definition of tantra.
Secret takes us a step further into the psyche: where our reality and perceptions collide creating a universally applied set of knowns and values to all that is. Using the inner practice as foundation, one sets to confront and transform the very emotions that are the see-through netting of human existence. Three root poisons lie veiled within our interactions with moment and other. They are ignorance, attachment, and aversion. Ignorance has two aspects: not knowing something, and a lack of understanding about the non-reality of single self (me-ness). Attachment is every form of craving, greed, like, love, and so forth. Aversion spawns all hatred, envy, jealously, repulse, pettiness, criticism, and more. Meditating on all as mother reveals the placental womb-origin of how and why every interaction (including avoidance and denial) creates all whats that will follow.
Emotions reduce to energy vibrations that have gestated in our personal womb-reality and there grew to include expressions that have more masculine or feminine quality. This father-mother energy quality within each emotion is found at the core of our interactions (engaged or avoided – avoidance is a set of actions). It is said that the emotions reduce to the qualities of red: feminine/passion and white: masculine/potency.
Through deep meditative processes, these are brought into union within one’s inner subtle systems, and the qualities are released from limiting personalization and freed as pure Empty Potency. And since, reference to the subtle systems is in fact reference to one’s inner psyche, then spiritual liberation is inferred. Also inferred is the attending super nova of Compassion with its Wisdom of the Emptiness of Perception and the rarification of personally perceived reality. Distill the emotions to their exquisite elixir taste (sublime passion restored to Bliss), bring that to one’s center, and the center of our universe explodes into awakeness. Thus the Mother of the Buddhas is within any moment. And all beings, interactions, and Nows are Mother: the Mother of Enlightenment.