“All living beings have been your mother in a former life” say Buddhist teachings that encourage altruism toward others. On Mother’s Day, we practice learning to see all beings as our mother -or whoever cared for us when we were young, in order to shift toward a kinder way of being. The more we engage in this type of contemplation, using rebirth as a metaphor, the more we develop a sense of equanimity and can relate with compassion and empathy.
‘Bodhicitta’ is the aspiration to realize enlightenment for the benefit of others. “The jewel that is the seed of pure happiness in the world and the remedy for the suffering of the world.” Enlightening beings, called bodhisattvas, altruistic heroes of the mind, seek to generate the thought of awakening and then maintain the thought as they fare on the Buddha path. In Tibetan Buddhism, bodhicitta is said to have six causes: 1) Seeing All Sentient Beings As One’s Mothers, 2) Remembering Their Kindness, 3) Repaying Their Kindness, 4) Love, 5) Boundless Compassion and, 6) Altruistic Intention.