Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Gift of Family

Traveling with family, on far away trip as we are doing this week, has been an opportunity to practice not just mindfulness, but also loving kindness. Making room for five very different temperaments, with sometimes conflicting desires, and  throughout nonstop togetherness . . . Using breath,  mindfulness, on the spot insight, and will to love, to further one's capacity to love, and harmony in family unit.
The love that one has for one's family can be used as a seedbed to experience the feeling of lovingness. Then one can cultivate it, make it grow, spread it further. Only then does family love have its proper significance. Otherwise it becomes a hotbed of emotions - as it so often is - like a boiling kettle with the lid on. The loving feeling in the family must be used to cultivate that rure feeling of loving-kindess in one's heart, which is not depenent on conditions, such as 'my husband, my wire, my daughter, my son, my uncle, my aunt, my mother, my father.' That is all 'my-making, and mine-making.' Unless we can transcend that and grow into unconditioned love, the family love has not been used for its full purpose. It has been used for ego support and survival instead. Since survival is a lost cause, it doesn't need our effort - from 'Being Nobody, Going Nowhere', by Ayya Khema.
Off to family breakfast at the hotel . . . :)


  1. Thanks for this wonderful reminder about family love. Wonderful reminder to spread that love outward into the world. How easily we forget that.

  2. Thank you. Yes, marriage and family both offers so many opportunities to practice, just like the solitude of sitting . . .