My mother, Kelsang Yudron, is from a respected family in the region of Lhodrak in southern Tibet. Her home, which is known as Yoollha, the name of the god of the region, was established by the genetic lineage of a great yogi, Nyang Nyima Odser. My mother has been practicing the spiritual path of meditation ever since the age of fourteen, initially under the guidance of her grandmother, and more recently under many holy yogis, realized beings and even from her own father, who was a great master himself. Owing to her practices and realisations, she has been leading her life very happily and lovingly despite her difficult time in leaving behind her home, parents and all the members of her family in Tibet when she was 20 years old.
Like all other Tibetan refugees, she had a very difficult time in going through all the cruel trials of parents and families being tortured and starved to death. Recently she went back to see her surviving family in her home village after 40 years of separation. She had planned to stay there for a month at the very least but came back after a week and said that it was too sad to stay there for even one day longer. She only stayed in the village for three days, finding literally no one there whom she knew, though everybody welcomed her warmly.
Looking back at the great attachment that our family had towards their home, properties, and status in those old days, it was a great teaching to see the ruins of our home that “one almost could not recognize as being our home,” she said. “When I had first left my home, no one felt encouraged to leave due to their great attachment to what they had. Only one sheep that was my constant traveling companion to the remote areas of my spiritual retreats, and who used to carry my bag, accompanied me, for I was afraid to leave him behind to be captured and eaten. He would die years later in my lap in the country of Bhutan.”
My mother has had ill health ever since I was born. That bothers me quite a lot but she always tries to make my family, and myself including all others around us, happy and free of worries by hiding most of her physical discomfort. She can manage to do this due to her stability of mind. Not like many of us, she does not complain about any discomfort unless it is unbearable. I have never seen her in either ups or downs of her emotion level of mind in my life. She has been always happy and smiling, except on one occasion in some villages up in the Himalayas a few years ago, where we stayed in a hotel. She saw a man cutting off the heads of chickens and she came to me, crying and saying, “How could a human being be that cruel to another being? How can we help this world to live harmoniously if people keep on bullying each other just because the other has less power than they have, and do not know how to love the other equally and genuinely?” I had nothing much to say or any way to help her emotions at that moment, except just to sit there and hold my breath. I guess I was a bit nervous to see her crying and being emotional for the first time in my life and it was also the last time until today.
Mostly, whenever she comes across a difficult condition within herself, she genuinely thinks that it might be a dream that she is going through. And it does not bother her as much as it would do otherwise. About twelve years ago, we had a minor car accident together with my mother and none of us were really worried that much, except about the inconvenience that we had to go through such as paperwork, etc. Two days later, my mother said that she thought it was merely a dream and she was a bit surprised to learn that the car was actually sitting in the garage to be repaired. This was not the only such experience, but I do not think I can write all of them here. think I can write all of them here.
She always takes care of others’ problems, such as not being well fed, well equipped, etc., especially those who are in very poor conditions. Pets, flowers, trees and small kids are her favorite companions. However, as I said earlier, she does not complain at all if the circumstances do not allow her to be with them. However, they all love her spontaneously, including the flowers and trees! Ninety-nine percent of plants that my mother works with will certainly grow. For instance, she could easily pluck a branch from a dying tree and replant it somewhere else to have it grow beautifully after some time.
I wish all of us had this authentic means of love and understanding to cope and work with in our life. We would all be having a very easy approach to all the things in our life, especially those unavoidable difficulties, so that our life and lives of others around us would be much easier than it is now.
Well, it needs to be practiced; that is all we can think of. This great experience of wisdom and helpful means of love can only, I think, be developed through the practice of our mind training.