When I was young, some parents would prepare birthday cakes as treat to the whole class to celebrate their child’s birthday; some brought candies, cookies, snacks as gifts to the whole class on special occasions such as sports day or school celebrations. Back then, I always hoped that my parents would do the same. After disappointment time after time, I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps Mother’s love to me wasn’t as much as the other parents’ to their children.
After I joined the monastery, I often heard Mother saying “I will visit the monastery to offer meals and food this week”, or “These socks are comfortable, I like to offer them to the monastery”
Yet I could never bring myself to share the same joy. Every time I heard Mom sharing her good deeds of offerings merrily, I would wonder to myself, “Have you ever prepared for your retired life?”
Aware of my concern, mom gently replied “Don’t you worry! We are just doing fine. It’s just that whenever I think of impermanence and the fact that I might not be in this world tomorrow, I’d rather make offerings to the monastery when we still have money. In doing that, I gain real serenity and fulfillment. Besides, through constant offerings we want to accumulate merits for you and your brother’s smooth path of practicing at the monastery.”
Having heard Mom’s reasons of offering, I was touched and feeling ashamed at the same time; my concern of the happiness in present life, compared with mother’s faith in the merits accumulated from offerings to the Three Jewels, was really a shame. On the other hand, I was much touched by the love of a mother to her child, which will never change despite age, identity and location. Mom is willing to do whatever she can in exchange for our joyful and smooth path of achieving Buddhahood in infinite lives.
After reviewing the seemingly disappointing childhood memory, I genuinely want to rewrite the account book of memory: Mother’s love for me was never less than any other parents’. She gave me a greater amount of ultimate and true happiness!!