Since young, I felt that I had an unloving mother. I always wondered why my mother was unlike other mothers who support and nurture their children with love and care.
Singapore Bodhi Meditation Centre
Since young, I felt that I had an unloving mother. I always wondered why my mother was unlike other mothers who support and nurture their children with love and care. My mother often attacked me with negative and demeaning words like “You are good for nothing” and “You surely cannot make it” which led me feeling I am not good enough for her. My hatred towards her took root since then.
I remembered when I excitedly shared with her that I scored 92 marks for my secondary school mathematics examination, thinking that she would be pleased with my result. Instead, she looked at me coldly without a smile and asked what marks my other classmate got. When I told her she had 96 marks, she replied “Why can’t you get better marks than your friend?” I lived my teen years growing up under her constant criticism, judgments and devaluation. All these years, my attempts in “fighting back” always failed as my mother would make herself right always. My hatred towards her increased as the years went by. Subsequently I got married and have a lovely family but I still felt unhappy, lacking in self-worth and plagued with self-doubt that I could succeed in life and I blamed her for all these feelings I have.
By mid-life, I hit rock bottom emotionally and decided that I should do something about it. I started reading up self-help and spiritual books. I also attended healing workshops in recent years and tried very hard to change my attitude towards my mother. My mother passed away last year. Towards the end of her life, we did briefly spend some meaningful time together. However feelings of resentment over the years were not fully erased.
I came across the Meditation & Health magazine when I visited Vancouver in May this year. I was impressed and touched by the testimonials of people who shared about their recovery from health issues, emotional problems as well as spiritual breakthroughs by learning the meditation methodologies from Master JinBodhi. I was eager to go for a first-hand experience in Bodhi Meditation. I signed up for the 8.5-Day Health and Happiness Retreat in September immediately upon my return to Singapore.
In the retreat, Master JinBodhi taught us to respect and always be grateful to our mothers. They provide us with undying love and care the moment we are born. I recollected the times when my mother did make some efforts to be nice to me but I retaliated and antagonised her with assault of unkind words. When I first heard “The Medicine Buddha’s Heart Mantra”, I felt compassion flowing so deeply. As I chanted the mantra, the remnants of my deep-seated hatred for my mother melted into a sea of love and I cried uncontrollably. I realized the many moments that she showered care and love for me but I denied her in order to feel right in hating her. While chanting, I vaguely saw an image of my mother smiling genuinely at me and feeling proud of me, which she never did before!
In one of practice session of “The Meditation of Purity”, when I heard Master said “I am the Universe and the Universe is me”, a remote echo said “In Heaven and on Earth, I AM SUPREME” (This is a phrase in Master JinBodhi’s Golden Words). Suddenly, I felt an invisible force pulling up my spine, making me tall and powerful. I felt all the negative thoughts, self-doubt and unworthiness were diminished and I regained my self-worth and self-confidence. I came to realise that I felt small, because I allowed myself to feel small.
In the dharma talk “Happiness Starts with Gratitude”, Master taught us “We reap what we sow. When you give love, you get love. If you give compassion, you will receive care and love of others. If you hurt others, you’ll get hurt.” This is my greatest learning and realisation: when I hurt or hated my mother and others, I am actually hurting and hating myself. My self-loathing was the problem, not my mother.
I deeply regretted that we were in this game of confrontation and hurt for so many years and did not really love each other. I believe that deep down in her heart, my mother truly loved us. Now, I love her totally. I offered a lamp to Buddha in her name and wish for her to be liberated from all suffering. I am grateful to her for being the best mother and teacher in this lifetime. Finally, I am out of the karmic cage and I have set my mother free as well. My true spiritual journey has just begun!
I have benefited tremendously from this Health and Happiness Retreat and highly recommend it to anyone, especially the teens and young adults who are the building blocks of our society. Having suffered from my own emotional struggles since my teenage years and unable to find avenues to resolve them, I really feel for those who are facing challenges in managing human relationships. Please do not wait a whole lifetime, take your first step now and transform your life. Thank you Master JinBodhi for your guidance and inspiration!
Note: The intent of the testimonial is to offer wellness information of a general nature. Individual results of practice may vary.