APPAMADA

Sunday during the dharma talk we did an exercise together, and I thought folks might like to try this on their own with a trusted partner. 

Exercise for Mother’s Day

In pairs, a speaker and a listener, and switching roles with each sentence completion:

  1. Three words that that describe my mother are…
  2. One thing I wish my mother could know (or could have known) about me is…
  3. What I would tell my three-year-old self about my mother is…
  4. What I would tell my teenaged self about my mother…
  5. What I wish I could have heard my mother say is… (Here we asked the person speaking to become mindful and nod when ready, and then the listener says exactly what the speaker had wanted to hear)
  6. Some ways my experience with my mother prepared me for Zen practice are…
  7. I now release my mother from any responsibility for…
  8. Now what I wish for all mothers is...

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Appamada is not just the occasional mindful thought or attentive state of mind, it’s actually a commitment to being attentive. It’s more than just a meditative state of mind, it’s more than just being mindful. It has to do with that primary ethical or moral orientation we have in life, with which we bring into being whatever activity we’re engaged in. Whether in formal meditation, in our interactions with other people, in our social concerns, or in our political choices, it’s the energetic cherishing of what we regard as good.

—Stephen Batchelor

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