A mother and daughter offer khatas to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Penang, Malaysia, April 2016. Photo by Bill Kane.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche often talks about mother sentient beings—but what does he say about actual mothers?

Rinpoche wrote to a student in 2014 about how to think about her mother, saying, “The way to think is that you received all the past happiness from beginningless time from your mother, and on top of that all your present happiness, and on top of that all the future happiness. Not only this life’s happiness, but ultimate happiness, liberation from samsara—the total cessation of all the obscurations and the completion of all the realizations—full enlightenment.”

He added, “Your mother is most kind, most dear, most precious, your wish-fulfilling one, therefore from your side offer her every single benefit that you can, because she is the most important one!”

Lama Zopa Rinpoche blesses a mother and baby, Land of Medicine Buddha, USA, October, 2015. Photo by Bob Cayton.

Continuing, Rinpoche said, “Your mother is cherished most by numberless bodhisattvas, not just by one bodhisattva, but by numberless bodhisattvas … For the numberless bodhisattvas, your mother is more precious than the whole sky filled with wish-granting jewels—not only filled with dollars and diamonds but with wish-granting jewels … Now the buddhas, Shakyamuni Buddha and all the buddhas cherish your mother most, more than Buddha himself … Numberless bodhisattvas cherish her most, they work for her.”

Rinpoche concluded, “Therefore you can see how important it is for you, due to your connection with your mother this time, every single benefit that you can offer her—this is the best offering to numberless bodhisattvas and numberless buddhas. You can see that even offering a small benefit to her is the best offering!”

A child receives a blessing during the Maitreya Relic Tour, Mullumbimby, Australia, 2012. Photo by Andy Melnic.

Read the full teaching here:

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service.