Softening a Mother’s Head
By Song-gucn, Singqoore
I am a housewife with two children. Before I joined Bodhi Meditation I had a bad temper. I had tried various ways of calming myself, but nothing worked. One day, I picked up a Meditation & Health magazine at my sister’s home and read about an upcoming information session. Both my sister and I decided to attend.
Stubborn and Angry
The reason I joined Bodhi Meditation was because of my son. I was an irritable and stubborn mother. When it came to teaching my children, I insisted on doing things my way. This had become very tiring for me, my children and my husband. Our relationships were tense and strained.
I had tried parenting methods that aim to build stronger bonds between parents and children. I learned many methods on how to raise my children and make them happier. However, many of the methods were just words to me. I did not have the capacity to carry them out. When my children would come home from school, the first thing we would do is have dinner. My son could spend an hour finishing his meal. Then he would take a shower, playing under the running water for a long time. When it was time to do his homework, he would daydream. I would yell at him when he was eating, showering, and doing his homework. When he wouldn’t finish his homework to my satisfaction, my temper flared. The angrier I got, the more he would ignore me. One day, my heart broke the moment I left his room. I had never experienced such intense pain.
I mentioned these problems to my Bodhi instructor. The instructor told me to place some of Grandmaster JinBodhi’s New Year blessings in the house. Even though the New Year had passed, I put the blessed calligraphy in my son’s room. It worked like magic. Gradually, I could see improvement in his behavior. Six months later, he attended a Bodhi Meditation Retreat. I had a big surprise after he completed the retreat. He ate his dinner in 15 minutes without any coercion from me and he took short showers. He began to improve in every possible aspect.
Things changed for the better after the retreat. I did prostration with my son every morning. Before the retreat, he was so slow that he often did not finish an exam. After the retreat, he was able to complete all the questions on his mid-term exam and his grades improved. I remember the day he came home from school and said, ‘Mommy, I have homework. I’ll do it right after dinner.” At that moment, I realized that my son had become a responsible person.
In the past, I tried many ways to curb my temper, but was unsuccessful. The opportunity to join Bodhi Meditation changed me for the better. I am calmer, more flexible and do not lose my temper as often as I did. I feel like a different person.
I cried the first time I saw Grandmaster JinBodhi, perhaps because I was touched by his deep compassion. When Master guided us to chant for our parents and children, I could not control myself and the emotions kept surfacing and flowing from within. I promised myself that I would change from that day forward. I want my family and friends to be happy. Changes through Bodhi Meditation did not come overnight despite my diligent practice because my negative personality traits were so deep-rooted.
In the past, I seldom smiled because I felt that smiling was pretentious, particularly when you smile at those you dislike. In my wedding photographs there are very few shots of me smiling because I told the photographer I hate to smile. Some of my close friends told me I look arrogant in my wedding pictures. Today, smiling comes naturally.
As for my children, they are now happier too. They even praise me for my flexibility and understanding. Their words touch me because they are young. My son is only eight and yet he is able to observe the change in me.
I also received positive feedback from my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. They used to feel awkward when they visited my family because I would yell at my children in front of them. After I started practicing Bodhi Meditation they told me that I am even-tempered.
I sincerely hope that mothers who have similar issues can experience the benefit of Bodhi Meditation. Self-cultivation is actually very simple. It starts by how we interact with people in our daily life. Just incorporate compassion and gratitude into our daily life. I believe everyone can achieve this goal.