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From: Rob Payne
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 12:39 AM
Subject: womb dharma

Hi fellow wayfarer!

I just read the Buddhas sutra on the womb and the period befor being born. I have discovered that I was an accidental pregnancy, my mother wished to abort me when she found out that she had gotten pregnant.My father was against abortion and consequently she gave birth to me.

Throughout my life I have experienced the profound influence this had had on me I was a drug addict for 15 years and now have hepatitis C. I worked with a buddhist teacher for 8 years, mainly Satipattana. I gave up all drugs 15 years ago. have always fought to survive.

Any ideas on how to heal the womb influence that has caused so much suffering in my life?

kind regards
from Rob in Ireland.

Piya's answer

Dear Rob,

What I say here you surely have already heard before since you have been 8 years with a Buddhist teacher. However, I hope you would read this as a kind of reflection and just let it sink in. Your problem has much less to do with past conditions (what your parents did or thought) or your past karma (what you thought you did), but more with your current perception of yourself.

Physically, your parents are your creators since they provided the biological opportunities for you to come into this world. But the real creator is your own mind. In the Rohitassa Sutta, the Buddha declares:

In this six-foot long body, I declare the world, the origin of the world, the end of the world, and the path to the end of the world. (Anguttara IV.45)

This means that "you are the world", and as such can be in control of yourself.

Before you can gain that control, you have to understand who is your real creator. This creator is what makes you see yourself the way you do (not your parents or anyone else). This creator is your own mind (Dhammapada verses 1-2).

If you had been born as a bug or even a larger animal, it would still be unfortunate. But you are a human being, and human birth is very rare indeed (Dh 182) and yet it is also a difficult life as a human (as any living being for that matter) (Dh 182).

Maybe your loss is painful, more so because you know not what you have lost nor why. I know of a self-taught scholar who spend all his life and money buying books and built up a huge wonderful library. He was a thinker and a scholar who wrote about the sufferings and who were really causing it. The people he pointed to did not like it, so through a devious legal scam they took away all his books that he had collected all life, trying to destroy his life's work.

But they could not destroy his spirit. You see, he had imbibed all the knowledge that even the books could not give. He carried that wisdom with him, and he continued to help others see the suffering in society and thereby be happy. Had he chosen to see himself as a victim, he would have just been another passing shadow on this earth.

If we feel we lack love and meaning in our own lives, it simply means we need to give love and meaning to the lives of others. A bell is not a bell till you ring it. Ring that bell, Rob, let the world hear it. Find out ways how you can help others. Do something useful and beneficial for others, and see the joy in their eyes and faces.

Whatever problem we have, you can be sure there are others who have worse ones. It is our choice to be a victim or a victor. It's just a thought moment.

Our sufferings are our best teacher: let not your pain rob you of that, Rob Payne!




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