Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grandmother Mind

Let this mind be in you...

When my grandmother died, my nephew and I drove to Dallas together for her funeral.  We arrived early to the funeral site in the midst of Laurel Land in Oak Cliff.  Joe Scruggs album,  Deep in the Jungle was one of my favorites at the time, especially the song Grandma's and Grandpa's:

Yes, Grandparents, they sure named them right, 
Cause Grandparents are a grand delight!
And they always love you, if you’re good or bad,
Like you’re the best grandkid they ever had.
They are the parents of fathers and mothers,
But sometimes they might be others.
Like the nice old lady who lives down the street,
Who remembers your birthday and calls you sweet.
Or the nice old man, who’s a friend of your dad,
Who tells you stories from when he was a lad.
He gives you pennies and he tells you jokes.
He’s not related to you or your folks.
But you call them Grandpa and Grandma, too,
And that’s okay for you to do,
‘Cause kids need all the Grandparents they can get,
No one’s had too many yet!

This is my best view of grandparents. My aunt had already chosen the music to play as people arrived, so the funeral director couldn't play the song then.  We were allowed to play it beforehand, so we sat in the chapel and listened to this song and thought about Mary Eula Foster.

There is a Zen concept called grandmother mind : 

"But he had one weak point: he didn't yet have robai-shin ("grandmother-mind"), the mind of grandmotherly compassion, and so he could not truly follow the cosmic order.  Dogen, just a little while before his death, told him this:  'You understand all of Buddhism, but you cannot go beyond your abilities and your intelligence. You must have robai-shin, the mind of great compassion. This compassion must help all of humanity. You should not think only of yourself.'" 
". . .who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death--even death on a cross."

Grandmother mind? - Philippians 2

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