I had the oddest dream lastnight. In my dream, I stood before an Enlightened Master, and I asked, “ What is the best way to serve my birth clients?”
I heard a voice above me say: “Hail to the jewel in the lotus!”
The Enlightened Master then said to me, “ Do what you always do, hold up a mirror and show them the Buddha within.”
I pondered this dream all day, and this is the wisdom I believe it imparts:
Your doula, your childbirth educator, your midwife, or your obstetrician, are merely fingers pointing at the moon. They can act as a lodestar, to point you in the right direction, even walk beside and accompany you on your journey, but it is you yourself, who must seek out, discover, and walk the path toward birth and motherhood.
The only way you can become prepared for birth and a smooth transition from single self, to mother self, is to begin by setting the intention to actively take part in your education and preparation. You must look deep within yourself, unearth and uncover what is already there, the strengths, truths, compassion, and love, which already reside deep within your heart and spirit. These tools of self- knowledge will be your greatest device to help carry you mindfully through to the realization of the gentle, peaceful, birth you dream of.
The Buddhist mantra Om Mani Padme Hum means “hail to the jewel in the lotus”. It speaks of the potential for Buddhahood in each one of us. It says that we all have the capacity to become enlightened, to reach a state of perfection, wisdom, and Buddhahood. Om Mani Padme Hum recognizes the jewel, the seed, that is already there, which only needs the nourishment of remembrance of our true nature, to be uncovered. The lotus too is a symbol of enlightment, of true wisdom. The lotus grows from the muddy bottom of the pond, where it must push and work its way through the mud and muck, through the water, until finally it breaks the surface of the pond, and blooms beautifully in the enlivening sunlight. We too must rise above the mud and muck of delusion and ignorance, attaining a heart of compassion, love, and wisdom, and so, blooming beautifully as the fully realized and enlightened lotus, becoming the embodiment of what we are all capable of being. Om Mani Padme Hum, hail to the jewel in the lotus, tells us that by walking a path of love, compassion, wisdom, and practice, or action, we will reach the attainment of an enlightened, awake, and aware state.
This is the reason for the entire journey, this is where the path is leading us all. We are being refined as a nugget of coal, which through great challenge and pressure, will emerge from the dark as a new creation, a shining jewel, a diamond. This is the alchemical fire of childbirth which leads us on to motherhood. These challenges, lessons, even pain, are all for our polishing and purifying. This enriching, beautifying, lustre of motherhood, with which we will be crowned at birth’s end, is a blessing that will bestow upon us new eyes of awakening, through which we will view the world once more, from the vantage point of our pure and perfect babe, and the one who loves, protects and bids him to emerge, unfold, learn, evolve, take wing and fly, his adoring mother.
The way to prepare for labor, birth and motherhood then, is to:
Set of an intention to be compassionate and kind to yourself, allowing grace and patience for the knowledge you do not yet have, making room for learning and growth.
Set love as your highest goal which will carry you boldly forth through the challenges of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood preparation.
Actively seek wisdom and education, practicing various self-supportive methods and strategies.
Remember this is a growth process, you cannot emerge from the mud all at once, rather it happens gradually, as you commit to continuing your walk along the path.
Treat your body well, as it is the vessel from which your precious baby emerges, and the very ground of his being.
Learn to be mindful of what you put into your consciousness, your thoughts, and the words you speak, determining that they will be those which will uplift, edify, and contribute positively to your babies growth and formation, and to your preparation for labor ahead.
Vanquish doubts, anxiety, and negatives with the remembrance that you have within you the seed of Buddhahood, of pure enlightenment and awareness, and refuse to allow any negatives to steal your peace. Return to peace, harmony, and tranquility anytime you need to, by coming home to the anchor of your breath in the present moment, where no past scenarios, or future whatifs can reach in to harm you. Spending time learning and cultivating mindfulness meditation will assist you to do this.
Listen to, and learn from the knowledge of those who will be your guides along this path to motherhood, knowing they cannot do it for you, but that you yourself must put their instruction and information into daily practice.
Trust always the light from within, (the strength, courage, feminine well of wisdom, life experience, connection to generations of women who birthed before you, compassion, and love) which will illuminate your way, as the radiance emanating from a glorious full moon, to see you safely and joyously to the wondrous moment, when with glad shouts of she/he is here, you will welcome your precious, sacred, new baby into your loving arms.
All hail the jewel in the lotus, and the miracle and splendor of the new mother, who is surely emerging….