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Lions Roar : September 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2007 73 You can understand all of Buddhism, but you cannot go beyond your abilities and your intelligence unless you have robai-shin, grandmother mind, the mind of great compassion. —EIHEI DOGEN MY SON NOAH told me he wasn’t going to have children when he was about four and I was a har- ried single mother. It was time for me to take him to nursery school and he refused to wear anything but his fringed cowboy shirt, which was in the washing machine, clean but wet. I exploded in irritation and he announced, “I’m never going to have kids. It’s too much trouble!” I was chastened. “It’s worth it, sweetie,” I said. “It’s definitely worth it!” As he grew up, I watched him cuddle pets and babies, but well into adulthood he held to his plan of not having children, and I began to think I might never become a grandmother. A person can take certain actions to make it more likely that she’ll become a parent, but there’s not much she can do to produce grandchildren. So even when Noah got married, I Grandmother Mind Parents must attend to the nuts and bolts of their children’s care. But grandmothers, says Susan Moon, can pay attention to the continuity of everything in the background—water, air, stories, and love. PAINTINGBYLAURAMARSHALL SEPT 72-99.indd 73 SEPT 72-99.indd 73 6/25/07 5:12:16 PM 6/25/07 5:12:16 PM