Noble Living, Noble Caring, Noble Dying

Caring for Children, Part Two

In the second video in this series, Tsunma Jamyang continues her discussion of caring for children. Here, she encourages the care-giver to recall the four immeasurable attitudes:

  • Loving Kindness
  • Compassion
  • Equanimity
  • Sympathetic Joy

If you wish to learn more about these practices, we suggest our blog on Training in Kindness.

As a spiritual care provider, we can bring these four attitudes to mind as we work with the entire mandala, or circle around the child. We can begin by imagining ourselves as the child, and thereby open up to their experience more fully. We can keep this simple, and offer the child the simple comforts that he or she may need in a stressful and strange environment. Often if we can provide a favorite blanket, or stuffed animal, or familiar food that can soothe the child.

Also, by bringing attitudes of kindness and compassion to the family and friends, we may be able to sense which others may need help and support. Often this is the kindest duty we can perform for the child—we can help them by helping their own loved ones. Again, Tsunma-la reminds us always to use the lens of mindfulness in the care environment and to gently teach receptive family members how to apply that practice as well.

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Suggested Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991), vol. 1, pages 468–474.

Ngawang Zangpo, Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002.

Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, trans. Richard Barron (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 41–48.

Padmasambhava, Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973

Padmasambhava & Jamgön Kongtrul, The Light of Wisdom, trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang (Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1986-1999), pages 43-47 & Appendix 5.

Taranatha, The Life of Padmasambhava, Shang Shung Edizioni, 2005

Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambhala, 1996.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, translated by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays (Emeryville: Dharma Publishing, 1978, republished 2008).

Yeshe Tsogyal, Lotus Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.

‘The Life of Guru Padmasambhava’ in A Great Treasure of Blessings, The Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2004.