PachaMamas

Holistic care for mums, mums to be, babies & children

The Dalai Lama, on Child Development March 11, 2010

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from Healing Emotions:  Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Mindfulness, Emotions, and Health
edited by Daniel Goleman, pp. 246-248

“The basic human condition, or human quality is human affection.  That’s the key thing,
right?  It is possible to develop, or promote, that human quality, because human nature, I
believe is basically compassionate.  Negative emotions are also part of the human mind.
However, the dominant force of the human mind is still compassion.

Tibetan spiritual Leader his holiness the Dalai Lama hugs children in the Saint Nikolaus church in the western German city of Bochum on May 16, 2008

Conception takes place when a male and female come together, due, I think, to genuine
love.  That means they respect each other, are concerned with each other, and share a
sense of responsibility.   (Not like the situation in which sexual intercourse takes place
because of other things.  These other cases are really mad love.  There is, I think, mad
desire for sexual pleasure, and these negative things develop).  But proper human
sexuality, according to a kind of natural law, I think includes some sense of responsibility.

In that way, human life begins.  Then during those few months in the mother’s
womb, the mother’s state of mind has a strong influence on the
development of the child.

Then, especially during the first few weeks after birth, according to scientists, the
mother’s physical touch is a most important factor for the healthy development of the
baby.  I always tell people that a mother is a true teacher of compassion and
human affection.

Art by Alex Grey

Therefore, I do not consider compassion as unique to religion.  It’s the basic human
nature that we all share.  Mother’s milk is, I think, a symbol of compassion.  Without
mother’s milk we cannot survive, so our first act as a baby together with our mother is
sucking milk from our mother, with a feeling of great closeness.  At that time, we may not
know how to express what love is, what compassion is, but there is a strong feeling of
closeness.  From the mother’s side also, if there is no strong feeling of closeness toward
the baby, her milk may not flow readily.  So, mother’s milk is, I think, a symbol of
compassion and human affection.”

 

 
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