necessary greed (haibun)

Mary Cassatt, Young Mother Nursing her child

I can see how a mother and her newborn would experience a genre of  greed …this need to possess…to be connected and not quite ready to share with the world. My mother told me I was like a tigress with my babies when they were newborns and she could relate so well as she was the same with my sister and me.

A psychologist explained to us in a class last year that an infant is born one year too soon. Gestation continues outside the womb but the connection mother/child is most important. The couple needs to cocoon together for longer than many industrialized cultures allow.

key connection
budding human nature
mother and infant
hoarding every moment
tenderness and bliss

© Tournesol ’14


Our host says: “This week we are going further with exploring the powerful ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’, mantra. This week it’s the fifth ‘sound’ , “me” … I will give the mantra here again:

Om purifies bliss and pride (realm of the gods); Ma purifies jealousy and need for entertainment (realm of the jealous gods); Ni purifies passion and desire (human realm); Pad purifies ignorance and prejudice (animal realm); Me purifies greed and possessiveness (realm of the hungry ghosts); Hum purifies aggression and hatred (hell realm).

As we look at the mantra’s fifth sound “Me” than we can see that it purifies greed and possessiveness (realm of the hungry ghosts) and this is what is said about this mantra by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:

“The mantra Om Mani Pädme Hum is easy to say yet quite powerful, because it contains the essence of the entire teaching. When you say the first syllable Om it is blessed to help you achieve perfection in the practice of generosity, Ma helps perfect the practice of pure ethics, and Ni helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and patience. Päd, the fourth syllable, helps to achieve perfection of perseverance, Me helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration, and the final sixth syllable Hum helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom. “So in this way recitation of the mantra helps achieve perfection in the six practices from generosity to wisdom. The path of these six perfections is the path walked by all the Buddhas of the three times. What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra and accomplish the six perfections?”
—Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones.

This fifth sound is connected with the fourth and together with that sound it refers to Wisdom. Om Mani Padme Hum is a very strong mantra and in it self the world of Buddhism … it offers us the basic rules of Buddhism, one of the pilars of haiku.

This sound is about purifying greed and possessiveness, but what is wrong with greed or possession? I am greedy in a positive way: “
Our host’s inspired haiku is here:

looking for more
hunting for gold and diamonds –
haiku community

© Chèvrefeuille

30 thoughts on “necessary greed (haibun)

    • Yes, I had never heard that until I took that course on Borderline Personality Disorder. But if you look at other cultures who carry their baby around even when they work whether it is the mother or a grandmother or grandfather…the infant is attached to a caring adult always. It must make such a difference in growing up. Maybe that’s why many North Americans are often in therapy…or feeling there is something missing from their childhood.


      • It is very possible. And think how much perspective it would put in what you’re doing with your time if you’re taking a child strapped to you all over the place.


      • Indeed…I was so fortunate to be born at home and my mom had me near her all the time she worked as a hairdresser…customers held me when she could not…always had someone to hold me.


  1. A great post — I remember my heartbreak at having to return to work — having to leave the kiddo with a sitter — really, America needs to find a way to allow parents and babies to stay together a bit longer before having to be separated. Seemed like there was never enough time to be with him — always wanted more — couldn’t have it.


  2. I have been missing the Friday WP prompts. So delighted to come across this; your piece and the wonderful explanation.

    While it is true that it is nice to have help and be able to sleep those first few weeks… I too only wanted and coveted the time I had with my newborns – I would often let them sleep for hours in my arms. Each time I hold my grandchildren I am reminded of how lucky I am to be their grama.

    Some cultures, well of the past anyway considered the first five years to be spent at least with the mother. But then the child (more often the son) was whisked away to start apprenticing –

    As for hugs… my grown children are in close to or in their 30’s and always receive a hug on meeting and leaving. Touch is so very important even if nothing is said. Or even if the wrong thing is often said… My own parents often argued, misspoke – lacked the ability to give praise. But I knew they wanted to and did care as best they could. And it is that memory that I grasp tightly, hang on and pass on to my own.

    Liked by 1 person

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