The Heart of the Matter
April 21, 2010
Buying a Book for My Mother


For many years I wanted to buy a book for my mother -- a book that would explain everything... what I hadn't or couldn't explain since I had been old enough to notice my mother wasn't all that happy and, Lord knows, I wanted my mother to be happy and if not "happy" per se, then at least aware of what it was that made me, her son, happy -- the "thing" that, for so many years, she thought was just a phase I was going through and, even worse, some kind of heartless rejection of her and her way of life.

Oy vey...

Yes, I wanted to buy my mother a book that would explain it all -- the whole "New Age thing," the whole "Guru thing," the whole "it's OK that I don't eat your veal parmagiana any more because I'm a vegetarian thing."

Somebody must have written it. Somebody must have noticed the market niche of "mothers over 60 who worry why their high performing sons have gone spiritual."

And so, I went looking for the book. Like some people look for God.

And though I never found it, I did find some reasonable facsimiles -- cleverly titled books displayed by the check out counter, conceived by marketing geniuses who somehow knew my need -- the need a son has to make his mother smile... the book that would keep his mother company during those long, cold nights when her husband was working late and her children were asleep and there was nothing good on TV... the ultimate self-help book that would remove her worries, her doubts, and her exponentially growing fears of thinking her son had gone off the deep end for "receiving Knowledge" from that young boy from India.

I wanted my mother to know how beautiful life was and how simple it could be to experience that beauty. I wanted her to know there was something timeless within her, something beyond the stress of aging and the clipping of coupons.

Maybe it was selfish of me, but I wanted to buy my mother a book that would deliver some proof that love was the name of the game... and that (bite your tongue and spit three times) the act of "receiving Knowledge" from Maharaji was as healthy as chicken soup.

Twelve years ago my mother died from a four-year bout with emphysema.

During my stay with my father after the funeral, I discovered the books I had given my mother for the past 35 years.

Most of them had never been opened. Like some strange mix of Stonehenge rubble, they lay in piles all around... on her night table, on her desk, stuffed behind cookbooks, in the garage. Some, when you opened them, still had that new book crackling sound.

I felt sad she didn't read them. Disappointed. And the kind of resignation teenagers feel when they realize their parents just don't get it.

Looking back, I realize now that no book would have been sufficient to have given my mother.

No. I wanted her to have the experience the books were describing, not the description of the experience. As my teacher, Maharaji, has mentioned many times, if you are thirsty, you need water to drink, not the description of water.

Ultimately, that's what Maharaji's offer is all about: helping people find the water -- the naturally occurring well of well-being inside us all.

It's something my dear, sweet, canasta playing mother would have definitely appreciated.


Photo by Weeping Willow

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at April 21, 2010 01:15 AM


Thank you, for remember me all of this.

Posted by: Luisa Machado [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 22, 2010 12:11 AM

yeah, the Mother and Father thing is difficult.i think it's because they were primarily the ones responsible for our programming. they made sure we weren't too honest with them, which might have gotten in the way of how their parents programmed them to 'be successful'? i think children were more or less a mostly unavoidable nuisance.

Posted by: sanfranciscojim1 [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 22, 2010 12:42 PM

p.s. almost the identical thing happened with my mother. among many other things, i sent her the audio tape version of Betty Eadies' SAVED BY THE LIGHT. my Mom couldn't seem to be able to figure out how to take off the scotch tape to open the package. it was never opened. the lesson is to detach yourself from that kind of emotion. it's toxic and a waste of time. with my Dad(still here), it's much easier, but with Mom, it seemed impossible. horribly painful.

Posted by: sanfranciscojim1 [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 22, 2010 12:48 PM

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