On this mother’s day we are reminded that all human beings are born from the womb. I am thinking not just the ordinary, run-of the-mill womb however, but the cosmic womb, the womb of the creator, the buddha-womb.
The Buddha-Womb: A Fertile Space of Enlightenment
Take for instance the great god Vishnu, fast asleep on the primordial ocean. From Vishnu’s navel sprouts a long lotus-like stalk, the umbilical cord from which all creation is born (a good reminder that the practice of yoga nidra is fertile). In yoga, the virtual womb is all about potential. It is endlessly creative and always productive. We each have the buddha-womb – the tatagatha garbha – within us. It is made of clear and pure reflectivity, radiant, and full of bliss. In this light, we are all pregnant with the buddha-nature. Unlike the 40 week gestation in the fertile dark of the uterine interior, this pregnant space is not bound by time and not beholden to the process of cell division, gastrulation, and genetic coding. In a lifetime of yoga practice, the quest is to “come to full term.”
The buddha-womb sutra says that “inside the casting mold there is a perfect buddha; the ignorant see the filth of the mold but the awakened ones know the buddha is within.” This fertile, embryonic space of enlightenment lies unborn within us all. Our challenge is to give birth to this knowing, the mother of all things.