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From the Guide - May 2012

Gasshō,

One of the monks texted me on the 18th of April, “Happy International No Self-Hate Day.” “Hmm… that’s fun,” I thought, and thought no more about it. But it kept coming up. Finally, I asked what is this “No Self-Hate Day” business about?

In these kinds of situations I often get looks that I project are leaning toward the sympathetic. “Ah, she might be getting a little forgetful.” Well, she is! But, happily, those birthdays have nothing to do with it.

Apparently, on my last birthday I received a gift from one of the monks of a commitment to hold ZERO tolerance for self-hate for the entire 24 hours of my birthday. I thought it was a marvelous gift and an invitation to participate—belated gifts welcomed—was included in a blog posted shortly thereafter.

The fact that I forgot all about it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great idea, a fabulous gift, and worth remembering. I just don’t tend to remember… much of anything.

So, here we are again, and I remain just as open to belated birthday gifts of commitments to 24 hours of no self-hate as I was last year. Maybe more so; an awful lot of people have spent the intervening year mired in self-hate inflicted suffering.

It occurs to me it might be helpful for us to choose a day we could practice together. I nominate Mother’s Day, May 13 (in the US). Everyone has—or had—a mother and while mothers can admittedly be difficult (I am one, so I know), we can, if necessary, take a larger view. There’s apparently a Buddhist saying (I always credit the Tibetans but don’t actually know) that “everything in the universe has been your mother.” By selecting Mother’s Day as our “No Self-Hate Day,” we can honor everything in the universe with a gift not just of no self-hate but of unconditional love and acceptance for all.

Remember, no judgment and no comparison. This is not a contest and your Mother really does not want you to suffer.

In gasshō,
Cheri