Washing My Mother's Hair

Photo by Jeannie O'Connor We have been wandering since beginningless time in these samsaric worlds in which every being, without exception, has had relations of affection, enmity and indifference with every other being. Everyone has been everyone else's father and mother. Patrul Rinpoche, (1808–1887), homeless wanderer Naked, standing by the tub, my almost ninety-three-year-old mother calls to me from the bathroom. “I’ll turn on the water,” she says, “Please help me take a birthday bath.” From my mother’s study, through the open doorway, I see her on the bathmat with her three-pronged cane. Last night I flew in to New York from California for the birthda

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