"Relative Bodhichitta and the Paramita of Discipline
In contrast, hinayana practitioners are very keen on the path of individual salvation, not causing harm to others. They are reasonable and good-thinking and very polite people. But how can you be really polite and keep smiling twenty-four hours a day on the basis of individual salvation alone, without doing anything for others? You are doing everything for yourself all the time, even if you are being kind and nice and polite. That’s very hard to do.
At the mahayana level, the sense of affection and love has a lot of room—immense room, openness, and daring. There is no time to come out clean, particularly, as long as you generate affection.
The relationship between a mother and child is the foremost analogy used in developing relative bodhichitta practice. According to the medieval Indian and Tibetan traditions, the traditional way of cultivating relative bodhichitta is to choose your mother as the first example of someone you feel soft toward. Traditionally, you feel warm and kindly toward your mother.
In modern society, there might be a problem with that. However, you could go back to the medieval idea of the mother principle. You could appreciate her way of sacrificing her own comfort for you. You could remember how she used to wake up in the middle of the night if you cried, how she used to feed you and change your diapers, and all the rest of it. You could remember how you acted as the ruler in your little household, how your mother became your slave. Whenever you cried, she would jump up whether she liked it or not in order to see what was going on with you. Your mother actually did that.
And when you were older, she was very concerned about your security and your education and so forth. So in order to develop relative bodhichitta, relative wakeful gentleness, we use our mother as an example, as our guiding light, so to speak. We think about her and realize how much she sacrificed for us. Her kindness is the perfect example of making others more important than yourself.
Reflecting on your own mother is the preliminary to relative bodhichitta practice. You should regard that as your starting point. You might be a completely angry person and have a grudge against the entire universe. You might be a completely frustrated person. But you could still reflect back on your childhood and think of how nice your mother was to you. You could think of that in spite of your aggression and your resentment. You could remember that there was a time when somebody sacrificed her life for your life and brought you up to be the person you are now.
Chögyam Trungpa - Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness - Shambhala Publications"