Bodhichitta

 

This past Saturday I attended a teaching at the Rigpa House in Delhi. We watched a video of Sogyal Rinpoche’s teachings on Bodhichitta and dear Antonella helped break things down for us. What follows are my notes…

 

“Precious, sublime bodhichitta:

May it arise in those in whom it has not arisen,

May it never fail where it has arisen

May it go on increasing, further and further!”

 

First, “Precious, sublime bodhichitta” is the intention of wanting all sentient beings to attain the perfect level of Buddhahood.

 

The way for it to “arise in those in whom it has not arisen” is the training of the mind by means of the four immeasurables.

 

The way for it to “never fail,” and “go on increasing further and further” is to arouse the supreme bodhichitta, and to train in its precepts of aspiration and action.

 

The Four Immeasureables

 

Love: to wish that sentient beings possess both the causes and the results of happiness.

 

Compassion: to wish that sentient beings be free from the causes and effects of suffering.

 

Joy: to wish that sentient beings never be apart from happiness.

 

Equanimity: to wish that sentient beings be free from attachment and aversion.

 

Arousing Bodhichitta

 

Buddha Maitreya in the Abhisamayalankara

 

“Arousing the bodhichitta is: Fore the sake of others, Longing to attain complete enlightenment.”

 

         The first aspect, or purpose, is focused on sentient beings with compassion, thinking how all sentient beings can be parted from both the causes and results of suffering.

         The second aspect, or purpose, is focused on complete enlightenment through wisdom, thinking how all sentient beings can attain the precious level of complete buddhahood, which is free from both causes and results of suffering.

 

Relative and Absolute Bodhichitta

 

Divided into relative and absolute, Bodhichitta is of two kinds.

 

Relative bodhichitta has two aspects: aspiration and action:

 

         to pledge ourselves first to the goal is the bodhichitta in aspiration.

         then, wishing to accomplish the six paramitas, which are the cause and means of attaining our goal, is to pledge ourselves to the cause, and this is the bodhichitta in action.

 

Absolute bodhichitta is realized through meditation.

 

Training in the Bodhichitta of Aspiration and Action

 

  1. Aspiration

         Considering others as the same as ourselves

         Exchanging ourselves and others

         Considering others as more important than ourselves

 

  1. Action

         Generosity: to cultivate the attitude of generosity

         Discipline: refraining from harm

         Patience: the ability not to be perturbed by anything

         Diligence: to find joy in what is virtuous, positive and wholesome

         Concentration: not to be distracted

         Wisdom: the perfect discrimination of phenomenon, all knowable things

   

Embracing bodhichitta enables us to make ourselves much larger than what we are…frog in the well vs. ocean story…Our ego makes our perception limited. “I am THIS”

 

Really practicing enables us to investigate how opinionated and unkind we really are.

 

Bodhi is the essence of enlightenment. The Buddha realized bodhi

 

Chitta is the hear or mind

 

Bodhichitta is the heart or mind of enlightenment and compassion is the capacity we all have to empathize with another.

 

Love, affection, kindness, gentleness, warm heartedness and NOT pity but connection and respect

 

Our heart goes out, vibrates, empathizes and reasons. A good heart and head are a formidable combination.

 

We need to take compassion and love and infuse and guide them towards enlightenment and only wishes for sentient beings to be freed from suffering

 

Bodhichitta is the heart of enlightenment, essence of the Buddha’s teachings and sense of true altruism

 

Reference Chapt 12 of TBLD by SR

 

You only have darkness in the absence of light

 

For the sake of others you work towards enlightenment

 

There are two aspects and two purposes…1.) for the sake of others on compassion, sufferings and cause of suffering of sentient beings 2.) longing to attain complete enlightenment through wisdom

 

How to attain perfect Buddhahood until you attain enlightenment all happiness is temporary…for the sake of others…

 

Love and compassion are the ingredients of Bodhichitta. Compassion frees others from suffering, love is working for the happiness of others

 

Wisdom love is enlightenment, focus on sentient beings with compassion

 

Only ultimate, lasting happiness is enlightenment, realized shunyata

 

From all the four immeasurable’s: compassion, love, joy, equanimity antidote all negative emotions

 

In Tibetan any adjective can become a noun…logic of compassion

 

Meta Bhavana—compassion practice geographically, self, family others

 

Shanmata meditation…Spaciousness 50%, breath 25% awareness 25%

 

Bodhisattva courage, takes on suffering of all beings

 

Focus on complete happiness and enlightenment of all beings, have Buddha nature

 

Bodhicitta courage, forsake your own happiness for others

 

St. Francis of Assisi – Lord make me an instrument…

 

Bodhichitta aspiration the goal is all beings should attain enlightenment and action the cause is generosity, virtuous dedication to all beings

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