If, as stated, a buddha has the ability to relieve all beings of their suffering, why have the countless buddhas of the past not yet led everyone to enlightenment by now? The answer is as follows. Because buddhas have overcome all obstructions and limitations they possess all the wisdom, compassion and skilful means necessary for leading others to buddhahood. However, if sentient beings from their own side do not exert the necessary effort - if they do not bother to follow the path shown to them by the buddhas - they will remain stuck within cyclic existence.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold”


"Since you cannot tame the minds of others, begin by taming your own mind." -Atisha

(Reblogged from jessicorvus)
If we meditate deeply by considering the constant suffering to which we are subjected we can develop the wish to be liberated from all the unsatisfactory states that make up cyclic existence, or samsara. This wish to be free is called renunciation. If we reflect on the sufferings of those who are in the same situation as ourselves - and realize that all sentient beings are suffering throughout samsara - the wish will arise that they also be freed. This is the development of true compassion and leads to the generation of the bodhichitta wish.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold”
(Reblogged from blossomsofwisdom)
At present we are unable to bear our own suffering because we cherish ourselves so deeply. In addition we cannot bear to see the suffering of our parents, family and friends because we cherish them as well. However, when we see our enemies in pain we take delight in the knowledge that suffering has befallen them. Why? Because we do not cherish them at all. It is this prejudiced mind that we must tame and transform.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold”
Nowadays, with the world in turmoil, there is a particular need for westerners to cultivate bodhichitta. If we are to make it through these perilous times, true bodhisattvas must appear in the West as well as in the East.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold”
To stress the supreme value of bodhichitta, Shakyamuni Buddha has said that it is even more important to prostrate, or pay homage, to a bodhisattva - someone who has developed bodhichitta - than it is to prostrate to a buddha. He explained this by using the example of the waxing moon. If someone bows down before the new moon it is the same as bowing down to every phase of the moon between new and full. Why? Because by paying respect to a cause we are implicitly paying respect to each of its succeeding effects. Thus, if we prostrate to a bodhisattva we are implicitly paying homage to all the future states of his or her development, up to and including the attainment of buddhahood. For such reasons then, bodhichitta is very precious and anyone who develops this mind becomes worthy of veneration.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold”
It is important to remember that we do not need to be a monk or of aristocratic birth or possess a male body in order to develop bodhichitta. Although Shantideva uses the title ‘son of the buddhas,’ he is not using it restrictively. When a woman develops the mind of enlightenment she becomes known as a daughter or princess of the buddhas and likewise becomes an object to be venerated by all gods and humans.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold”
We know that when our mind is impure because we are feeling angry with our friend, we see him as bad; but when our mind is pure because we are feeling affectionate love for the same friend, we see him as good. Therefore, it is because of changing our own mind from pure to impure or from impure to pure that for us our friend changes from good to bad or from bad to good. This indicates that everything that is good, bad or neutral for us is a projection of our mind and has no existence outside our mind.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (via panatmansam)
(Reblogged from crimson-twinkie)
One of the advantages of humility is that it enables us to learn from everyone. A proud person cannot learn from other people because he feels he already knows better than they. On the other hand, a humble person who respects everyone and recognizes that they may even be emanations of Buddha has the openness of mind to learn from everyone and every situation.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”