Showing posts tagged Bodhichitta

Enhancing Cherishing Love

The best way to enhance the mind of love is to familiarize ourself with cherishing all living beings by putting our determination to cherish them into practice all the time. We find it easy to cherish those that are close to us, such as close family members and friends. We need to gradually learn to cherish all others just as much - strangers and even those we now consider our enemies. The more we can deepen and enhance our love, the stronger our compassion and bodhichitta will become and the quicker we will attain enlightenment.

Preliminary Practices: Sitting in the Correct Meditation Posture, Going for Refuge, and Generating Bodhichitta

Step #3 of the six preparatory practices include sitting correctly, going for refuge to the Three Jewels, and generating bodhichitta. We can sit either in a chair with our feet flat on the floor, or on a cushion with our legs crossed comfortably. The most important thing is that we keep a straight back and don’t slump forward or slouch back in our chair. This will help prevent from falling asleep during meditation, and give our lungs more room to breathe. If the mind is very busy, it’s OK to keep the eyes closed. If you are more prone to drowsiness, try to keep them slightly open, but looking down at the floor or something equally non-distracting. The hands can be placed in the lap in whatever position you find comfortable. In the Kadampa tradition, we place our right hand, palm facing up, inside our left hand with the palm also facing up, and the thumbs gently touching. Pictures and statues of Buddha Amitabha show him in the correct meditation posture, including the hands.

Once we are in the correct meditation posture, we can do a short breathing meditation to calm our mind, imagining that we breathe out dark smoke containing our distractions, and breathe in the white light of the Buddha’s blessings, purifying our mind. Then we go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha and imagine that the living Buddha Shakyamuni and all the other Buddhas are really in front of us. Then we generate bodhichitta motivation, the intention to attain enlightenment for the sake of all living beings. Going for refuge to the Three Jewels is the gateway through which we enter Buddhism in general, and generating bodhichitta motivation is the gateway through which we enter Mahayana Buddhism.

kmcnyc:

Bodhi’ means enlightenment and ‘chitta’ means mind. Bodhichitta is a mind that spontaneously wishes to attain enlightenment to benefit each and every living being directly.

kmcnyc:

Bodhi’ means enlightenment and ‘chitta’ means mind. Bodhichitta is a mind that spontaneously wishes to attain enlightenment to benefit each and every living being directly.

(Reblogged from kmcnyc)

Eight Steps to Happiness: Bodhisattva Langri Tanga

Langri Tanga is the author of “Eight Verses of Training the Mind.” Learning about this Buddhist master and his good qualities helps us to develop faith in his instructions and the determination to put them into practice.

Bodhisattva Langri Tanga was a disciple of Geshe Potowa, who was one of the principal disciples of the Indian Buddhist Master Atisha, the founder of Kadampa Buddhism in Tibet. Langri Tangpa was widely respected throughout Tibet and recognized as an emanation of Buddha Amitabha. He was a very humble person and lived in poverty with willing acceptance. One of his main practices was accepting defeat and offering the victory to others - happily accepting whatever difficulties and adverse conditions he encountered, and offering his happiness and good conditions to others.

Langri Tangpa always wore a stern expression, so much so that people gave him the nickname ‘Grim Face.’ He explained to his assistant that he never smiled because he couldn’t find anything in samsara to smile about because there was so much suffering he felt like crying. This was not because he was unhappy, but because he had so much compassion for others who were suffering and he understood that confusing worldly pleasure with real happiness binds us more strongly to samsara. His compassion and other spiritual realizations protected him from feeling depressed and actually caused him to feel great joy; he just didn’t show it. His stern manner challenged people to confront their actual samsaric situation and to enter into spiritual paths.

Langri Tangpa’s main practices were exchanging self with others, accepting defeat and offering the victory, and bodhichitta. He taught these practices to others and led many thousands of disciples to enlightenment.

Even if we are not able to help others directly
We should still try to develop a beneficial intention
If we develop this intention more and more strongly,
We will naturally find ways to help others
Nagarjuna from ‘Commentary to Bodhichitta’ (via purpleaggregates)
(Reblogged from purpleaggregates)
May I strive in my practice of sacred Dharma and increase my realizations,
May I always accomplish you and behold your sublime face;
May my understanding of emptiness and the precious bodhichitta
Increase and grow like a waxing moon.

from Liberation from Sorrow, Praises and requests to the Twenty-one Taras

The perfection of wisdom

Wisdom is a virtuous mind that functions mainly to dispel doubt and confusion by understanding its object thoroughly. Wisdom practiced with bodhichitta motivation is a perfection of wisdom. Wisdom distinguishes between what is virtuous and what is non-virtuous. Our wish to do what is virtuous comes from wisdom, and this wish gives rise to our applying effort to our practice. Greater wisdom brings stronger mental stabilization, and stronger mental stabilization brings greater wisdom. Four of the most important types of wisdom are:

1) profound wisdom - easily understands subtle topics such as subtle impermanence or emptiness

2) clear wisdom - discerns its object clearly and precisely

3) quick wisdom - quickly understands objects of contemplation without the need for further investigation

4) great wisdom - easily understands objects of contemplation without the need for explanation

The perfection of mental stabilization

Mental stabilization, or concentration, is a mind whose nature is to be single-pointedly placed on a virtuous object and whose function is to prevent distraction. Mental stabilization practiced with bodhichitta motivation is a perfection of mental stabilization. There are three types of concentration from the point of view of their function:

1) those that produce the bliss of mental and physical suppleness - this makes our body light and free from tension and eliminates mental disturbances.

2) those that help us realize renunciation, bodhichitta, and the correct view of emptiness

3) those that provide us with the means of benefiting others

Once we have generated bodhichitta and taken the Bodhisattva vows we enter into the actions of a Bodhisattva. Maintaining the Bodhisattva vows is the basis for training in a Bodhisattva’s actions, which consist of the practice of the six perfections, the path to enlightenment. If we wish to become enlightened but do not engage in these actions, we are like someone who wants to go to India but who does not actually make the journey.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Joyful Path of Good Fortune”

Maintaining bodhichitta by means of ritual

This has two parts:

1) Maintaining the aspiring mind by means of ritual - we take the precepts of aspiring bodhichitta in front of our Spiritual Guide/Guru, in front of a representation of Buddha, or by visualizing all the Buddhas in front of us. We recite the following prayers:

I and all sentient beings, until we achieve enlightenment, go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Through the virtues I collect by giving and other perfections, may I become a Buddha for the benefit of all. (x3)

From this time forth until I become a Buddha, I shall keep even at the cost of my life a mind wishing to attain complete enlightenment to free all living beings from the fears of samsara and solitary peace. (x3)

The 8 precepts that we receive and keep as our daily practice are:

   1) to remember the benefits of bodhichitta six times a day

   2) to generate bodhichitta six times a day

   3) not to abandon any living being

   4) to accumulate merit and wisdom

   5) not to cheat or deceive our Preceptors or Spiritual Guides

   6) not to criticize those who have entered the Mahayana

   7) not to cause others to regret their virtuous actions

   8) not to pretend to have good qualities or hide our faults without a special, pure intention

2) Maintaining the engaging mind by means of ritual - we do this by taking the actual Bodhisattva vows received from a qualified Spiritual Guide.