I found this teaching by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama on Lama Yeshe’s site.
After reading it, I knew I should share this wonderful teaching. Here is a snippet of what you will read:
‘You have come a long way to be here, from various countries, and often with much difficulty and trouble. There are the strikes, and there are many of you, and it is not easy to get here. And you have not come here with the intention of going to a festival, for entertainment, or to do a good business deal, or for any personal glory. You have come here to hear the Dharma, more precisely Mahayana Dharma, to receive a tantric initiation, more particularly that of anuttarayoga, and among these Kalachakra. To some completely samsaric people, this may seem strange and even comical. Never mind… Even if we have not come with a perfect motivation, this is already something very great, the goal is an excellent one.’
So remember when you read…’Even if we have not come with a perfect motivation, this is already something very great, the goal is an excellent one.’ 🙂 Namaste
As I have just finished reading a translation of ‘The Bodhicaryavatara’ by Santideva (Shantideva), I wondered, ‘how will I retain all this great wisdom?’ . For me, re-reading a book will give me more insight…for invariably I will have pass over some of this and some of that….but also…at times my mind is not ready to understand the full depth of a verse or a passage…and then the next time I read it …a light goes off…’Ah! Now I see better’.
From the back cover of this edition:
‘Written in India in the early eighth century AD, Santideva’s Bodhicaryavatara became one of the more popular accounts of the Buddhist spiritual path.’ One could ask ‘why this writing is so popular?’
Here my dear reader is an example: Perfection of Meditative Absorption, verse 135 – ‘If one does not let go of self one cannot let go of suffering, as one who does no let go of fire cannot let go of burning.’ With this single verse…if our mindstream is ready…we can make a direct connection between burning and suffering. but if you are me….it will take many more readings and many meditations to fully release.
So do I suggest this book to read? Yes. Make that a large caps Yes. 🙂 I had borrowed the book from our Monastery library…loved it so much bought my own copy from a used book store.
A last bit from the back cover: ‘Important as a manual of training among Mahayana Buddhists, especially in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the Bodhicaryavatara is still used by modern Buddhist teachers.’ I agree. This book is a manual and that is how I read it. It is not always pleasant to read …some verses are grisly…’meat from skeleton’ …yet it is meant to be an awakening…to how reality is…not how we perceive it.
Enjoy! ~ Debra Saturday
I am a simple Buddhist monk – no more, no less. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
People may look at you and feel that your way of life, your interest in dharma, makes no sense. Others may say that if you want to practice dharma, you ought to ordain. Ordaining or not ordaining isn’t the crucial point. It’s how you practice. ~ Ajahn Chah
A great rock is not disturbed by the wind; the mind of a wise man is not disturbed by either honor or abuse. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
Praise of Awakening Mind, verse 1 (24 seconds long)
I am testing a new type of post (for TBLC): an Audio post. This idea has been tumbling around in my mind for a few weeks.
‘The Bodhicaryavatara’ by Santideva (Shantideva) is a most wonderful jewel. I hope to write a review in the next few weeks, but for now….I can only hope my voice does some justice to this treasure.
Om Mani Padme Hum
What else needs to be said about a classic? This book literally changed my life. When I first read the book I was in a really bad spot in my life and need to “change my perspective” and sure enough this book taught me how.
The 10th chapter of the book is entitled “Shifting Perspective”. His Holiness explains his philosophy on perspective as such “The ability to look at events from different perspectives can be very helpful. Then, practicing this, one can use certain experiences, certain tragedies to develop a calmness of mind. One must realize that every phenomena, every event, has different aspects. Everything is of a relative nature.” He goes on to explain that allowing our perspective to be so narrow and self-center just furthers our problems and doesn’t allow us to see solutions.
The book, in my opinion, is required reading for anyone. It isn’t a Buddhist book, it’s a wonderful self discovery book written by a psychiatrist and a monk. The discussions are incredibly relevant to our busy, over-loaded society where issues of anxiety, depression, anger far outweigh those instances of true sublime happiness. We all need to learn this Art of Happiness. ~ Digging_the _Dharma