practice is always based on view, meditation, and action. I want to
talk about Bodhicitta teachings within this context.
According to the Mahayana perspective,
the view is the understanding of the nature of reality through
suffering. Meditation is like our tonglen practice or the daily
spiritual practices we do, that are based on love and compassion. Then we have action. What is the significance of Bodhicitta practice in action? Bodhicitta
in action is going to bring up all of our limitations in an experiential way. From this direct experience, we
can acquire true actualization of Bodhicitta mind, not as a temporary spiritual experience, but one that takes
place deep in our hearts, one that we can feel in our bones.
are in a place where there is much suffering. Our compassion will not be lost when we have true realization in
our hearts. To do that, we have to go beyond our fear and hope, which
arises from resistance to reality.
To be a
living Bodhisattva in this lifetime, we need to defeat or conquer fear and hope. We should be encouraging
ourselves to go into that cosmic landfill and bring up all of our limitations to the surface. Then we will have
a chance to study them. We can study them and then go beyond them when we see their true nature. This is the
a beautiful prayer in the Bodhisattva's teachings. It says, “May I encounter all unwanted circumstances.” This
is a revolutionary prayer, because we usually pray to not have
misfortune. Christians are not the only ones who grovel in this way. Buddhists do too. When I was in the Jowo
Rinpoche temple in Lhasa, I overheard all kinds of prayers—for many yaks, success, and longevity.
this Bodhisattva prayer is a very different prayer, a reversal
prayer. We are asking God, or Buddha, or Avalokiteshvara to send us things we don’t want. Of course, we
don’t need any unwanted circumstances. All we have to do is face reality. Reality shatters our mind completely, pushes our buttons, and brings up all
the limitations of hope, fear, doubt, and laziness. Then we can go beyond them, because they are seen to be as
insubstantial as the clouds passing in the sky. Like when I tell the Acharya Asanga story: because he was
willing to sacrifice his ego, Asanga licked the maggots out of the dog’s wound and had a direct experience of
the Buddha Maitreya. By truly seeing someone’s suffering, in his case the dog that was suffering with a horrible
wound, and the maggots that were eating its flesh, he was able to completely experience love and