rousing Bodhicitta

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:32 am

I open my daily practice with the standard Bodhicitta and refuge prayer. Sometimes I feel like it's just a recitation and I am failing to rouse the right state of mind, wondering if anyone has any tricks or tips on "faking it until you make it" so to speak.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:30 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I open my daily practice with the standard Bodhicitta and refuge prayer. Sometimes I feel like it's just a recitation and I am failing to rouse the right state of mind, wondering if anyone has any tricks or tips on "faking it until you make it" so to speak.


This is only from my own experience:
I think some days a person means it more than on other days,
and that's fine. There's no need to fake it, just recite it.
maybe recite it slower, or pick a word out from it
and think about just that word.
Also, keep in mind that you are doing it for the sake of others.
Then, you can apologize to the whole universe before you start,
and say, "sorry, everybody, I'm just not feeling it today,
but I'm going to give it my best shot anyhow. hope it helps.
Tomorrow will be better."
This way, you can employ a little humility to the practice
and that often helps to jump-start the bodhicitta engine.
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Motova » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:39 am

After cruising through CNN and reading about horrible things done to people or people living under terrible circumstances I can't help but empathize for them. It really motivates me to practice for the sake of all sentient beings since I have such a wonderful life. It's hard not to feel obligated to do so. So my advice is to watch some suffering and empathize until you feel it. :shrug:

:namaste:

/Dylan
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Will » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:55 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I open my daily practice with the standard Bodhicitta and refuge prayer. Sometimes I feel like it's just a recitation and I am failing to rouse the right state of mind, wondering if anyone has any tricks or tips on "faking it until you make it" so to speak.


The 'standard' recitation is a seed that fell from the forest of Buddha's sutras. Do you study and recite them much? There is the source of inspiration that will moisten the dry, mechanical practice that often happens.

The Avatamsaka Sutra has many glorious sections on Bodhicitta. Recite aloud, slowly - whichever passages you like. For example, try this chapter 15 on the Ten Dwellings:

http://www.cttbusa.org/avatamsaka/avatamsaka15.asp

Chapter 17 is on the merit from bringing forth the resolve -- an incredible amount.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:36 am

I like the Lam Rim seven stage method.

First meditate on the equality on all beings, since they have all harmed and helped you so many times in the past and will again in the future, their current status of friend or enemy becomes unimportant. Logistically, friends and enemies still exist of course.

“It is not the notion of friend or enemy that you need to stop but the bias that comes from attachment and hostility, which are based on the reason that some people are your friends and others your enemies.”

- Lam Rim Chen Mo eng v02 pg. 37 tib pg. 300

Then consider that for every life, you needed a mother. Therefore, all beings have been your mother, not just a few times but a infinite number of times.

Now consider the kindness of your mothers, to paraphrase Garchen Rinpoche: "Your mother carried you in her belly. She created the two things you consider the most precious things in the universe for your sake and gave them to you as a gift: your body and your life." You may want to start with the kindness of your mother in this life and extend it to your previous mother and so forth.

You might object, saying: "She did not mean to benefit me". To paraphrase HHDL: "The sun, your food, your treasured belongings do not intend to benefit you either. Yet you are grateful for them and think fondly of them."

You might object, saying: "Those kindnesses were in past lives, so they don't matter." Phabongkha Rinpoche said:
“Your mere non-recognition of a being is no reason for it not to have been your mother; nor is that being no longer your mother just because she was your mother in the past. If that were the case, the mother of the earlier part of your life would not be your mother in later part of your life; nor would yesterday’s mother still be your mother, because that, too, was in the past. This is a subtle facet of impermanence and is difficult to realize if you have not done any study. Take this shawl, for example. A year ago when it was new, it wasn’t stained, and it had no holes. But its continuation, the shawl of today, smells and is moth-eaten. This is the distinction between the two. And so, you must think over the fact that there is no difference between mothers of part and future lives. Similarly, if someone had saved your life last year you would surely remember that kindness this year!

Here is the criterion that determines whether or not you have developed this understanding after repeated training: if you see a sentient being – even an ant – you will involuntarily remember that you were once that being’s child and completely dependent on it for all your needs.”

-Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand pg. 575

Abide in this feeling of love.

Generate the desire to repay your mothers.

Reflect on the sufferings of Samsara (found in the Medium Scope of the Lam Rim) and develop compassion for your mothers who suffer.

“Here are the criteria for having developed the great compassion in your mind-stream. You have developed it if, even while eating or drinking, you think about all sentient beings, and want them all to be free of suffering just like a mother worrying about her favorite child who has been struck down by a virulent disease.”

-Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand pg. 582-583

Then think, I shall attain full, complete, and perfect Enlightenment, and by myself if necessary, place all mother sentient beings in that same state and thus permanently place them beyond all suffering.

“When you experience the conscious desire to achieve Buddhahood for the sake of sentient beings, you have developed a bodhicitta that resembles the outer layer of a piece of sugar cane. But if, in addition, you experience an involuntary desire to achieve full enlightenment for the sake of any sentient being you see, you have developed true bodhicitta in your mind-stream. You have entered the Mahayana path of accumulation and begun the three great aeons of amassing [the two collections]. You will acquire infinite qualities and gain the names ‘Child of the Victorious Ones’ and ‘Bodhisattva’. When you practice after achieving this insight, you are sure to be enlightened quickly even if you do not resort to the tantric path.’”
-Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand pg. 586-587

Of course, we should practice each stage by itself for months (or however long it takes) so that 1. we have Bodhicitta all the time and 2. it is powerful and not faked Bodhicitta.

Love is the only cause of happiness.
-Garchen Rinpoche
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby muni » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:31 am

Without Bodhichitta all dharma is taking pictures without filmroll or memory card. Samsara fades by Bodhichitta.

We can collect all the pains, difficulties, adversities and see how this brought so many suffering by the boundaries of me-mine-my. Same suffering is in others, many are even harder suffering then we can imagine.

We all breath the same air. In this same air we are together without boundaries. Our own open warm heart is the medicine for ourselves as much as for others.

We should put always others, always from the core of being before ourselves. Not just to be a good human, but for freedom of the changing of pleasure-pain; for ultimate freedom, freedom of all.

Avoid examples/contacts of selfcentered attitudes, so that compassion can heal the pain of me-others. Compassion will not die but grow through our own altruistic actions.

Boundless Bodhichitta.

May no suffering be.
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Jainarayan » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:44 pm

Fwiw I find that some days are harder than others to generate bodhicitta. Especially when you encounter people that put you to the test. I think that's the time we have to concentrate on it more. I think it's also part of being stuck in samsara and part of our human condition. Jmo.
Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby TaTa » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:26 pm

I use a visualization that represents boddichita. I dont know if its correct or not but it seems to work on those hard days.
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:37 pm

I don't think it is anything subject to the individual will. You can do anything to get it or cultivate it, other than make yourself available to it.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Ramon1920 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:55 am

You probably mean the bodhicitta concerning others benefit and not the bodhicitta realizing emptiness.
If so, then the problem is you don't recognize the precarious situation you are in.
The incomplete relative bodhicitta is actually symptomatic of your not doing refuge properly.

Here, refuge must be replete with the feeling of renunciation of samsara by recognizing the faults and precariousness, with the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha being recognized as your refuge in this situation.

When you've taken refuge properly with renunciation generated, relative bodhicitta is as simple as recognizing there are others like you in the same situation, but they are far greater in number and their suffering much more, collectively. Here, the needs of others considered, they obviously take priority over your own.

Next you would apply yourself in generating the wisdom realizing emptiness, because that's the route to end that heap of suffering. Emptiness is no easy subject to understand, harder still to generate I imagine.
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:01 am

Thanks all.

Yes I mean relative Bodhicitta I suppose, I don't know that one can "try" to generate absolute Bodhicitta can you?

Not sure about the refuge bit, I have been a Buddhist for a while, long before discovering Vajrayana, it feels to me like the feeling of renunciation is there fairly strongly, it has been a long time since I viewed Buddhism as just some kind of thing to make Samsara easier..perhaps I need to reexamine, but the refuge bit seems genuine. For instance, I used to open my sessions with just the Three Gacchamis, and Inasmuch as I accurately know my own mind, it feels authentic. I feel like maybe years of having a sort of Theraveda leaning about Dharma philosophically have given me a bit of a block. At any rate it's something i'll ponder...some really great responses here.

I did try out Padma's suggestions of taking a bit of the prayer and pondering it, and I don't know how "successful" it will be long term, but it was nice and added something to what previously felt a bit hurried and forced, so thanks for that.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:34 am

I realize my entry above was mis-stated, I meant to say 'can't do anything'....

:anjali:
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Jnana » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:36 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I open my daily practice with the standard Bodhicitta and refuge prayer. Sometimes I feel like it's just a recitation and I am failing to rouse the right state of mind, wondering if anyone has any tricks or tips on "faking it until you make it" so to speak.

You could ask yourself this question (or some version thereof) just before your recitation: If I could attain realization and turn the wheel of dharma in order to relieve sentient beings' suffering, would I hesitate for even a moment to do so?

That's usually enough to open my tiny Grinch heart a little bit in the morning and make the recitations meaningful.
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby muni » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:46 am

Jainarayan wrote:Fwiw I find that some days are harder than others to generate bodhicitta. Especially when you encounter people that put you to the test.



yes it is!

Even thousand testers cannot harm practice, the one coming after these does. This is by our own karma. Of course we can lose patience and shoot them and become exhausted ( I am good in this) or practice this eventually: http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema/tonglen1.php

Relative Bodhichitta and Absolute Bodhichitta has no distinctions other then practice but there is a bit an invisible constructed glass wall in between the constructing me and so others. By Absolute probably that invisible glass wall doesn't fade, since it has never been.
Okay :pig: Easy to say of course. I heard about some practicioners who could realize compassion-emptiness only by genuinly practicing so called Relative Bodhichitta. All dependent on mind.

Taking refuge and guidance by one who realized Bodhichitta, a truly spiritual friend Is not an unnecessary luxury.

:anjali:
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:46 am

There are lots of good posts here.
What I've found is that contrivance leaves a bad taste. The opposite of contrivance is open freedom. So I wish that through my practice of the 'open freedom' of buddhadharma that I may bring about an eperience of 'open freedom' in all beings. I continue the prayer saying that I don't want to trap people with my ideas or turn freedom into my egoistic ground only. I conclude the prayer by saying that I hope others get to realise the full extent of 'open freedom' before I do.
Then I praise the lineage masters who have opened the 'freedom box' for others without having any concern for themselves and who have sincerely given their all so that others might taste uncontrived freedom.
That's how I see bodhicitta but you may have a different view.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Stewart » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:18 am

Andrew108 wrote:There are lots of good posts here.
What I've found is that contrivance leaves a bad taste. The opposite of contrivance is open freedom. So I wish that through my practice of the 'open freedom' of buddhadharma that I may bring about an eperience of 'open freedom' in all beings. I continue the prayer saying that I don't want to trap people with my ideas or turn freedom into my egoistic ground only. I conclude the prayer by saying that I hope others get to realise the full extent of 'open freedom' before I do.
Then I praise the lineage masters who have opened the 'freedom box' for others without having any concern for themselves and who have sincerely given their all so that others might taste uncontrived freedom.
That's how I see bodhicitta but you may have a different view.


Hi Andrew,

Are 'Open Freedom' and 'Freedom Box' copyrighted? If not, these guys can help http://www.trademarkia.com/

I can honestly see it now:

"Open Freedom ©™, with non-teacher, teacher, Andrew (insert surname): Learn how to unlock your full potential....(dramatic pause)....learn how to unlock your 'Freedom Box ©™'

Quick, before Candice O'denver beats you to it!

Good luck,
s.
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:27 pm

Stewart wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:There are lots of good posts here.
What I've found is that contrivance leaves a bad taste. The opposite of contrivance is open freedom. So I wish that through my practice of the 'open freedom' of buddhadharma that I may bring about an eperience of 'open freedom' in all beings. I continue the prayer saying that I don't want to trap people with my ideas or turn freedom into my egoistic ground only. I conclude the prayer by saying that I hope others get to realise the full extent of 'open freedom' before I do.
Then I praise the lineage masters who have opened the 'freedom box' for others without having any concern for themselves and who have sincerely given their all so that others might taste uncontrived freedom.
That's how I see bodhicitta but you may have a different view.


Hi Andrew,

Are 'Open Freedom' and 'Freedom Box' copyrighted? If not, these guys can help http://www.trademarkia.com/

I can honestly see it now:

"Open Freedom ©™, with non-teacher, teacher, Andrew (insert surname): Learn how to unlock your full potential....(dramatic pause)....learn how to unlock your 'Freedom Box ©™'

Quick, before Candice O'denver beats you to it!

Good luck,

O.k Stewart. I think enough is enough. It would be best for both of us if I take a break from posting my thoughts on this or any dharma forum. I will never be a teacher. I don't want to ever be a teacher. I couldn't think of anything worse than 'me' being a teacher. I don't intend to teach anyone.
I'm not in a huff or upset. I just think this is not a healthy situation. It's a karmic situation of course so no doubt I brought this upon my self and you are quite rightly pointing out my error. So thank you. :namaste:
But yes I intend to take a break. Best wishes.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Stewart » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:53 pm

Dear Andrew,

I didn't ask you to take a break from posting, and I'm not the only one who has pointed out your 'teaching' tone here and elsewhere. Has everyone got it wrong?

Perhaps you should read over your posts, and see how they come across, especially when you are talking to people who have been practicing Dzogchen/Mahamudra for as long as, or longer than you.

We share some teachers...KTGR and ChNN, so I'd rather we could reach some middle ground. My last post was meant to be a light-hearted tease...you have to admit starting to make up your own terms does seem a bit...well....teacher-y :smile:

Best wishes (I mean that btw)

Stewart
s.
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby randomseb » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:42 pm

Stewart wrote:Dear Andrew,

I didn't ask you to take a break from posting, and I'm not the only one who has pointed out your 'teaching' tone here and elsewhere. Has everyone got it wrong?

Perhaps you should read over your posts, and see how they come across, especially when you are talking to people who have been practicing Dzogchen/Mahamudra for as long as, or longer than you.

Stewart


As a casual outsider of this, I don't see any difference between his tones about his practice and anyone elses tones about their own practices. I've seen some distinct arrogant "holier than thou" replies from some of the regulars from time to time, though!

This just goes to show how one's preconceived notions color one's perception of things, adding layers of interesting emotional responses on top of events :twothumbsup:

As for using westernized terminology to try to help someone understand a concept, this is good practice, compassionate. Clinging to specific ancient terminology in a dogmatic fashion is clinging, a source of suffering :shrug:

:focus:
Disclaimer: If I have posted about something, then I obviously have no idea what I am talking about!
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Re: rousing Bodhicitta

Postby Stewart » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:34 pm

I've seen some distinct arrogant "holier than thou" replies from some of the regulars from time to time, though!


Andrew has been pretty constant though...he feels he has experience and insight, I appreciate that, but how can we trust it's not just his delusion?

This just goes to show how one's preconceived notions color one's perception of things, adding layers of interesting emotional responses on top of events


Say what? Plain english please.

Clinging to specific ancient terminology in a dogmatic fashion is clinging, a source of suffering :shrug:


Thanks for that advice Yoda :smile: but Inventing new phrases, in english, isn't helpful either, is it? It's what I like to call 'Polishing the Turd of Concepts ©™' (sorry, couldn't resist)...still shit at the end of the day.
s.
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