I have a question about the method of developing Bodhicitta by equalizing and exchanging oneself and others. I am wondering how love/compassion is developed in terms of this method? I can see how it is developed by the seven-fold cause and effect method by am not really sure about the other method.
sangyey wrote:I have a question about the method of developing Bodhicitta by equalizing and exchanging oneself and others. I am wondering how love/compassion is developed in terms of this method? I can see how it is developed by the seven-fold cause and effect method by am not really sure about the other method.
Hi Sangyey -
The brief answer is that the practice naturally develops compassion over time and also deepens insight into emptiness. It does both of these naturally as one continues practice.
The compassion part can be seen easily as one is breathing in the negativities or negative circumstances of others (taking) and giving all beings all our positive things (imagined or otherwise) (giving). So it is a visualization directly engendering compassion and directly involving generosity and fostering kindness.
The emptiness part is not so clear but basically over time circumstances do actually change for ourselves and others. Pema Chodron says that our attachment to imagined solidity dissolves. It also breaks down our constructed or perceived barriers with other people and creates more friendliness and love within us. Thrangu Rinpoche specifically notes that as a mind training it reduces our attachment to the tendency to see ourselfs as the most important things around.
Pema Chodron brief notes on tonglen
Of course she has lots of teaching on tonglen.
Lama Kathy Welsey tonglen pdf
Thrangu Rinpoche on tonglen
"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
It seems like you explained the compassion part from the Tonglen point of view but from my understanding there are also other aspects like equalizing oneself and others, reflecting on the faults of cherishing onself, reflecting on the qualities of the other cherishing mind, etc. I'm just not sure how a feeling of love/compassion can be generated by doing that? For instance, if you just simply view someone as being the same as you (equalizing aspect) how can feelings of intimacy arise from that? Whereas if you used the seven-fold cause and effect method and viewed other beings as having been your mother and remembering their kindness etc, then I can see how an intamacy can be developed with other beings.
Perhaps it's the Tonglen aspect where the feelings of love/compassion are generated like you described?
best wishes, White Lotus.
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