Developing Bodhichita

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Developing Bodhichita

Postby Ken1969 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:22 pm

Hi all,

As one of the preparation practices before starting the actual Lamrim meditation, I try to develop Bodhichitta. My understanding of bodhichitta it is the wish to attain Buddhahood to benefit all sentient beings and it's both compassion and wisdom. During this phase in my meditation, I try to generate a feeling of compassion and I'll contemplate those who I know are currently suffering (such as the people in Japan), or even friends I know who're undergoing a tough time, and I'll try to single pointedly focus on this feeling. I'll finish this phase of the prepatory practise by repeating the prayer, 'Through the virtues I gain by giving and other perfections, may I become a Buddha for the benefit of all" several times.

But I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. Am I on the right track?

I sometimes feel that I rush the prepatory practises so that I can get stuck into the main body of the Lamrim meditation, as I feel more keener to meditate on 'Our precious human life' (for example), rather than go through what can feel like the mundane prepatory practises.

Also, once I'm on the main body of the meditation (such as 'our precious human life'), it often feels like I'm doing more reading than meditation. At the end of each meditation, I try to recall a pertinent point, such as 'don't waste my precious human life on less worthy distractions, when I could be practising dharma' and I'll meditate on that, but as I say, it mostly feels like reading than meditating. Will this change as I become more familiar with the text?

If anyone could share their experience of Lamrim and the prepatory practises, aimed at a n00b to Lamrim, I'd much appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Re: Developing Bodhichita

Postby ground » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:58 pm

Ken1969 wrote:Hi all,

As one of the preparation practices before starting the actual Lamrim meditation, I try to develop Bodhichitta. My understanding of bodhichitta it is the wish to attain Buddhahood to benefit all sentient beings and it's both compassion and wisdom. During this phase in my meditation, I try to generate a feeling of compassion and I'll contemplate those who I know are currently suffering (such as the people in Japan), or even friends I know who're undergoing a tough time, and I'll try to single pointedly focus on this feeling. I'll finish this phase of the prepatory practise by repeating the prayer, 'Through the virtues I gain by giving and other perfections, may I become a Buddha for the benefit of all" several times.

But I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. Am I on the right track?

Every approach that opens the heart for suffering beings is "on the right track". A further step is (perhaps later) to also consider specific persons one cherishes, has neutral feelings to or even hates ... to generate an even attitude of love and compassion toward all beings. The generation of bodhicitta works most efficient when including persons one knows in one's meditation and this way it may have a direct effect on one's daily conduct.


Ken1969 wrote:I sometimes feel that I rush the prepatory practises so that I can get stuck into the main body of the Lamrim meditation, as I feel more keener to meditate on 'Our precious human life' (for example), rather than go through what can feel like the mundane prepatory practises.

Also, once I'm on the main body of the meditation (such as 'our precious human life'), it often feels like I'm doing more reading than meditation. At the end of each meditation, I try to recall a pertinent point, such as 'don't waste my precious human life on less worthy distractions, when I could be practising dharma' and I'll meditate on that, but as I say, it mostly feels like reading than meditating. Will this change as I become more familiar with the text?

The more you study Lamrim the more the thoughts will become natural. Take a rest every now and then and contemplate what you have read. Watch the qualities of mind that arise depending on this Lamrim mind training. Recognize how conducive it is.
Also all the different aspects enhance each other. E.g. contemplating the suffering of the lower realms may cause right effort as to oneself but may also help to generate compassion as to others that have not been taught these precious teachings and thus are blind toward the effects of their deluded actions and will have to endure so much suffering that is even worse than their current suffering. The same holds true for the type of sufferings contemplated in the context of the persons with medium capacity.

I find it very helpful to also generate an appropriate grateful attitude toward all the teachers that teach the lamrim and toward this great compassionate teacher, Lama Tsongkhapa, who has written this great teachings as gift for future generations of beings. As you read the text you may keep him in your mind, even visualize him smiling and caring, teaching you to foster the best of benefits that may arise for you based on his teachings, like a father teaching his child.


kind regards
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Re: Developing Bodhichita

Postby muni » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:18 pm

Precious human life is in fact luxury life. As we have the opportunity to see our pain as purification. To take the pain of others on us by Tong Len is giving not only merits but also opens our being out of its' own isolated imagination in which our pain abide in a kind of permanent selfprotection.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama explains to generate enthusiasm by thinking on the merits and benefits of Bodhichitta when we want to meditate on. These merits and benefits are explained in Shantideva his Guide for the Bodhisattva.

Precious warm heart may never be underestimated, also broadminded we must encourage and not discourage fellows as suspicious about fellows, afflictions in polluted state is very coarse and increases our suffering. In seeing all as worthy of our affection we lose coarse thought.This points also to negative body speech and mind and positive body speech and mind.

By compassion; altruism and wisdom (emptiness) one can generate Bodhichitta, the awakened mind. Compassion and wisdom are cultivated separately. So The Dalai Lama.
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Re: Developing Bodhichita

Postby plwk » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:37 pm

Some ideas from those who know better... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
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Re: Developing Bodhichita

Postby Ken1969 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:40 pm

Hey, thanks all, I'm really glad I asked that question because there's some great help there. And since it's nice and quiet here now - it's one of those rare occasions my family have gone out - I'm going to continue where I left off with this mornings meditation.
:thanks:

If anyone wishes to add, please feel free.
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Re: Developing Bodhichita

Postby Will » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:22 pm

Vasubandhu bodhisattva wrote an inspiring text on generating bodhicitta. Here are the first two chapters. In this case, "generating" also means strengthening our existing bodhicitta motivation. http://www.kalavinka.com/book_excerpts/ ... apters.pdf
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: Developing Bodhichita

Postby muni » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:01 am

bodhichitta, no greater medicine no greater protection of all in impartiality.

In the power of bombs, weapons, army is pain, fear and hope.
In the power of Bodhichitta is the very good heart in limitless freedom.

An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.
A good heart each day, keeps the enemy away.

Inspired by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
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Re: Developing Bodhichita

Postby Caz » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:31 pm

Ken1969 wrote:Hi all,

As one of the preparation practices before starting the actual Lamrim meditation, I try to develop Bodhichitta. My understanding of bodhichitta it is the wish to attain Buddhahood to benefit all sentient beings and it's both compassion and wisdom. During this phase in my meditation, I try to generate a feeling of compassion and I'll contemplate those who I know are currently suffering (such as the people in Japan), or even friends I know who're undergoing a tough time, and I'll try to single pointedly focus on this feeling. I'll finish this phase of the prepatory practise by repeating the prayer, 'Through the virtues I gain by giving and other perfections, may I become a Buddha for the benefit of all" several times.

But I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. Am I on the right track?

I sometimes feel that I rush the prepatory practises so that I can get stuck into the main body of the Lamrim meditation, as I feel more keener to meditate on 'Our precious human life' (for example), rather than go through what can feel like the mundane prepatory practises.

Also, once I'm on the main body of the meditation (such as 'our precious human life'), it often feels like I'm doing more reading than meditation. At the end of each meditation, I try to recall a pertinent point, such as 'don't waste my precious human life on less worthy distractions, when I could be practising dharma' and I'll meditate on that, but as I say, it mostly feels like reading than meditating. Will this change as I become more familiar with the text?

If anyone could share their experience of Lamrim and the prepatory practises, aimed at a n00b to Lamrim, I'd much appreciate it.

Thanks!


Lamrim is most excellent, The prep practises for Lamrim can be extensive but there are less extensive versions as well. However they are certainly important in order to have a productive session of meditation.
Our taking refuge In the begining is important as it shall direct us toward the Dharma, The development of Bodhichitta is an important preliminary to actual meditation as any action performed with this motivation will mulitply infinitly so applying these minds in focus to our Lamrim practise will create a great collection of merit so that we gain accomplishments quicker, The suplications to the lineage masters are highly important as well since it is through their kindness we have the oppertunity to transform the mind in such a way and their blessings give a strong and direct connection to the changes that shall eventually take place in our mind and do make sure that one always dissolves shakyamuni into ones heart to close off the session as what merit we have collected will then meet with the causes and conditions through this visualisation to come into fruition much faster then left without doing such.
The more familiar you become with Lamrim the more you cannot do without it, This is the synthesis of path of Sutra. It speaks for itself if you meditate upon one subject everyday it is only a matter of time and merit as to when these changes become deeply rooted. :namaste:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Developing Bodhichita

Postby Ken1969 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:50 pm

Thanks, Caz; I'll take your advice; particularly about bit about and making sure that we always dissolves shakyamuni into ones heart to close off the session.
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