How to develop Bodhicitta?

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Stephen18
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How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by Stephen18 »

I want to generate Bodhicitta but I don't know how to do that since I come from a Theravada background (now following Mahayana and Vajrayana as well). Could you recommend any materials on Bodhicitta? Thank you.
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SonamTashi
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by SonamTashi »

Stephen18 wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:37 pm I want to generate Bodhicitta but I don't know how to do that since I come from a Theravada background (now following Mahayana and Vajrayana as well). Could you recommend any materials on Bodhicitta? Thank you.
Try reading Shantideva's The Way of the Bodhisattva. Also see if you can find a teacher from a Mahayana school and ask them for some help.
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by LastLegend »

That’s a hard one. Lol
Make personal vows.

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明安 Myoan
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Recite verses of bodhicitta, such as Shantideva's. His Guide is not only inspirational but very instructive with many examples and explanations. An invaluable resource worth owning in paper.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche suggests taking everyday activities as the basis of a bodhicitta aspiration.

I like to make up my own on the spot, like:
(closing a door) I am closing the gate to lower birth for all beings.
(getting dressed) I am donning the thought of others.
(facing west) I am facing Amitabha Buddha, who faces all beings.

It's a development, which means it feels contrived or insufficient sometimes. But the aspiration for bodhicitta according to Shantideva still has great merit. It leads to the activity of bodhicitta, according to our capacities, which increase as our merit increases, like a positive feedback loop.

I rejoice in your positive aspiration!
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the Nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
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kirtu
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by kirtu »

Basically relative Bodhicitta is lovingkindness and compassion and ultimate Boddhicitta is a full understanding of emptiness, the true nature of reality.



Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"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
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Queequeg
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by Queequeg »

Reflect on someone you care about - or have you gone so far down the Theravada rabbit hole that you've cut off attachments? :tongue:
Consider how you want that person to be happy, like truly happy. Cultivate that longing to see them happy. Expand that longing to other beings you care about. Then, to people you really don't like, even hate.

See what happens when you come out the other side of that contemplation.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by tkp67 »

I am a naturally compassionate and very empathetic person so when I see someone suffering due to self perpetuated delusion/attachment it is hard for me NOT to fate eel compassionate for them. That state of mind is painful, poisonous and powerful. they may truly know relief. I remember succinctly that pain and the torment of not knowing how to end it. I know how hard it is for people to understand the unseen mind and their own part in the creation of this ignorance.

I do believe for me it was the compassion for others that eventually led me to learn to be compassionate to my own self in order to end suffering and attachment which was essential in the quieting of my mind to even attempt to eliminate them through Buddhist practices.

This doesn't mean unbridled compassion and empathy didn't pose their own challenges and act as obstacles since it is was easy for me to cling to them past the point of benefit for myself or those around me and in this regard Buddhist practices have really helped me put this into a useful perspective opposed to having it as a powerful attachment/driving desire.

I no way do I claim any metric of aptitude but it does seem compassion is very easy for me to engage as I understand it from my own perspective and having engaged it over a term I felt I might share some observations regarding as much.
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by Queequeg »

As a follow up...

You asked for materials to help...

The materials you need to develop bodhicitta are in you. Books and lectures can point the way, but really this is something you already are. Like Buddhanature it is not something acquired, but rather an intrinsic capacity to be identified, refined, developed.

Basically, just do it. Just develop it.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by Vasana »

From this thread of Dharma Gems ;
viewtopic.php?t=1325&start=80
  • 'Jetsun Taranatha's Essence of Ambrosia, Contemplation on the Causal Links that Lead to the Attainment of Buddhahood
    I need to attain buddhahood. I therefore need to cultivate bodhicitta since it is the cause of buddhahood. The cause of bodhicitta is compassion. The cause of compassion is love. The cause of love is appreciation and gratefulness. The cause of appreciation is recognising all sentient beings have been my parents. I should meditate on developing these qualities in stages.

    -Meditate again and again.-

    All sentient beings are my parents--they have been so kind to me. Wouldn't it be right if they were to be free from suffering? Wouldn't it be right for them to be comfortable and happy? I will, therefore, attain buddhahood in order to establish them all in happiness. Once I have attained buddhahood, I will also place all sentient beings on the level of buddhahood.

    [... in the annals of the graduated teachings called The Necessary Stages of Mind Training in the Mahayana, this quote appears: "You should train your mind by stages in the seven causal links found in Atisha's extraordinary Mahayana teachings".

    Atisha's presentation of the seven causal links states that buddhahood is not without causes and conditions. Buddhahood arises from the cause of bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is born from a pure and excellent motivation. A pure motivation arises from great compassion. Great compassion arises from love. Love arises from seeing all sentient beings with affection. Seeing beings with affection arises from appreciation and gratefulness. Appreciation and gratefulness arise from developing the perception of sentient beings as your mothers
.'

Seven-Part Cause and Effect Meditation for Bodhichitta

Dr. Alexander Berzin
'Bodhichitta is the aim to attain Buddhahood in order to help others as fully as is possible. The seven-part cause and effect method for generating this aim, and strengthening it once we’ve developed it, takes us through a sequence of emotions and understandings, starting with equanimity, through recognizing everyone as having been our mothers to remembering motherly love and, with gratitude, wishing to repay that kindness. This leads to developing love and compassion equally for everyone, an exceptional resolve and, as a result of this causal sequence, a bodhichitta aim.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by gedatsu »

Maybe this will help to give you some context.
Ever since at least as early as the Samdhinirmocana Sūtra, however, it has been asserted that there are two types of bodhicitta—the ultimate and the conventional or relative bodhicittas. Ultimate bodhicitta is, according to the sūtra, 'beyond this world, cannot be formulated by concept or speech, is extremely radiant, the image of the Ultimate, immaculate, unshakeable, and very bright like the steady glow of a lamp on a calm night'. Since the Samdhinirmocana Sūtra is a Yogacara text, it seems likely that ultimate bodhicitta (etymology: enlightened mind) is the pure radiant mind of an enlightened being, possessed of compassion. ~ Mahayana Buddhism by Paul Williams
From my own experience formed over the years I place realizing bodhicitta in the category of intuition which my dictionary defines: the act or process of coming to direct knowledge or certainty without reasoning or inferring. The idea of trying to develop bodhicitta through the world of the six senses (manas being the most troubling) seems like a no go. This also where 'transcendence' kicks in which is part of the process of intuition. It is impossible to achieve transcendence by clinging to these worldly, finite senses.
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by Lhasa »

Gaze here...Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche

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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by KeithA »

Stephen18 wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:37 pm I want to generate Bodhicitta but I don't know how to do that since I come from a Theravada background (now following Mahayana and Vajrayana as well). Could you recommend any materials on Bodhicitta? Thank you.
A good friend was once asked "where does suffering come from?" He answered: from "I want"

I would suggest to just keep on practicing. Whatever we think it will be like, it isn't that anyway. You may find that Bodhicitta develops quite naturally. :smile:

Also, I don't suspect Bodhicitta is strictly a Mahayana thing, even if the term is. :heart:
You make, you get.

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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by Virgo »

It's also good to use the Four-Point Method and use the mani mantra as you exhale. LZR has mentioned this method.

Kevin...
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by Simon E. »

Virgo wrote: Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:24 am It's also good to use the Four-Point Method and use the mani mantra as you exhale. LZR has mentioned this method.

Kevin...
:good:
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by muni »

A good friend was once asked "where does suffering come from?" He answered: from "I want"

I would suggest to just keep on practicing. Whatever we think it will be like, it isn't that anyway. You may find that Bodhicitta develops quite naturally. :smile:


Yes, I want and so as well I do not want.

I like this advice to keep practicing and perhaps when the care for all remains out, to be able to talk about to a Compassionate. The care for all is actually ridding us of own suffering or at least it starts to decrease.

This always have sound strange to me but it is perhaps a kind of magic, I guess. Normally we try to get rid of what we do not want but we are habitually used to do the opposite; care for our self only and so we keep wanting-not wanting, and so suffering.

Then in general Mahayana the Four Boundless Ones in daily action are a great, not always easy "gate" to Bodhicitta. But even for some of us is it more easier; all have "the seed" of Bodhicitta.

Then there are the Paramitas...

I add a piece I have here just, a part of Santideva inspirations: https://www.lotsawahouse.org/indian-mas ... yavatara-3

All the best. :anjali:
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by kirtu »

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Bodhicitta, from "Teachings on Ngöndro", pages 21-22
As dharma practitioners we cannot live without bodhicitta. It is indispensable! We must try in whatever way we can to give birth to bodhicitta. Even if we can’t give rise to grand aspirations, if we are involved in, say, chanting the words of the dharma, we should aspire that such chanting will enlighten all beings. In short, whatever virtuous practice we engage in, we should do for the sake of enlightenment.

There are two different kinds of bodhicitta – relative and absolute. Absolute or ultimate bodhicitta is meditating on the ultimate view of sunyata. The omniscient Longchenpa said that it is almost impossible for beginners to have absolute bodhicitta. So we should rely mainly on relative bodhicitta.

There are, as well, two kinds of relative bodhicitta: the bodhicitta of aspiration, and that of action. Action, or application, bodhicitta is engaging in practices such as the six paramitas and the four factors for inspiring students. However, it is very difficult to actually practice the six paramitas. We may only be able to make a few butter lamp offerings or give a few rupees to beggars, and so on. Since application bodhicitta is so difficult, Longchenpa has said that we need to practice mainly aspiration bodhicitta. In the Sūtra of Advice to the King, there is the story of a king who had so many queens and subjects that it was very difficult for him to practice application bodhicitta. The Buddha told this king that he should practice aspiration bodhicitta. We ourselves should try our best to generate aspiration bodhicitta. When we rise in the
morning, we should make the aspiration to benefit all beings and ultimately to enlighten them.

Aspiration bodhicitta is very economical; it doesn’t require any expenditure on our parts. We simply need to give rise to a good aspiration. And it’s not necessary to formally chant a prayer such as Samantabhadra’s aspiration prayer. At the same time, if we can, it is good to chant this prayer, which is very powerful. In addition to those aspiration prayers that already exist, we should make our own aspiration prayers in our own languages and dialects.

Actually, we don’t know how to make aspirations – it is very difficult. We don’t know who wants what. We might make the aspiration that a hungry person gets some food, but we don’t know if that food will help or harm that person. It might kill them. We don’t know what different individuals want. And if we made an aspiration such as everybody having a Toyota Land Cruiser, then that aspiration being fulfilled would be terrible. There would be gas shortages, environmental pollution and other problems, and it would be disastrous for the planet. So our aspiration really can’t be that individual beings should have everything they want, because there is no end to what people want. Therefore, we should follow the example of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. We must make our aspirations follow those made by the buddhas and by
bodhisattvas such as Mañjushri and Samantabhadra. The buddhas and bodhisattvas know what
beings really need. If we make aspirations just as they have, then such aspirations will bring
benefit.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"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
Stephen18
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by Stephen18 »

Thank you all for the replies! :anjali:
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by Meido »

One more...just rely on the four vows. Torei Enji's practice advice, from Shumon Mujintoron (Zen Centre translation, titled Discourse on the Inexhaustible Lamp):
If...your spirit and morale slacken, all the more rely on this vow/aspiration [to practice for the sake of saving beings]. If faith in the heart is shallow and weak, all the more rely on this vow/aspiration. If obstacles are many, all the more rely on this aspiration. If you are intelligent and clever, all the more rely on this aspiration. If you are stupid and dull, all the more rely on this aspiration. If your seeing into the true nature becomes fully clear, all the more rely on this aspiration. If your insight and function become fully free, all the more rely on this aspiration. Right from the beginning, from the first aspiration of the heart to the final end, there is no time when you do not rely on the strength of this vow/aspiration.

Reciting the Four Great Vows, directing them from the mouth outwards, and inwardly ever holding them in the heart, invoking them as a prayer day by day and continuously pondering them, then just like a wondrous scent or an old strange custom, or like fine mist that yet drenches one's clothes, or as the smell of incense pervades and clings, so the awareness of Buddhas and patriarchs will ripen of itself and, benefiting oneself and others, everything will be accomplished.
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one’s true nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly [according to this understanding], in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice

Hidden Zen: Practices for Sudden Awakening and Embodied Realization

Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Simon E.
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Re: How to develop Bodhicitta?

Post by Simon E. »

:good:

And applicable to all. This is an example of the real Buddhist ecumenicism. Not a levelling down of differences, but rather a statement of commonalities.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
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