Everything is circumstantial and depends entirely on one’s aspiration.
The right attitude combines the vast attitude of the bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment, and the vast skills in means of the Secret Mantrayana attitude.
THE VAST ATTITUDE OF THE BODHICITTA
There is not a single being in samsara, this immense of ocean of suffering, who in the course of time without beginning has never been our father or mother. When they were our parents, these beings’ only thought was to raise us with the greatest possible kindness, protecting us with great love and giving us the very best of their own food and clothing.
All of these beings, who have been so kind to us, want to be happy, and yet they have no idea how to put into practice what brings about happiness, the ten positive actions. None of them want to suffer, but they do not know how to give up the ten negative actions at the root of all suffering.
Their deepest wishes and what they actually do thus contradict each other. Poor beings, lost and confused, like a blind man abandoned in the middle of an empty plain!
Tell yourself: “It is for their well-being that I am going to listen to the profound Dharma and put it into practice.
I will lead all these beings, my parents, tormented by the miseries of the six realms of existence, to the state of omniscient Buddahood, freeing them from all the karmic phenomena, habitual patterns and sufferings of every one of the six realms.” It is important to have this attitude each time you listen to the teachings or practice them.
Whenever you do something positive, whether of major or minor importance, it is indispensable to enhance it with the three supreme methods. Before beginning, arouse the bodhicitta as a skillful means to make sure that the action becomes a source
of good for the future.
While carrying out the action, avoid getting involved in any conceptualization so that the merit cannot be destroyed by circumstances. At the end, seal the action properly by dedicating the merit, which will ensure that it continually grows ever greater. The way you listen to the Dharma is very important. But even more important is the motivation with which you listen to it.
What makes an action good or bad?
Not how it looks, nor whether it is big or small,
But the good or evil motivation behind it.
No matter how many teachings you have heard, to be motivated by ordinary concerns – such as desire for greatness, fame or whatever – is not the way of the true Dharma. So, first of all, it is most important to turn inwards and change your motivation.
If you can correct your attitude, skillful means will permeate your positive actions, and you will have set out on the path of great beings. If you cannot, you might think that you are studying and practicing the Dharma but it will be no more than a semblance of the real thing.
Therefore, whenever you listen to the teaching and whenever you practice, be it meditating on a deity, doing prostrations and circumambulations, or reciting a mantra – even a single mani – it is always essential to give rise to bodhicitta.
General people believe that happiness comes from some material development. Currently if we look at the world, despite all of the development, many human beings still suffer. This means that material development does not really bring happiness in the mind, but only makes life “easier.” If we look at a rich country, there are many people with mental problems and many negative emotions, not really true happiness and peace in their inner mind – it is empty.
Every being has true nature, but they don’t recognize it. The Buddhist teachings introduce you to this true nature, your own inner self. Your inner self has the seed of love and compassion to lead you to enlightenment. Buddhism practice and meditation supports you and helps you to grow this seed and increase positive virtue.
This positive virtue can bring you true happiness temporarily, but the ultimate goal is to achieve enlightenment. If we don’t become enlightened, our negative mind and thoughts continue which results in ongoing suffering.
From Shantideva’s chapter on Wisdom: By training in this aptitude for emptiness, the habit to perceive substantiality will fade. By training in the view that all lacks entity, this view itself will also disappear.
Buddhist philosophy brings true nature and discipline. If our true nature has discipline then whatever we do is in a positive manner and for the benefit of other beings. Many people do not have honesty, even with their own self. Thus they cannot bring honesty toward other beings. Buddhism can guide you to be honest with your own self and other beings. This requires discipline, but not empty discipline.
To have no respect and not understanding the Buddhist way, results in all actions stemming from negativity without out any discipline. The mind and life become like a public bathroom – everything is dirty. The meaning of samsara in Sanskrit is cycle of existence. Every being wishes for happiness but they are ignorant because of the principle of cause and effect.
They participate in negative actions and the result is more suffering, or samsara. Every being has suffering – it does not matter if they are rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, or whatever skin color they may have. Samasara is like shit, there is no good or beautiful one, every shit smells bad.
Buddha said that just as the sky is pervasive, all sentient beings have pervasive negative thoughts and emotions. This is an ocean of suffering. It is endless. We need renunciation from this suffering. So right now we are meeting the precious Dharma; it is an unbelievably good opportunity, special for the human life reborn. We need to recognize how to end suffering Meeting an authentic Buddhist master will support and guide to liberation from the ocean of samsara.
An authentic teacher is very important because if they are not authentic, then others’ lives can be destroyed because they try to benefit their own self. It is cynical. A non-authentic teacher is 50/50 – 50% is true teaching and 50% is false and made-up. It is like medicine becoming like poison. Breaking samaya is a serious matter. For example, someone sick with sexual disease can infect many other people. But this person is a physical danger to himself and others in only one lifetime. But breaking samaya can bring negative effects to the perpetrator and others for many lifetimes.
An authentic teacher is always honest and has good intentions for other beings. When you come to teachings you absolutely must have a good connection with the teacher and the teacher should have a good connection with the student. Without a good teacher-student relationship it is very hard for the teachings to unfold naturally. The teaching really depends on that connection. The teacher has to be inspired to teach that subject. The teacher can’t feel like, “Oh I don’t want to talk about this teaching,” or “No one will understand this teaching,” or “No one appreciates this teaching.”
Many non-Buddhist people read Buddhist teachings and learn many things, but they do not accept them. They understand whatever Buddha said and the meaning is helpful, but they don’t want to accept Buddha’s teaching because they are scared that they will lose their own ego. Buddhist people who believe, but don’t want to do practice know that it is like jumping off the top of a mountain, they know the consequence of jumping.
Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does. Your mind training does not matter when you don’t have compassion. Your meditation does not matter when you don’t see your own faults. Dharma practice does not matter when you don’t have devotion. Obstacles can be overcome when you have the blessings.
May all the precious masters, the splendor of the doctrine, reach everywhere like the sky. May they shine on everyone like the sun and moon, and may their lives be firm like mountains.
I hope this writing is beneficial and that everyone enjoys it. You can read it everyday until the end of this life – one hundred percent brings benefit. It is like an animal transforming into a human being, the human becomes enlightened – how precious.
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