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Thread: Please explaining what is a Bodhisattva why would I want to be one? What gives power

  1. #1

    Please explaining what is a Bodhisattva why would I want to be one? What gives power

    Please I know very little about a Bodhisattva and perhaps I need to know more than Bodhidarma more than patriarchal society? If I had the choice would I as Whitman tells me, rather be a blade of grass waving in the wind the handkerchief of the Lord, that which brings joy to wild creatures!


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    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  2. #2
    Tai Shi
    sat
    Gassho


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  3. #3
    Member Anna's Avatar
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    May 2019
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    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Hi Tai Shi

    I very naively see a Boddhidattva as simply someone who puts the needs or desires of others before their own. I think it was Edward Abbey who said something like I'm not free until everyone is free. But hey, I'm no Buddhist scholar.

    Gassho
    Anna
    ST
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  4. #4
    Hi Tai Shi,

    Who and what is a Bodhisattva? Well, there are bodhisattvas (little "b") and "Bodhisattvas" (Big "B"). I know you, Tai Shi, and you are already a striving bodhisattva, and a very beautiful one. I think that all of us should do our best to become more and more like the Great Bodhisattvas (with the Big "B"). What do I mean?

    A "bodhisattva" (little "b") is anyone who seeks to help his or her fellow sentient beings. I think that one does not even have to be a Buddhist, or think of oneself so, in order to be such a "bodhisattva." A wonderful Soto Zen teacher named Taigen Dan Leighton wrote a great book about that which you might like to read sometime. Anyone who tries to bring peace into the world, comfort the fearful, end anger and violence, feed the hungry, befriend the lonely is a bodhisattva. I know you, Tai Shi, and you are.

    Bodhisattva Archetypes: Classic Buddhist Guides to Awakening and Their Modern Expression by Taigen Daniel Leighton
    https://books.google.co.jp/books/abo...AJ&redir_esc=y

    Another meaning of bodhisattva is anyone who takes the Vow we recite each day or week in our Zazenkai:

    To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless.
    To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible.
    To perceive reality, though reality is boundless.
    To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.


    The meaning of this is, more specifically, to bring the message of Enlightenment, the flowing Wholeness of "Emptiness," "Non-Self," freedom from "Dukkha" (Buddhist Suffering), the "Eightfold Path" (the way of practice to realize the foregoing) to all the other sentient beings in the world (to ourselves too) who are suffering by feeling that they/we are separate beings somehow standing apart, and in friction, with the rest of the world. They suffer with disappointments, loneliness, sickness, their deaths and the deaths of those they love, losses, fears, regrets and sadness of all kinds ... and these Buddhist teachings offer a way to see beyond and right through that separation and suffering. (Frankly, I think your Christianity is also offering you another way to express that wholeness which shines through all the suffering and hardships of life). We vow to help all the sentient beings realize this in their own lives and hearts, even though it is perhaps an endless task! Really, it is so right now, and they (we) are free right now ... but they/we don't realize so because their/our minds are so clouded and divided.

    Finally, there are the Big "B" Bodhisattvas like Kannon (who is both male and female at once, as really are all the Bodhisattvas), Manjushri, Jizo and others who are just ideals, symbols, archetypes for what we aspire to as the perfection, the best, of human values: Compassion, Wisdom, caring and kindness in all forms. In this way, as symbols, they are really not much different at all from the Christian saints such as the Madonna (very much like Kannon in personality and appearance in art), St. Jude or St. Francis. (I emphasize this because I know that you personally are trying to practice Buddhism and Christianity together). They are symbols of the best in human values and behavior that we aspire to in helping others. Are the "Big B" Bodhisattvas real? Well, yes, they are real in your heart when you aspire to be good. Your thoughts, words and acts of Compassion and Wisdom make them real. I like to say that the 1000 helping hands of Kannon are our hands when we reach out to help those who are suffering. So, you and I give the power: We make them come to life when we act in this world to bring what they represent to life.

    Here is a video series I did about all the Big B Bodhisattvas, what they stand for and what we aspire toward ...

    Whattsa Who'sa Bodhisattva? (A Sit-a-Long Series)
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...Long-Series%29

    Here is one old talk that just looks at Kannon and what He-She represents ...

    Zazen for Beginners (20)
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...nners-%2820%29

    So, yes, Tai Shi, you are a bodhisattva ... and a lovely one. We are all doing are best to bring those great Bodhisattvas to life, in our lives and in this world filled with suffering people.

    Gassho, J
    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-19-2019 at 04:23 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Helping everyone understand Soto Zen with such enthusiasm, and generosity of spirit counts for maybe a medium B Bodhisattva. Perhaps you don't hear this enough Jundo, but thanks for all your efforts to this Sangha.

    Gassho
    Ishin
    Sat /lah
    Grateful for your practice

  6. #6
    Member Getchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Between Sea and Sky, Australia.
    Jundo that was beautiful!

    Taishi you are a genuine, kind soul. Take care.

    Gassho
    Geoff.

    SatToday
    LaH
    Last edited by Getchi; 09-16-2019 at 01:44 AM. Reason: typo.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  7. #7
    So beautifully said. Thank you, Jundo

    Gassho
    Washin
    sat today
    Kaido (有道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    ----
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything what I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

  8. #8
    Hey you are a Buddhist Scholar and a father, a well read American/Japanese JD with the legal doctorate I yearned to have in English writing/lit and was too tired at age 30, again at age 39 to earn. The degrees you hold Jundo put me to shame as a braggart and only one who looked askance without understanding so happy you let me into the Sangha despite my ignorance and so it has been only with exposure here at Tree Leaf that Iíve come to learn moreó now about Bodhisatva and videos of you Jundo explaining Bodhisatva!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  9. #9
    See, I canít spell either. Is it Bodhisattva? I yearn to be as St. Francis the patron St of AAís step 11, where one begins to realize prayer and meditation ongoing, daily, the true meaning of meditation escaping many Americans and especially AA members in the US who are generally Christian not Buddhist/Christian.
    Gassho


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  10. #10
    I purchased yet another, inexpensive used copy, of Bodhisattva Archetypes,... Now, I've been complaining about the amount of reading I expect of myself, so I'll put this one on the back burner for a while, and just focus on my history of Buddhism, and my book on the nature of Koans. However, I will also be reviewing Opening the Hand of Thought in the future which seems at first glance to be so much easier than it was two or three years ago. I also want to revisit Dogen's easier classic, How to Cook Your Life. I found that easy when I looked at it the first time, so now perhaps I'll find it harder. But, I MUST remind myself to take it slowly. I was able to sit this morning, but for right now, that's coming harder. I was able to sit for a shorter time, but I didn't figure it exactly. Jundo, I'll post this or something like it on Ango thread.
    Tai Shi
    sat/lah
    Gassho
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  11. #11
    Member Getchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Between Sea and Sky, Australia.
    Hi Tai Shi!

    I really like you sign-off quote form Thich Nhat Hanh, I think it teaches a very important attitude to express for this world.
    I met some of his students on several occasions, and the one thing that impressed me above any other (academic, meditation prowess, etc) was there totally relaxed attitude. They radiated peace.

    Many people call him a boddhisatva for being such an agent of peace and change in this world, but he says he only lived the best life he could. He doesnt compare himself to others, which I found interesting.

    Im not sure they are different things at all anymore. Learning to only do one thing well every day is different and harder then being distracted with our own thoughts.


    I hope you can find peace, i know what it is like to be swept up in anxiety, especially about our "sins" or self worth.


    SatToday
    LaH

    Gassho
    Geoff.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

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