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Thread: Bodhicitta

  1. #1

    Bodhicitta

    How do you balance the bodhicitta (way seeking mind, deep wish to transform the suffering for all beings) and the urgency of this fleeting life with the helplessness that arises from the realisation of how vast samsara is?

    I know every act of kindness and generosity matters, yet helping others seem a bit like a palliative care and not a cure, just improving the conditions of samsara.

    Working with own delusions, attachements and defilements is tremendous job itself, how is the Bodhisattva's path even possible?

    Gassho
    Sat

  2. #2
    Here is a picture of my wife.



    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  3. #3
    I can't remember who said that there are no enlightened people, only enlightened action. If you start from that premise, it seems like you follow the Bodhisattva path, with the hope that your enlightened action inspires others toward the same behavior. You can't do it (end samsara for everyone) by yourself.

    Gassho,
    Juki

    sat today and lah
    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  4. #4
    Jishin you lucky man

    I feel like the best Zen goals are impossible; correction: the best goals are impossivlble; they keep us going in the right direction and practice never ends

    To me itís all in the little things day day by day; all of our little actions add up; to be pedantic, that decision to not have that donut adds up to a big deal over time. That ability to not react in anger to someone who cuts us off in traffic also adds up.

    Worrying that we arenít good enough for this path is just tge ego trying to dissyuade us. We must go forward despite our lack; in Genjokoan remember Dogen says not to wait to take action until you fully know everything or youíd never get anything done.

    To me, and this is personal for everyone, one of my biggest ways is by doing the right things and just living as an example rather than actually saving anyone. Sometimes people need help; Iím not saying that; I mean I think it can tirn into a hero complex and we all know what needs to be done; most of it is simple, like not eating that donut (sort of like the Birdís nest rosgi story we read during jukai study) but itís not easy.

    Still this world needs bodhisattvas so we keep going even though itís completely impossible

    Iím sorry; Iím very wordy today lol

    gassho

    risho
    -stlah

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Here is a picture of my wife.

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__
    Your replies always crack me up
    She's definitely your soul mate, you even look a bit alike.

    Gassho
    Sat
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-31-2021 at 12:46 AM.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Inshin View Post
    yet helping others seem a bit like a palliative care and not a cure
    Well, yes. I’m reading a book by Rōshi Joan Halifax called Standing at the Edge. One of the quotes that resonates is:

    Helping, fixing, and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole.
    The book itself touches on your question in the sense that for a lot of us, serving/helping can lead to overwhelm due to too much empathy or being unable to toe the line, so to speak. Well worth a read if you get the chance.

    Gassho,
    Koushi
    STLaH
    広 Kou (Vast)
    髭 Shi (Beard)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Koushi View Post
    Well, yes. I’m reading a book by Rōshi Joan Halifax called Standing at the Edge. One of the quotes that resonates is:



    The book itself touches on your question in the sense that for a lot of us, serving/helping can lead to overwhelm due to too much empathy or being unable to toe the line, so to speak. Well worth a read if you get the chance.

    Gassho,
    Koushi
    STLaH


    Thank you for recommendation. I'll read it.

    Gassho
    Sat

  9. #9
    To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless

    Can you tell I relate to this? I quote the four vows a lot.

    If you have a realization that others' suffering is none other than your own, you have already answered this question, IMHO.

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    She/her.
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Inshin View Post
    How do you balance the bodhicitta (way seeking mind, deep wish to transform the suffering for all beings) and the urgency of this fleeting life with the helplessness that arises from the realisation of how vast samsara is?

    I know every act of kindness and generosity matters, yet helping others seem a bit like a palliative care and not a cure, just improving the conditions of samsara.

    Working with own delusions, attachements and defilements is tremendous job itself, how is the Bodhisattva's path even possible?

    Gassho
    Sat
    Hi Inshin,

    I think that the others have already said it so well. "To Save All Sentient Beings, Though Beings Numberless."

    We cannot fix Samsara, just like I cannot stop all the weeds which rise in my garden every Spring. All we can do is pull them one by one, then bow.

    We can teach and experience for ourself "Emptiness" (by softening and dropping our self), which is knowing that there was never Samsara, never any suffering Sentient Being, never you or me and never any weeds ... and yet, and yet, there are suffering Sentient Beings, weeds which grow, you and me, and thus much work to do. Weeds-no-weeds.

    As a Buddhist, we know that we can never completely fix Samsara as we would want. However, we can want Samsara to be as it is, all while seeking to fix the aspects which we do not want at all ... wanting-non-wanting.

    Likewise for our delusions and attachments ... "To Transform All Delusion Though Delusion Inexhaustible." We cannot do away with all attachments and delusions in Samsara, because Samsara is built of them as much as my house is built of wood and you are built of flesh and bone. Our world could not exist, our society and families and concepts of our own life could not exist without delusions and attachments.

    However, once again, we can instantly see through all our delusions and attachments in Emptiness. There never were delusions and attachments at all, for there is nobody to be attached and nothing to be attached to too, as all attachment is Empty.

    That said, there are delusions and attachments, and they are more weeds. Weeds-no-weeds. Keep them short, small and manageable as you can so that they do not overrun life's garden, pull the one's you can one by one. Yet, there never were any weeds at all.

    Buddhism is not some school of psychology to fix all our problems. It is a school to help us realize that there never were any problems at all, even as we do our best to solve the problems we can and keep the rest small and ordinary.

    Sorry to run long.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-27-2021 at 07:23 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    PS - By the way, "Bodhicitta" can mean both the mind of Wisdom and the mind which seeks Wisdom ... the already enlightened mind and the mind that seeks enlightenment ... the mind without any weeds from the start, the mind that seeks to pull weeds ...
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    For me, this quote is central to both my practice and my life:
    No matter how much zazen we do, poor people do not become wealthy, and poverty does not become something easy to endure.
    Kōshō Uchiyama
    Opening the Hand of Thought
    Gassho, Jim
    ST/LaH

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    No matter how much zazen we do, poor people do not become wealthy, and poverty does not become something easy to endure.
    Kōshō Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought

  13. #13
    Thank you everyone

    If you have a realization that others' suffering is none other than your own, you have already answered this question
    Suddenly the fact that when Buddha attained the way, all scientent beings attained the way too makes a little bit more sense.

    Gassho
    Sat

  14. #14
    I am not going to be able to save all sentient beings from suffering because they are numberless but my hope is that through my every positive words, thoughts, and acts somehow the whole universe is a better place.

    I recite both the Verse of Atonement and the Four Vows daily as a reminder to live gently and for the benefit of others


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Last edited by Tairin; 03-27-2021 at 10:33 PM.

  15. #15
    I had very many excuses. In my experience I selfishly thought I was alone in my suffering, that my suffering was necessarily great, and that was a big barrier to Bodhiccita. (what? You mean there are other people in their thirties suffering from depression or other neurodivergencies and addiction, even to the point of deaths of despair and seem to not “grow up” fast enough?—get a high paying job, get married, have kids, buy a house, or even move out of their parents basement etc...—and it’s very common these days?)

    When I learned that my kind of suffering is very, very common and I wasn’t alone, the walls of self-pity dropped and that went a long way in realizing I was “living someone else’s dream” in that I have it extremely good and that I have very much to give. There is a lot to do so I try to get started in any way I can. There are very little excuses for me when people are living in war torn countries, suffering from poverty, suffering from all kinds of dislocations and some actually do need palliative care. A “I can’t do everything, so should I do nothing?” is a privileged conundrum to have.

    For what it’s worth, I put it this way: If I found out I had terminal cancer and had months or weeks to live, the most noble thing I could do is not only to help family members get through my passing but join a support group and help others similar to my situation, and try to do it with love, joyousness and magnanimity. In a way, I find myself in that situation everyday, so I ask, why not start?

    Also, sorry

    Gassho,
    Tom
    Sat/Lah
    Last edited by StoBird; 03-27-2021 at 09:37 PM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Juki View Post
    I can't remember who said that there are no enlightened people, only enlightened action.
    Sounds like a TL;DR of the Diamond Sutra

    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  17. #17
    Jakuden and Jundo

    gassho

    risho
    -stlah

  18. #18
    in Genjokoan remember Dogen says not to wait to take action until you fully know everything
    Dogen also wrote in Genjokoan that samsara and nirvanna are the same thing. I don't know about fixing samsara. I just know you can't live outside samsara; same as you can't live outside life. But, with some appreciation for emptiness, impermanance and lack of independent living, we can learn to accept this truth.fish&water.png

    gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  19. #19
    Juki's comment on Shunryu Suzuki's quote about the enlightened beings/actions
    resonates with me.

    Somebody posted this elsewhere:

    Plant the tree!
    There is no village
    where no flower grows.
    The bodhi-mind will be penetrated
    with the buddhas' mind,
    even though we are of humble birth.

    Dogen
    Thus, I keep planting trees...

    Gassho,
    Washin
    stlah
    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'.

  20. #20
    Thanks to all for this discussion. From a question we've all asked, to the answers/nonanswers we all know.

    gassho


    satlah
    東西 - Tōsei - East West
    there is only what is, and it is all miraculous

  21. #21
    Very nice thread...

    Be a good person and serve others as you are able.

    Doshin
    St

  22. #22
    I would like to fully and completely apologize for my above post, it was arrogant and came across as mean.
    I’ve always wished for better social skills...

    Interesting and informative thread due to others input nonetheless.

    Gasho,
    Tom
    Sat/Lah

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Inshin View Post
    Thank you everyone



    Suddenly the fact that when Buddha attained the way, all scientent beings attained the way too makes a little bit more sense.

    Gassho
    Sat
    Wonderfully put.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by StoBird View Post
    I would like to fully and completely apologize for my above post, it was arrogant and came across as mean.
    I’ve always wished for better social skills...
    It was fine.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Thank for the great topic. Lots of points that struck me and inspire me to grow in my practice. I'm grateful for this community.

    Gassho,
    John
    Sat today

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  26. #26
    This has inspired Kirk and my next episode of the "Zen of Everything" Podcast which will be ... Bodhicitta!

    "Seek for it's enlightening" conversation later this week.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  27. #27
    Looking forward to that next episode

    gassho, shokai
    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    This has inspired Kirk and my next episode of the "Zen of Everything" Podcast which will be ... Bodhicitta!

    "Seek for it's enlightening" conversation later this week.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah


    Gassho
    Sat

  29. #29
    A quote from someone I can't remember anymore got stuck with me: if each of us would start cleaning the little piece of street in front of our house, the entire world would be clean.
    I can do what I can do, and I can try doing it at the best of my possibility.
    Basically, I try being in the moment, one with what is around, and do my best (but hey, I'm human, so I fail and I have to start again).

    Gassho,
    Mags ST

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Margherita View Post
    A quote from someone I can't remember anymore got stuck with me: if each of us would start cleaning the little piece of street in front of our house, the entire world would be clean.
    I can do what I can do, and I can try doing it at the best of my possibility.
    Basically, I try being in the moment, one with what is around, and do my best (but hey, I'm human, so I fail and I have to start again).

    Gassho,
    Mags ST


    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    She/her.
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  31. #31
    I am making small decisions to help in seeking my own Bodhisattva path. Only three for now. First, to maintain daily sitting, second, to maintain Jundo's guidelines of only one two or three positive lines in a post, third, to only visit the group affiliations of my Unitarian Universalist ideology on Facebook. These are conditions not only set forth by Jundo, but my own recognition for other areas to be a personal choice to study and reflect.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi
    A monk asked Yun-men, "What are the teachings of a lifetime?" Yum-men said to him, "An appropriate statement." Zen Mondo

  32. #32
    I have a suggestion Jundo. Please open up my Private Messaging so that I might contact Shokai, my advisor. I promise not to contact you or Kokuu. For others. Jundo has shut off my private messaging because I was sending too many to him and Kokuu. The nature of these tended to be more negative, and useless, so another, "I intend to be more positive." Please read this Jundo.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi
    A monk asked Yun-men, "What are the teachings of a lifetime?" Yum-men said to him, "An appropriate statement." Zen Mondo

  33. #33
    but hey, I'm human, so I fail and I have to start again).
    Fall down seven, get up eight

    gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  34. #34
    Thank you Shokai reading a famous book insight meditation Loving Kindness. Happy to share what I learn. Should I do it tomorrow here?
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    A monk asked Yun-men, "What are the teachings of a lifetime?" Yum-men said to him, "An appropriate statement." Zen Mondo

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    I have a suggestion Jundo. Please open up my Private Messaging so that I might contact Shokai, my advisor. I promise not to contact you or Kokuu. For others. Jundo has shut off my private messaging because I was sending too many to him and Kokuu. The nature of these tended to be more negative, and useless, so another, "I intend to be more positive." Please read this Jundo.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi
    I did not shut anything, never closed, Tai Shi! You can message as always.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  36. #36
    Shokai if you would like to meet sometime this week or tomorrow or anytime this week I would love to meet with you to discuss the art of giving and the Buddhist thoughts on this topic. So please contact me with a new link. I have deleted all my old messages to save space and make room for new messages. Thank you Shokai.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    A monk asked Yun-men, "What are the teachings of a lifetime?" Yum-men said to him, "An appropriate statement." Zen Mondo

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