Saturday, April 5, 2014

Excerpts from “The Heart of Compassion: The Thirty-seven Verses on thePractice of a Bodhisattva"

If all the mothers who have loved me since beginningless time are suffering,
What is the use of my own happiness?

Therefore, to really exchange
My own happiness for the suffering of others is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Though I may be famous, and revered by many,
And as rich as the God of Wealth himself,
To see that the wealth and glory of the world are without essence,
And to be free of arrogance, is the practice of a bodhisattva.

For a bodhisattva who desires the joys of virtue,
All who harm him (her) are like a precious treasure.
Therefore, to cultivate patience toward all,
Without resentment, is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Merely for their own sake, even shravakas and pratyekabuddhas
Make efforts like someone whose hair is on fire trying to put it out:
Seeing this, for the sake of all beings,
To practice diligence, the source of excellent qualities, is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Knowing that through profound insight thoroughly grounded in sustained calm
The disturbing emotions are completely conquered,
To practice the concentration which utterly transcends
The four formless states* is the practice of a bodhisattva.

To be continually mindful and alert,
Asking, “What is the state of my mind?”
And accomplishing the good of others is the practice of a bodhisattva.

For his own benefit and that of others, Thogme, a teacher of scripture and logic, composed this text at Rinchen Phug, in Ngulchu.

* The four formless states, or absorptions: (1) the sphere of infinite space, (2) the sphere of infinite consciousness, (3) the sphere of nothing at all, and (4) the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception. They correspond to the states experienced by the gods of the four formless realms, which are the result of sustained absorption in samadhi without profound insight.

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