A Guide To the Bodhisattva Way Of Life
Author: Shantideva Bodhisattva
[Links to various translations]
The Key of becoming a Bodhisattva:
One who wishes to protect oneself and others quickly,
should practice exchanging oneself for others,
which is a great mystery.
All those who are unhappy in the world are so
as a result of their desire for their own happiness.
All those who are happy in the world are so
as a result of their desire for the happiness of others.
Enough of such talk!
Note the difference between the fool who seeks his own benefit,
and the sage who works for the benefit of others.
One, who does not exchange his own happiness for the suffering of others,
surely does not achieve Buddhahood.
How could one find happiness even in the cycle of existence?
Therefore, Continue reading
The are one hundred fifty vajra statements in the Gong Chig. They are called vajra (diamond) statements because they are hard to penetrate. They arise from direct experience and not book knowledge. Just as a diamond cannot be penetrated by other substances, these statement cannot be penetrated by conceptual knowledge. They are also called vajra statements because they are precious and rare. They teach the single viewpoint of the three baskets of teaching and the four classes of tantras.
There are four ways to understand the meaning of these statements. Continue reading
The Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma
The notion of the three turnings of the wheel of doctrine (dharma-cakra) was probably first articulated in the Discourse Explaining the Thought (Saṃdhinirmocana-sūtra), the most important scriptural source for the Yogācāra school of Indian Buddhism.
In the seventh chapter, the Buddha declares that he presented certain doctrinal teachings in three cycles, or wheels. The first wheel contains discussions of core doctrines such as the four noble truths (ārya-satya) and dependent arising (pratītya-samutpāda); this is the Lesser Vehicle (Hīnayāna), which is surpassed by the superior teachings of the second wheel. The second wheel is the Perfection of Wisdom (prajñā-pāramitā) discourses, Continue reading
From Bodhichitta and the Six Far-Reaching Attitudes in the Context of the Two Networks
Lecture by Alexander Berzin (2004)
I should just mention, since sometimes people come across this in tantra and it can be quite confusing, that in the highest class of tantra, we speak about white and red bodhichittas. Now, these are forms of very subtle material phenomena, physical phenomena. These are not states of mind.
These are very subtle… difficult to find a good word, but let us call them sparks of creative energy that each of us has. And in the highest class of tantra, in the very advanced stages of it, once we gain the ability to do this—which is incredibly difficult to gain, that ability—then we can move these very subtle creative energies within our body and dissolve them into the heart chakra in order to be able to achieve or access the subtlest level of mind. It’s called the clear light mind (’od-gsal). And then use that for focusing on voidness and achieving enlightenment, because it’s the most efficient level of mind. Continue reading