The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Togme Zongpo

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The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Togme Zongpo

Postby phantom59 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:31 am

Namo Lokesvaraya

You who see that experience has no coming or going,
Yet pour your energy solely into helping beings,
My excellent teachers and Lord All Seeing,
I humbly and constantly honor with my body, speech, and mind.

The fully awake, the buddhas, source of joy and well-being,
All come from integrating the noble Way.
Because integration depends on your knowing how to practice,
I will explain the practice of all bodhisattvas.

Right now, you have a good boat, fully equipped and available hard to find.
To free others and you from the sea of samsara,
Day and night, fully alert and present,
Study, reflect, and meditate this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Attraction to those close to you catches you in its currents;
Aversion to those who oppose you burns inside;
Indifference that ignores what needs to be done is a black hole.
Leave your homeland this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Don't engage disturbances and reactive emotions gradually fade away;
Don't engage distractions and spiritual practice naturally grows;
Keep awareness clear and vivid and confidence in the way arises.
Rely on silence this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

You will separate from long-time friends and relatives;
You will leave behind the wealth you worked to build up;
The guest, your consciousness, will move from the inn, your body.
Forget the conventional concerns this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

With some friends, the three poisons keep growing,
Study, reflection, and meditation weaken,
And loving kindness and compassion fall away.
Give up bad friends this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

With some teachers, your shortcomings fade away and
Abilities grow like the waxing moon.
Hold such teachers dear to you,
Dearer than your own body this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Locked up in the prison of their own patterning
Whom can ordinary gods protect?
Who can you count on for refuge?
Go for refuge in the Three Jewels this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

The suffering in the lower realms is really hard to endure.
The Sage says it is the result of destructive actions.
For that reason, even if your life is at risk,
Don't engage in destructive actions this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

The happiness of the three worlds disappears in a moment,
Like a dewdrop on a blade of grass.
The highest level of freedom is one that never changes.
Aim for this this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

For time without beginning, mothers have lovingly cared for you.
If they are still suffering, how can you be happy?
To free limitless sentient beings,
Give rise to awakening mind this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

All suffering comes from wanting your own happiness.
Complete awakening arises from the intention to help others.
So, exchange completely your happiness
For the suffering of others this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Even if someone, driven by desperate want,
Steals, or makes someone else steal, everything you own,
Dedicate to him your body, your wealth, and
All the good you've ever done or will do this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Even if you have done nothing wrong at all
And someone still tries to take your head off,
Spurred by compassion,
Take all his or her evil into you this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Even if someone broadcasts to the whole universe
Slanderous and ugly rumors about you,
In return, with an open and caring heart,
Praise his or her abilities this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Even if someone humiliates you and denounces you
In front of a crowd of people,
Think of this person as your teacher
And humbly honor him this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Even if a person you have cared for as your own child
Treats you as his or her worst enemy,
Lavish him or her with loving attention
Like a mother caring for her ill child this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Even if your peers or subordinates,
Put you down to make themselves look better,
Treat them respectfully as you would your teacher:
Put them above you this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

When you are down and out, held in contempt,
Desperately ill, and emotionally crazy,
Don't lose heart. Take into you
The suffering and negativity of all beings this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Even when you are famous, honored by all,
And as rich as the god of wealth himself,
Don't be pompous. Know that the magnificence of existence
Has no substance this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

If you don't subdue the opponent inside, your own anger,
Although you subdue opponents outside, they just keep coming.
Muster the forces of loving kindness and compassion
And subdue your own mind this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Sensual pleasures are like salty water:
The deeper you drink, the thirstier you become.
Any object that you attach to,
Right away, let it go this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Whatever arises in experience is your own mind.
Mind itself is free of any conceptual limitations.
Know that and don't generate
Subject-object fixations this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

When you come across something you enjoy,
Though beautiful to experience, like a summer rainbow,
Don't take it as real.
Let go of attachment this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

All forms of suffering are like dreaming that your child has died.
Taking confusion as real wears you out.
When you run into misfortune,
Look at it as confusion this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

If those who want to be awake have to give even their bodies,
What need is there to talk about things that you simply own.
Be generous, not looking
For any return or result this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

If you can't tend to your needs because you have no moral discipline,
Then intending to take care of the needs of others is simply a joke.
Observe ethical behavior without concern
For conventional existence this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

For bodhisattvas who want to be rich in virtue
A person who hurts you is a precious treasure.
Cultivate patience for everyone,
Completely free of irritation or resentment this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Listeners and solitary buddhas, working only for their own welfare,
Are seen to practice as if their heads were on fire.
To help all beings, pour your energy into practice:
It's the source of all abilities this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Understanding that reactive emotions are dismantled
By insight supported by stillness,
Cultivate meditative stability that passes right by
The four formless states this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Without wisdom, the five perfections
Are not enough to attain full awakening.
Cultivate wisdom, endowed with skill
And free from the three domains this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

If you don't go into your own confusion,
You may just be a materialist in practitioner's clothing.
Constantly go into your own confusion
And put an end to it this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

You undermine yourself when you react emotionally and
Grumble about the imperfections of other bodhisattvas.
Of the imperfections of those who have entered the Great Way,
Don't say anything this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

When you squabble with others about status and rewards,
You undermine learning, reflection, and meditation.
Let go of any investment in your family circle
Or the circle of those who support you this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Abusive language upsets others
And undermines the ethics of a bodhisattva.
So, don't upset people or
Speak abusively this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

When reactive emotions acquire momentum, it's hard to make remedies work.
A person in attention wields remedies like weapons,
Crushing reactive emotions such as craving
As soon as they arise this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

In short, in everything you do,
Know what is happening in your mind.
By being constantly present and alert
You bring about what helps others this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

To dispel the suffering of beings without limit,
With wisdom freed from the three spheres
Direct all the goodness generated by these efforts
To awakening -- this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Following the teachings of the holy ones
On what is written in the sutras, tantras, and commentaries,
I set out these thirty-seven practices of a bodhisattva
For those who intend to train in this path.

Because I have limited intelligence and little education,
These verses are not the kind of poetry that delights the learned.
But because I relied on the teachings of the sutras and the revered
I am confident that The Practices of a Bodhisattva is sound.

However, because it's hard for a person with limited intelligence like me
To fathom the depths of the great waves of the activity of bodhisattvas,
I ask the revered to tolerate
Any mistakes contradictions, non sequiturs, and such.

From the goodness of this work, may all beings,
Through the supreme mind that is awake to what is ultimately and apparently true,
Not rest in any limiting position existence or peace:
May they be like Lord All Seeing.

Tog-me, the monk, a teacher of scripture and logic, composed this text in a cave
near the town of Ngülchu Rinchen for his own and others' benefit.
phantom59
 
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Re: The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Togme Zongpo

Postby muni » Tue May 22, 2012 9:12 am

Enjoy a heartfelt commentary by Geshe Dorji Damdul.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVvDE4-9 ... ure=relmfu
We have to go beyond theories no matter how sacred they might seem.
Theories can create an illusory distance between us and enlightenment.
muni
 
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Re: The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Togme Zongpo

Postby Gyaltsen Tashi » Wed May 23, 2012 12:09 pm

This teaching is too difficult for me. My behavior is the entire opposite. I feel discouraged just thinking about this teaching.
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Re: The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Togme Zongpo

Postby sherabpa » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:53 am

Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:This teaching is too difficult for me. My behavior is the entire opposite. I feel discouraged just thinking about this teaching.


Don't be discouraged! That is to miss the point of such teachings. As Nagarjuna said in the Friendly Letter:

Its hard enough for monks to follow perfectly
All these instructions that I've given you.
Yet practice well the very pith
Of just one of these, and your life will have meaning.


We do what we can, that is all anyone can do.
sherabpa
 
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Re: The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Togme Zongpo

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:30 pm

Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:This teaching is too difficult for me. My behavior is the entire opposite. I feel discouraged just thinking about this teaching.
The fact you can see that is the first step. Being able to admit it is the second step.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Togme Zongpo

Postby muni » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:01 pm

In addition, this prayer by Gyalse Ngulchu Togme Zangpo:

"May whoever harms my body and my life
Have a long life, with no illness or enemies,
And having overcome all obstacles on the path,
Swiftly attain the dharmakaya, free of birth and death".
We have to go beyond theories no matter how sacred they might seem.
Theories can create an illusory distance between us and enlightenment.
muni
 
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Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Togme Zongpo

Postby muni » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:22 am

And ones more in addition, regarding the practices of a Bodhisattva, I found this teaching back on the blog of Matthieu Ricard, for which I thank and recommend myself to use:

If this illusory body, which I cling to as mine, is sick—let it be sick!
This sickness enables me to exhaust
The bad karma I have accumulated in the past,
And the spiritual deeds I can then perform
Help me purify the two kinds of veils.

If I am in good health, I am happy,
Because when my body and mind are well
I can enhance my spiritual practice,
And give real meaning to human existence
By turning my body, speech and mind to virtue.

If I am poor, I am happy,
Because I’ve no wealth to protect,
And I know that all feuds and animosity
Sprout from the seeds of greed and attachment.

If I am rich, I am happy,
Because with my wealth I can do more positive actions,
And both temporal and ultimate happiness
Are the result of meritorious deeds.

If I die soon, that’s excellent,
Because, assisted by some good potential, I am confident that
I shall enter the unmistaken path
Before any obstacle can intervene.

If I live long, I am happy,
Because without parting from the warm beneficial rain of spiritual instructions
I can, over a long time, fully ripen
The crop of inner experiences.

Therefore, whatever happens, I shall be happy!
http://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/p ... 295-1369-v

:namaste:
We have to go beyond theories no matter how sacred they might seem.
Theories can create an illusory distance between us and enlightenment.
muni
 
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Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am


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