Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

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Josef
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Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Josef » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:10 am

I'm not sure if this has been done before, or if folks are interested but I thought it might be useful to start an ongoing thread for discussion different aspects of the Bodhicaryavatara, both from the perspective of practice and interpretation of the stanzas etc.

This is the first teaching I ever received and I have received it numerous times since then. Personally, I draw a great deal of grounding and inspiration from it and would love to hear (and discuss) the experiences of you all.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

SunWuKong
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by SunWuKong » Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:51 pm

"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Josef
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Josef » Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:12 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:51 pm
this one?

http://www.drepunggomangusa.org/wp-cont ... allace.pdf
Yes, there are many translations of Shantidevas original now.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Josef
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Josef » Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:41 pm

Here is a brilliant guide to meditating on the text by Patrul.
http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... hining-sun
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:27 pm

Josef wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:10 am
I'm not sure if this has been done before, or if folks are interested but I thought it might be useful to start an ongoing thread for discussion different aspects of the Bodhicaryavatara, both from the perspective of practice and interpretation of the stanzas etc.

This is the first teaching I ever received and I have received it numerous times since then. Personally, I draw a great deal of grounding and inspiration from it and would love to hear (and discuss) the experiences of you all.
I havn't studyed it! You go first please 😀
what are you doing

CicadaCanto
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by CicadaCanto » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:45 pm

I would be interested in engaging in such a collective study and discussion of this text.
Josef wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:10 am
I'm not sure if this has been done before, or if folks are interested but I thought it might be useful to start an ongoing thread for discussion different aspects of the Bodhicaryavatara, both from the perspective of practice and interpretation of the stanzas etc.

This is the first teaching I ever received and I have received it numerous times since then. Personally, I draw a great deal of grounding and inspiration from it and would love to hear (and discuss) the experiences of you all.

Lukeinaz
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Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:34 pm

Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Lukeinaz » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:37 pm

I read this verse last night and started to wonder if Shantideva ever taught dzogchen. I like Padmakara's translation better but here is Berzin's with a much different feel:

Chapter Seven

(60) So, when standing amidst a horde of disturbing emotions,
I shall hold my ground (proudly),
in a thousand ways, and not be thrown off by the pack of disturbing emotions,
like a lion with jackals and such.

and again Wallace who seems closer to Berzin:

Abiding amidst a multitude of mental afflictions, one
should be vigorous in a thousand ways and unconquerable
by the hosts of mental afflictions, like a lion by a herd of
deer
Last edited by Lukeinaz on Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
You are truly astonishing--going to look for yourself when you already are yourself! --Longchen Rabjam

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Josef
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Josef » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:39 pm

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:27 pm
Josef wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:10 am
I'm not sure if this has been done before, or if folks are interested but I thought it might be useful to start an ongoing thread for discussion different aspects of the Bodhicaryavatara, both from the perspective of practice and interpretation of the stanzas etc.

This is the first teaching I ever received and I have received it numerous times since then. Personally, I draw a great deal of grounding and inspiration from it and would love to hear (and discuss) the experiences of you all.
I havn't studyed it! You go first please 😀
Excellent!

In my current reading Ive been struck by the timely relevance of certain stanzas in chapter 4, Vigilance.
Although they are in the context of ancient Indian monasticism there is a strong message about conduct for dharma practitioners (and anyone really) in the modern world, especially in terms of sexual misconduct.

The stanza I find quite relevant:

93. Do not sit upon a horse, on beds or seats,
with women of another house, alone.
All that you have seen, or have been told, to be offensive—this you should avoid.

Putting a modern spin on this stanza says a lot about how we treat others in private or public settings. If we truly follow this advice we will honor the internal processes of those around us and be respectful of others. This stanza screams #metoo to me.

I also think there is a rush to abandon "concepts" of politeness etc. and rush into some sort of romanticized notion of wisdom being free from social constraints. This can lead to a great deal of harm and for me at least, Shantidevas words here ring true as a guide to kindness and proper behavior for a practitioner of the buddhadharma.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Josef
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Josef » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:44 pm

Lukeinaz wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:37 pm
I read this verse last night and started to wonder if Shantideva ever taught dzogchen. I like Padmakara's translation better but here is Berzin's with a much different feel:

Chapter Seven

(60) So, when standing amidst a horde of disturbing emotions,
I shall hold my ground (proudly),
in a thousand ways, and not be thrown off by the pack of disturbing emotions,
like a lion with jackals and such.

and again Wallace who seems closer to Berzin:

Abiding amidst a multitude of mental afflictions, one
should be vigorous in a thousand ways and unconquerable
by the hosts of mental afflictions, like a lion by a herd of
deer
I think Shantideva was realized, so it would make sense that he was teaching from that perspective.
Since Dzogchen is the essence of the Buddhas realization this would make sense.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:01 am

Josef wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:39 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:27 pm
Josef wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:10 am
I'm not sure if this has been done before, or if folks are interested but I thought it might be useful to start an ongoing thread for discussion different aspects of the Bodhicaryavatara, both from the perspective of practice and interpretation of the stanzas etc.

This is the first teaching I ever received and I have received it numerous times since then. Personally, I draw a great deal of grounding and inspiration from it and would love to hear (and discuss) the experiences of you all.
I havn't studyed it! You go first please 😀
Excellent!

In my current reading Ive been struck by the timely relevance of certain stanzas in chapter 4, Vigilance.
Although they are in the context of ancient Indian monasticism there is a strong message about conduct for dharma practitioners (and anyone really) in the modern world, especially in terms of sexual misconduct.

The stanza I find quite relevant:

93. Do not sit upon a horse, on beds or seats,
with women of another house, alone.
All that you have seen, or have been told, to be offensive—this you should avoid.

Putting a modern spin on this stanza says a lot about how we treat others in private or public settings. If we truly follow this advice we will honor the internal processes of those around us and be respectful of others. This stanza screams #metoo to me.

I also think there is a rush to abandon "concepts" of politeness etc. and rush into some sort of romanticized notion of wisdom being free from social constraints. This can lead to a great deal of harm and for me at least, Shantidevas words here ring true as a guide to kindness and proper behavior for a practitioner of the buddhadharma.
This stanza brings peace among man. I believe that this conduct prevents suspicion, jelousy and enmity.

Certainly, today this can be labeled as "archaic" but it is also true that people today is not very truthful nor respectful with his/her companions.

What else can this conduct cause or prevent?
Last edited by javier.espinoza.t on Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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TharpaChodron
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by TharpaChodron » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:14 am

Shantideva's remedy for anger, not sure what chapter that is, I think is one of the greatest things I've ever read. It should be required reading for all humans. I don't think I've read the entire text, but I'm interested in doing so.

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Josef
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Josef » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:41 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:14 am
Shantideva's remedy for anger, not sure what chapter that is, I think is one of the greatest things I've ever read. It should be required reading for all humans. I don't think I've read the entire text, but I'm interested in doing so.
Yes, chapter 8, Patience.
One of my favorites as well.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Josef
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Josef » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:42 am

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:01 am
Josef wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:39 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:27 pm


I havn't studyed it! You go first please 😀
Excellent!

In my current reading Ive been struck by the timely relevance of certain stanzas in chapter 4, Vigilance.
Although they are in the context of ancient Indian monasticism there is a strong message about conduct for dharma practitioners (and anyone really) in the modern world, especially in terms of sexual misconduct.

The stanza I find quite relevant:

93. Do not sit upon a horse, on beds or seats,
with women of another house, alone.
All that you have seen, or have been told, to be offensive—this you should avoid.

Putting a modern spin on this stanza says a lot about how we treat others in private or public settings. If we truly follow this advice we will honor the internal processes of those around us and be respectful of others. This stanza screams #metoo to me.

I also think there is a rush to abandon "concepts" of politeness etc. and rush into some sort of romanticized notion of wisdom being free from social constraints. This can lead to a great deal of harm and for me at least, Shantidevas words here ring true as a guide to kindness and proper behavior for a practitioner of the buddhadharma.
This stanza brings peace among man. I believe that this conduct prevents suspicion, jelousy and enmity.

Certainly, today this can be labeled as "archaic" but it is also true that people today is not very truthful nor respectful with his/her companions.

What else can this conduct cause or prevent?
It also prevents misconduct.
If we are careful in our behavior and the situations we find ourselves in we are less likely to do harm.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:57 am

Josef wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:42 am
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:01 am
Josef wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:39 pm


Excellent!

In my current reading Ive been struck by the timely relevance of certain stanzas in chapter 4, Vigilance.
Although they are in the context of ancient Indian monasticism there is a strong message about conduct for dharma practitioners (and anyone really) in the modern world, especially in terms of sexual misconduct.

The stanza I find quite relevant:

93. Do not sit upon a horse, on beds or seats,
with women of another house, alone.
All that you have seen, or have been told, to be offensive—this you should avoid.

Putting a modern spin on this stanza says a lot about how we treat others in private or public settings. If we truly follow this advice we will honor the internal processes of those around us and be respectful of others. This stanza screams #metoo to me.

I also think there is a rush to abandon "concepts" of politeness etc. and rush into some sort of romanticized notion of wisdom being free from social constraints. This can lead to a great deal of harm and for me at least, Shantidevas words here ring true as a guide to kindness and proper behavior for a practitioner of the buddhadharma.
This stanza brings peace among man. I believe that this conduct prevents suspicion, jelousy and enmity.

Certainly, today this can be labeled as "archaic" but it is also true that people today is not very truthful nor respectful with his/her companions.

What else can this conduct cause or prevent?
It also prevents misconduct.
If we are careful in our behavior and the situations we find ourselves in we are less likely to do harm.
I see. Would this be also valid for monks? I wonder bacause ¿why become monk if one is more likely to break vows? Is it that Boddhisattva's practice doesn't depends on monkhood?
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Josef
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Josef » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:26 am

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:57 am
Josef wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:42 am
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:01 am


This stanza brings peace among man. I believe that this conduct prevents suspicion, jelousy and enmity.

Certainly, today this can be labeled as "archaic" but it is also true that people today is not very truthful nor respectful with his/her companions.

What else can this conduct cause or prevent?
It also prevents misconduct.
If we are careful in our behavior and the situations we find ourselves in we are less likely to do harm.
I see. Would this be also valid for monks? I wonder bacause ¿why become monk if one is more likely to break vows? Is it that Boddhisattva's practice doesn't depends on monkhood?
It depends on the individual I suppose.
For example, Patrul only took novice vows because he knew he would be limited by full ordination and have trouble keeping the vows.

I think this text was originally meant for those holding vinaya vows but the stanzas just offer more than that one perspective. This rings true throughout the text and is a testament to the scope, compassion, and skill of Mahayana.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

Jeff H
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Location: Vermont, USA

Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Jeff H » Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:40 am

In Nectar of Manjushri's Speech, the commentary by Kunzang Pelden, a disciple of Patrul Rinpoche, he treats verses 5:91-96 together under the heading "Avoidance of giving scandal to others".

I consider the point of this passage to mean being considerate, polite, and unobtrusive in the work of becoming a bodhisattva. The core of these verses, for me, is captured in v.93cd: “And all that you have seen, or have been told, / To be a cause of scandal – that you should avoid.”

I think of this section as “ordinary etiquette”, meaning that having brought mind and body in line with refuge in Dharma, it is important that my behavior should always be respectful of others in any environment. My mother taught me that manners simply mean making others feel comfortable. I don’t think it is necessary for modern practitioners to adopt all of Shantideva’s specific admonitions literally. Rather it is our job to discern his intent from his many examples and adapt it to our own circumstances.

And that includes both the social circumstances and one's personal situation. I would answer Javier's question ("Is it that Boddhisattva's practice doesn't depends on monkhood?") by saying that, no, taking bodhisattva vows does not depend on taking the vows of monks of nuns. In fact, once when I attended an HHDL teaching, he led the packed Radio City Music Hall in the bodhisattva vows using chapters two and three of the Bodhicharyavatara. I took them again, more solemnly on my own in the context of my regular puja when I was studying Bodhicharyavatara and had come to better understand what the vows meant. It is possible to have the intention to attain bodhichitta ("aspiring") long before one is able to actually put it into practice ("active"). For those of us like that, the vows express that intention and practicing the bodhisattva deeds helps bring us to the point where the mere deeds will become the "perfections" with wisdom.

(Incidentally, Josef, I think you meant to refer to chapter 6 in an earlier post. That is the chapter on Patience.)
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Josef
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Josef » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:19 am

Jeff H wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:40 am
In Nectar of Manjushri's Speech, the commentary by Kunzang Pelden, a disciple of Patrul Rinpoche, he treats verses 5:91-96 together under the heading "Avoidance of giving scandal to others".

I consider the point of this passage to mean being considerate, polite, and unobtrusive in the work of becoming a bodhisattva. The core of these verses, for me, is captured in v.93cd: “And all that you have seen, or have been told, / To be a cause of scandal – that you should avoid.”

I think of this section as “ordinary etiquette”, meaning that having brought mind and body in line with refuge in Dharma, it is important that my behavior should always be respectful of others in any environment. My mother taught me that manners simply mean making others feel comfortable. I don’t think it is necessary for modern practitioners to adopt all of Shantideva’s specific admonitions literally. Rather it is our job to discern his intent from his many examples and adapt it to our own circumstances.

And that includes both the social circumstances and one's personal situation. I would answer Javier's question ("Is it that Boddhisattva's practice doesn't depends on monkhood?") by saying that, no, taking bodhisattva vows does not depend on taking the vows of monks of nuns. In fact, once when I attended an HHDL teaching, he led the packed Radio City Music Hall in the bodhisattva vows using chapters two and three of the Bodhicharyavatara. I took them again, more solemnly on my own in the context of my regular puja when I was studying Bodhicharyavatara and had come to better understand what the vows meant. It is possible to have the intention to attain bodhichitta ("aspiring") long before one is able to actually put it into practice ("active"). For those of us like that, the vows express that intention and practicing the bodhisattva deeds helps bring us to the point where the mere deeds will become the "perfections" with wisdom.

(Incidentally, Josef, I think you meant to refer to chapter 6 in an earlier post. That is the chapter on Patience.)
Thanks for this Jeff, a wonderful contribution.
And yes, Chapter 6 :smile:
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

Jeff H
Posts: 881
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Location: Vermont, USA

Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Jeff H » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:39 pm

Josef wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:41 pm
Here is a brilliant guide to meditating on the text by Patrul.
http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... hining-sun
I'd like to bump this post because I agree with Josef that this is a remarkable guide to the "Guide". Thanks for sharing it, Josef! This is the first I'd seen it, but I spent some time with it over the last couple of days. It is quite concise and an easy read.

The entire first half is the complete liturgy for self-administering the bodhisattva vows, including all the relevant text from chapters 1, 2, and 3. It really brings home the flavor of whipping up an avid aspiration then rationally and emotionally immersing oneself in making the commitment, just as Shantideva does it.

The second half then describes and explains the practical application of the commitment by summarizing the practice of each of the six paramitas. He cuts right to the core of Shantideva's message briefly and incisively, while providing the overall flow and context. As Josef says, "Brilliant".

I wanted to have it handy as a hardcopy reference, so I downloaded it to Word and reformatted it into a booklet (8-1/2 x 11 book fold, printed on both sides, flipped on short end). If anyone else would like it in that format you can PM me and I'll email it to you.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Josef » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:49 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:39 pm
Josef wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:41 pm
Here is a brilliant guide to meditating on the text by Patrul.
http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... hining-sun
I'd like to bump this post because I agree with Josef that this is a remarkable guide to the "Guide". Thanks for sharing it, Josef! This is the first I'd seen it, but I spent some time with it over the last couple of days. It is quite concise and an easy read.

The entire first half is the complete liturgy for self-administering the bodhisattva vows, including all the relevant text from chapters 1, 2, and 3. It really brings home the flavor of whipping up an avid aspiration then rationally and emotionally immersing oneself in making the commitment, just as Shantideva does it.

The second half then describes and explains the practical application of the commitment by summarizing the practice of each of the six paramitas. He cuts right to the core of Shantideva's message briefly and incisively, while providing the overall flow and context. As Josef says, "Brilliant".

I wanted to have it handy as a hardcopy reference, so I downloaded it to Word and reformatted it into a booklet (8-1/2 x 11 book fold, printed on both sides, flipped on short end). If anyone else would like it in that format you can PM me and I'll email it to you.
Thanks Jeff!
I would love a copy.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:51 pm

13. Even those who’ve committed intolerable misdeeds,
Through having bodhicitta instantly are freed,
Just like a brave companion banishing all one’s fears—
Why then would the prudent fail to put their trust in it?

http://www.lotsawahouse.org/indian-mast ... yavatara-1
I always wondered how this is possible, it is marvelous, amazing.

I think even depression could be cured this way. It worked well for me, hatred and sadness gone, step by step. No? What's the main cause od depression? Isn't self grasping?
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