Great online course and very accessible.
Something to ponder upon ( course transcript, week 2) :
``````````````````Defining what is means to be a bodhisattva by action (practice):
When we assign the name by action and practice, here we need to reflect on what Shantideva talked about in terms of ‘entering bodhicitta’ and ‘application bodhicitta’.
The wish or aspiration is different from the entering or application.
And when we start, as Rinpoche said yes aspiration is good, but just having an aspiration, just having a passing wish to enlighten all sentient beings, that is different from committing oneself to the path.
And application bodhicitta or entering bodhicitta only begins when you make the commitment that from that point onwards everything that you do will be for the sake of enlightening all sentient beings.
In more contemporary terms, we might say it’s an existential choice.
The Wikipedia entry on existentialism says:
Authentic existence involves the idea that one has to "create oneself" and then live in accordance with this self […] The authentic act is one that is in accordance with one's freedom.
So there is this notion that we have to change the story that we’re telling about ourselves, about who we are, about what our life is about - what is our purpose?
We have to engage in very deliberate self-authorship where we now author ourselves as bodhisattvas.
There’s an explicit recreation or creation of a new identity for ourselves.
And at that point we can consider ourselves bodhisattvas as defined by action or practice. So this is a great distinction to reflect upon for yourself.
When you think about your narrative, when you think about how you describe your passion, your purpose, what your life is about, what your work is about, how you relate to the world, to relationships, to work – how are you doing this?
What is your narrative?
When somebody asks you why are you doing this, what answer do you come up with?
And is the answer, “because I want to bring all sentient beings to enlightenment”?
Is that your answer?
It’s a great reflection.