Friday, October 30, 2009

Last Post

This will be my last post on this blog. It hasn't worked ou as I originally intended and Lama has asked me to practice Tibetan, so I won't have as much time as I used to. If you are interested in my thoughts, you can follow my other blog, The Careless Hand.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Psychic Powers

All Buddhas say the cause for the completion
Of the collections, whose nature is
Merit and exalted wisdom,
Is the development of higher perception.

The Sanskrit term which is translated here as higher perception is abhijna. The closest term in English is psychic powers. We're talking about reading minds, seeing things at a distance, being able to see invisible beings, and so on. Without these powers, one's ability to help others is limited. One can guide a student better when one can see what's going on in their mind. And most of the six classes of beings are invisible to us, we can't help them if we don't have psychic powers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Two Accumulations

Therefore, through effort in the vow made by
Bodhisattvas for pure, full enlightenment,
The collections for complete enlightenment
Will be thoroughly accomplished.

Enlightenment depends upon the two accumulations of merit and wisdom. The discussion so far has concerned the accumulation of merit. We start out with the accumulation of merit because until we are a good ways along on the path, it's difficult to accumulate wisdom. Once the accumulation of merit is well established, the other qualities that lead to enlightenment can also be established.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Observing the Vow

When those observing the vow
Of the active altruistic intention have trained well
In the three forms of discipline, their respect
For these three forms of discipline grows,
Which cause purity of body, speech and mind.
After taking the vow, which is aspirational bodhicitta, one engages in active bodhicitta. These are the two types of relative bodhicitta.  Part of active bodhicitta is observing the moral conduct of body, speech, and mind. When this behavior becomes habitual, one has achieved purity of body, speech, and mind.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Virtuous Conduct

"I shall purify all my bodily
And my verbal forms of activity.
My mental activities, too, I shall purify
And do nothing that is non-virtuous."

Here again the aspiring bodhisattva vows to only engage in virtuous conduct. In addition to the reason given earlier, a bodhisattva needs to avoid non-virtue so that they will not fall into the lower realms, which would prevent further spiritual progress.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Enlightenment Delayed

"I shall not be eager to reach
Enlightenment in the quickest way,
But shall stay behind till the very end,
For the sake of a single being."

A bodhisattva does not enter the enlightenment of cessation, but remains in the world to help others.  They are able to both remain in the world and attain complete enlightenment because they attain an enlightenment that makes no distinction between samsara and nirvana. 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pure Conduct

"From this moment onwards
Until i attain enlightenment,
I shall not harbor harmful thoughts,
Anger, avarice or envy"
"I shall cultivate pure conduct,
Give up wrong-doing and desire
And with joy in the vow of discipline
Train myself to follow the Buddhas"
A bodhisattva vows to benefit all beings and lead them to enlightenment. Harming others in thought, word, or deed would contradict this vow, so a bodhisattva forswears them. Virtuous conduct is the root of all attainment on the bodhisattva's path, so an aspiring bodhisattva  cultivates positive qualities and abandons  negative ones.