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The Bodhisattva Attitude

VastmindVastmind VeteranMemphis, TN Veteran

Traditionally, the practice of the perfection of generosity (dana paramita in Sanskrit) is the gateway to the bodhisattva path. Why? Bodhisattva practice is radical. It involves a fundamental shift in our approach to life. It begins with a serious examination of our attitudes, where they come from, and how they condition the way we see, think, feel, and act.

Someone once asked Tang dynasty Zen Master Baijang why giving is the gateway to the bodhisattva path. Baijang answered that it is because to practice giving is to practice letting go. The monk then asked, “What do you let go of?” Baijang said, “You let go of narrow views. You let go of the idea that things are small and tight, graspable and possessable.

Baijang is emphasizing the open and wide spirit of generosity. He is showing us that it is the crabbiness of our thinking, the stinginess of our minds, our desire to judge, evaluate, separate, define—holding on to scraps—that stop us from opening to the abundance that must be within us, living beings that we are. Why can’t we be as generous as trees?

This article gives a nice little exercise/practice on how to open up our stingy attitudes about reality.

https://www.lionsroar.com/the-bodhisattva-attitude/

ShoshinpersonlobsteradamcrossleyDavidJason

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited August 17

    It’s funny... I was talking to my uncle today about being compassionate and generous. Here in Western Europe there aren’t that many demands on one’s generosity, there are very few beggars because the state’s social security system takes care of them. It’s a good article.

    But I was thinking, the whole idea of bodhisattva vows assumes a few things. It assumes you believe in rebirth, it assumes that these forms of belief survive enlightenment. Something to think about.

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Veteran Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited August 18

    @Kerome said:
    But I was thinking, the whole idea of bodhisattva vows assumes a few things. It assumes you believe in rebirth, it assumes that these forms of belief survive enlightenment. Something to think about.

    That could be true, but also consider that in one of the most popular movements (in the West, at least) that take on bodhisattva precepts, Zen Buddhism and it's various schools, it is very popular to not believe in rebirth at all in any form, ultimate, provisional, what-have-you, but they seem to be doing okay with their vows all the same!

    :)

    adamcrossleyVastmindlobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    In Buddhist Dharma we have a template, a working path and modus operandi. There are in other ways saintly 'bodhi' and peacemakers ...
    https://stethelburgas.org/

    Another example. Here is something from my Sufi Alchemy site to drive you completely sideways ...
    https://tinyurl.com/y2s82ogl

    😎💗🙏🏽

    Kerome
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited September 2

    @Kerome said:
    It’s funny... I was talking to my uncle today about being compassionate and generous. Here in Western Europe there aren’t that many demands on one’s generosity, there are very few beggars because the state’s social security system takes care of them. It’s a good article.

    As far as I can tell the generosity of the one towards the community is reflected in taxes paid. Definately a more enlightened way of doing things in my opinion.

    But I was thinking, the whole idea of bodhisattva vows assumes a few things. It assumes you believe in rebirth, it assumes that these forms of belief survive enlightenment. Something to think about.

    I'm not so sure. I think the only thing we need assume is that we all have the potential to wake up to our true or buddha nature.

    Although rebirth makes sense to me, I don't bother with believing in that or enlightenment being the end of the road. There is nothing wrong with these beliefs and they can even help some to eventually abandon them as expectations to have faith in and see them as possibilities to be weighed.

    As far as I'm aware, all we have to cultivate on the Bodhisattva path is the intent to help us realise our buddha nature right here and right now, rebirth be damned.

    KeromelobsterShoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Bodhisattva practice is radical.

    Radically ordinary humanity ...
    https://mgiep.unesco.org/kindness-stories

    David
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    One day I breathed out and relaxed.
    In one sense the relaxed, let go, gasping mind set can never return.
    Breath the Buddha air ...

    In other words freedom, unwinding, unknotting becomes a loop preference both inward and outward.

    I find the Mahayana can constrict to the Theravada mindset but no tighter. It is the Bodhi that widens the softness ...

    Dharma Uber Alles

    KeromeVastmind
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