Those who lack the faculty of faith,
who become discouraged, who are timid,
who turn away from diligence,
who are complacent with the slightest qualities,
who fixate on a single virtue only, who lack skill,
who are without a spiritual friend,
and who are not blessed by the Buddhas
are unable to fully understand suchness.
They are unable to comprehend, accept,
or achieve the conduct of the Bodhisattvas.
―Manjushri, Avatamsaka Sutra
The result of learning, contemplation, and meditation should be a steady and real increase in the love and compassion of bodhichitta, together with a steady and real diminution of ego-clinging and negative thinking.
We often hear the Buddha’s brilliant summary of the Path: “Avoid harm. Do good. Purify the mind.”
This is eminently practical advice. At every moment, in every circumstance, if we can ask these questions, we will make swift progress on the Path:
- What harmful thoughts, words, and deeds can I avoid right now?
- How can I be of service to others this very moment?
- How can I purify the wrong views of separation (self-grasping) and supremacy (self-cherishing) right now?
These two people are hard to find in the world.
Which two? The one who is first to do a kindness,
and the one who is grateful for a kindness done.
There is no unwholesomeness like anger,
and no discipline like patience.
Strive always therefore for serenity,
cultivating it in varied ways.
bhekandze bhekandze maha-bhekandze
radza samudgate so’ha
May all ten directions of cyclic existence
abound in remedies, healers, nurses, food, and shelter
for the poor and the infirm.
May I be reborn as remedy, healer, and nurse,
and perform perfect service until all the ill are rendered hale.
May all remedies become powerful.
May all healers achieve perfection.
May all develop love and compassion in their hearts.
Since beginningless time,
we’ve gone through so much pain
for transient pleasures.
Yet with a thousand times less effort,
we could have reached enlightenment itself.
―Ven. Rene Feusi