“There’s no business, like shoe business!”

 

Photo courtesy of Jean Loo

 

To cover all the earth with sheets of leather
Where could such amounts of skin be found?
But with the leather soles of just my shoes
It is as though I cover all the earth!

A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life – Shantideva

Chapter 5

Vigilant Introspection
Verse 13

Khenpo Tsering visits Pasadena Bodhi Path

We had the good fortune and blessings to have our teacher and friend Khenpo Tsering visit our group last Wednesday night and give teachings this weekend at the home of our dear friend and dharma sister, Jean Loo. Many thanks to everyone who contributed in making this weekend a most enjoyable one. Khenpo elucidated the 5th Chapter, Vigilant Introspection, of the Bodhisattvacharyāvatāra, Way of the Bodhisattva. We all benefited greatly from Khenpo’s explanations and his wonderful stories.

“Khenpo finished his teachings of Chapter 5 Vigilant Introspection with 109 verses in A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life by Shantideva.  Look forward to more teachings.” – Jean Loo

Khenpo with Francesca, Erinn, and Nastassja at our Wednesday night class

Khenpo and the sangha at Jean’s home

Bodhisattva Ninja Turtle

Not for Happiness

Not for Happiness

I noticed a friend last night at our meditation group reading this book at the break. It was a book I had given him a few months ago. Another friend, who I had also given a copy to, also noticed and a short discussion began about the book. I loved the book. For me, a good kick in the ass when needed. For my friends, a little bit of a demanding read. The title itself shatters whatever grand illusions we have of a spiritual practice. Not for Happiness. Happiness seekers need not apply. But as my teacher said last night, relative happiness. Conditioned happiness. So, for awakening, for enlightenment, for the benefit of beings, should be, I believe, our motivation. Our intention. It is mine for sure. And still a work in progress. My teacher Shamar Rinpoche, a great master who we lost last year, said this to me many years ago when he noticed my urgency in wanting results from practice, “Be like the tortoise, not the rabbit.” I have cherished that teaching ever since. It continually reminds me that it is not necessarily speed, but consistent determination that will benefit us on the path. I also realized this morning that Rinpoche was advising me in the ways of a bodhisattva.

Shantideva says,

“For those who wish to go across the water,
 May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.”

Even a turtle.

Sarva Mangalam

Bodhisattva Ninja Turtle

Bodhisattva Ninja Turtle

Using Habit Against Itself 

Each step may seem to take forever, but no matter how uninspired you feel, continue to follow your practice schedule precisely and consistently. This is how we can use our greatest enemy, habit, against itself.

– Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, “Tortoise Steps”

Shantideva’s Wishes

earth

Dear friends,

We offer Shantideva’s Dedication on this last day of the month and the 2nd day of the Lunar New Year. One can turn to these verses for inspiration during times that challenge the heart. Choose any verses that resonate with you and they can be the perfect way to begin or end your meditation – offering your heartfelt wishes to benefit and serve, to “dispel the misery of the world.”

May no living creature suffer… or ever fall ill.

May no one be afraid or belittled,


With a mind weighed down by depression.

May those whose bodies are worn with toil


Be restored on finding repose.

May the naked find clothing,


The hungry find food.


May the thirsty find water


And delicious drinks.

May the poor find wealth,


Those weak with sorrow find joy.


May the forlorn find hope,


Constant happiness and prosperity.

May there be timely rains


And bountiful harvests.


May all medicines be effective


May all who are sick and ill


Quickly be freed from their ailments.


Whatever diseases there are in the world,


May they never occur again.

May the frightened cease to be afraid


And those bound be freed.

May the powerless find power


And may people think of helping each other.

For as long as space remains,


For as long as sentient beings remain,


Until then, may I too remain,


To dispel the misery of the world.

Chapter 10, Dedication – Bodhicharyavatara, The Way of the Bodhisattva – Shantideva

Shantideva

Shantideva