The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

COMPASSION: THE WISH-FULFILLING JEWEL 205arises in you at that moment to attain enlightenment for thebenefit of all others.This compassionate wish is called Bodhichitta in Sanskrit;bodhi means our enlightened essence, and chitta means heart.So we could translate it as "the heart of our enlightenedmind." To awaken and develop the heart of the enlightenedmind is to ripen steadily the seed of our buddha nature, thatseed that in the end, when our practice of compassion hasbecome perfect and all-embracing, will flower majestically intobuddhahood. Bodhichitta, then, is the spring and source androot of the entire spiritual path. That is why Shantideva couldpraise Bodhichitta with such joy:It is the supreme elixirThat overcomes the sovereignty of death.It is the inexhaustible treasureThat eliminates poverty in the world.It is the supreme medicineThat quells the world's disease.It is the tree that shelters all beingsWandering and tired on the path of conditioned existence.It is the universal bridgeThat leads to freedom from unhappy states of birth.It is the dawning moon of the mindThat dispels the torment of disturbing conceptions.It is the great sun that finally removesThe misty ignorance of the world. 5And this is why in our tradition we pray with suchurgency:Bodhichitta, precious and sublime:May it arise in those in whom it has not arisen;May it never decline where it has arisen;But go on increasing, further and further!Patrul Rinpoche used these four lines to encapsulate theentire training in Bodhichitta, "the wish," as Maitreyadescribed it, "to attain perfect enlightenment for the sake ofothers." Let me briefly outline this training. It begins by developingwithin your mind loving kindness, compassion, joy, andequanimity toward limitless living beings. 6 Through a practiceof deep contemplation, you cultivate these four qualities tosuch a degree that they become boundless and immeasurable.

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