20 Apr 2007 |
Posted by Lama Surya Das | 0 Comment.
I am excited about my new book on how to be a bodhisattva: wisdom warrior, awakener, edifier, enlightened leader and spiritual altruist. It’s called Buddha Is As Buddha Does: The Ten Original Practices for Enlightened Living. It is all about spiritual activism and the Bodhisattva Code, explained on the outer, inner and secret or innermost ultimate level, according to the Vajrayana (diamond path) teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. I have dedicated it to the young people just now awakening to the great possibility that they can become part of the solution rather than part of the problem in our troubled world today, and really make a contribution and a positive difference. I will be going around the country this spring speaking about this book and the subject of the Bodhisattva as spiritual activist, and the secret of altruism in bringing happiness and well being to us, both individually and collectively. You can check my website for details.
The Bodhisattva ideal is the highest spiritual ideal in Buddhism. This is Buddha’s own guidebook and manual for how to be and to become the ultimate social and spiritual activist, energetically dedicating oneself in this life and all our energy towards the ultimate good for the greatest number. The ten transformative virtues or panacean paramitas of the compassionate Bodhisattva path include unconditional generosity, self-disciple and integrity, patient forbearance, fearless effort, skillful means, powers, resolve, and so forth. It is how Buddha himself walked the path of enlightenment and contributed vastly to this troubled world.
“We are all Buddhas by nature. We only have to recognize and awaken to that fact to bring it into the world, and anyone can do it.” We are the young Bodhisattvas, the Buddhas to be. “As long as there is suffering in this world, there is spiritual work to do. We are the Bodhisattvas, the future Buddhas of this world.”
Wisdom is as wisdom does. It is not enough just to pray and meditate; we also have to act in this world, as the Dalai Lama told us in September of last year at my alma mater, the University at Buffalo (where 30,000 people gathered in the football stadium to hear him and I gave three one hour lectures in introducing and supporting his visit).
Let’s remember the Bodhisattva’s profound magic of being there while getting there, every single step of the Way– not waiting for someone else to do it.
For as Dr. Seuss says, in The Lorax:
“Unless someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
Prayer of Accomplishing the Paramita Virtues
by Lama Surya Das
With one eye on this world and one on the next,
And a third focused on the timeless dimension,
Throughout this life and all possible lifetimes
Until enlightenment be achieved,
May I inexhaustibly endeavor in the Bodhisattva way
And follow the path of unconditional compassion
And selfless altruism,
So that all beings everywhere may be delivered
And freed from the ravages of suffering and confusion
And reach the other shore, great peace, deathless nirvana.
May I perfect the sublime virtue of generosity,
which brings contentment through liberating
craving, grasping, and attachment.
May I develop and accomplish
the pure virtue of ethical self-discipline,
which dries up the boiling river of greed,
hatred, and delusion.
May I perfect the noble virtue of patience,
which can face naked reality,
accept adversity, bear hardship
and turn it into an ally.
May I perfect the noble virtue of enthusiastic effort
and fearless perseverance, which heroically strives
for the ultimate benefit of all.
May I perfect the subtle virtue of concentration
and alert mindfulness, which clarifies the heart
and mind and allows awareness
to dawn within.
May I perfect the profound virtue of transcendental
knowledge-wisdom, which knows
how things actually are as well as how they arise and operate.
May I perfect the multi-faceted virtue of skillful means,
which makes all things possible
and swiftly accomplishes all that is wanted and needed.
May I perfect the adamantine virtue of unshakeable resolve,
determination and inspired aspiration,
which has universal vision and scope.
May I perfect the radiant virtue of spiritual empowerment
and positive influence, which accomplishes unselfish service
and love far beyond the limits of mortal beings.
May I realize the supreme virtue of awakened awareness,
which recognizes the innate purity
and primordial perfection of all that is.
May all that has been prayed for and here affirmed
be realized and accomplished by one and all!