Friday, July 09, 2010

Rob Preece: The meaning or purpose to be found in bodhichitta

Buddhist Practices for
Opening to Others

by Rob Preece

Dharma Quote of the Week

Sometimes our life can feel devoid of meaning even though we may try in different ways to put meaning into it.... Meaning comes when we go deeply within, wait, listen, and open. It begins to come when we genuinely open to the suffering of those around us with a compassionate heart. Equally, it comes as we respond to the environment within which we live with care and concern.

The meaning or purpose to be found in bodhichitta is less associated with what we do than with the quality we bring to what we engage in. Small, simple aspects of our life can be profoundly meaningful and have deep impact both for ourselves and others. Meaning lies in the quality of heart that we put into what we do.

It is not, therefore, the outer manifestation of what we can achieve that is the root of meaning. It is the undercurrent of bodhichitta's intention or purpose and meaning that flows within. What bodhichitta implies is that in attuning to our buddha nature or buddha potential, we touch a source of meaning in ourselves that will come through whatever we do.

This root of meaning gives the bodhisattva the capacity to live a relatively ordinary life and transform adverse circumstances into the path. Even small things become meaningful, like the way we respond to someone's distress or a gesture of friendliness that lifts someone's day. This deeper sense of purpose is reflected in the care we give to our relationships and the environment.

Being present and responsive to what arises may mean that the eventual goal of our sense of purpose is less crucial. We are seldom, if ever, able to see fully where our path will take us, and once we are open to the meaning present in bodhichitta, the ego must surrender ambitions and allow the journey to unfold.

--from The Courage to Feel: Buddhist Practices for Opening to Others by Rob Preece, published by Snow Lion Publications

The Courage to Feel • Now at 5O% off
(Good until July 16th).

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