Bodhisattvas: a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to help those who suffer.
1 In order to free yourself and others from the ocean of samsara (the cycle of death and rebirth), listening, reflecting and meditating with diligence day and night is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
2 Passion towards friends churns like water. Hatred towards enemies burns like fire. Through dark ignorance one forgets what to adopt and what to reject. To abandon one’s homeland is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
3 Giving up negative places, mental afflictions gradually decrease. Without distractions, virtuous activities naturally increase. When the mind becomes clear, conviction in the Dharma (the eternal and inherent nature of reality) is born. Seeking solitude is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
4 Friends and relatives acquainted for long will separate. Possessions gained with exertion will be left behind. Consciousness, the guest, will leave the guesthouse of the body. To let go of this life is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
5 When friendship with someone causes the three poisons (greed, ignorance and hatred) to increase, the activities of listening, reflecting and meditating are degraded, and loving kindness and compassion are destroyed. To give up such a friendship is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
6 When in reliance on someone, your negativities diminish and your positive qualities grow like a waxing moon. To cherish such a spiritual friend more than your own body is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
7 When captive in the prison of samsara (the cycle of death and rebirth) whom can the worldly gods protect? To seek refuge in the Three Jewels (to become enlightened, to teach and come together in community), who do not betray you, is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
8 The suffering of the lower realms is what Buddha taught to be the fruit of negative actions. To never commit negative actions, even at the cost of your life, is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
9 Happiness in the three realms (the realm of the five components: form, perception, conception, volition, and consciousness, the realm of living beings as individual or an integrated whole, and the realm of the environment where living beings dwell and carry out life-activities.), like dew on a blade of grass, is subject to instantaneous fading away. To strive for a supreme state of liberation that never wavers is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
10 From your beginning, your mothers have cherished you. If they now suffer, what good is your own happiness? To liberate limitless numbers of sentient beings and cultivate Bodhicitta (the wish to attain enlightenment motivated by great compassion for all sentient beings) is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
11 All suffering comes from yearning for your own happiness. The perfect Buddhas are born from the intention to benefit others. To exchange your own happiness for the suffering of others is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
12 Even if someone driven by excessive desire steals all your wealth or incites someone else to steal it, to dedicate to this person your body, possessions and all your virtue is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
13 If someone cuts off your head, even when you have not done the slightest wrong, the power of compassion to take his misdeeds upon yourself is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
14 Should someone slander you in billions of words, to maintain a loving heart and proclaim their good qualities in return is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
15 If in the middle of a crowd of people, someone reveals your hidden faults and abuses you for them, to see them as a spiritual friend and bow with respect is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
16 If someone whom you cherish as dearly as your own child takes you for an enemy, to love that person even more is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
17 Even when someone who is your equal or inferior, driven by arrogance, seeks to disparage you, to place them on the crown of your head with the same respect you would accord your guru is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
18 Though gripped by poverty and always scorned. Though stricken by acute illness and possessed by evil spirits. Taking upon yourself the negativities and suffering of every being and never being discouraged is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
19 Though famous and prominent, someone whom others bow. Though you amass riches like that of Vaishravana (the chief of the Four Heavenly Kings), to see the worldly splendor has no essence and thus to be without arrogance is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
20 Pacifying the enemy of your own anger and combating outer opponents will only make them multiply. To tame your own mind with an army of loving kindness and compassion is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
21 Sensual pleasures are like salt water; the more you partake of them, the more your craving will increase. When someone arouses attachment, to abandon it immediately is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
22 All appearances are your own mind and, mind itself, primordially transcends all mental fabrications. To remain free from apprehending the signs of subject and object is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
23 When you encounter objects that please your mind, like rainbows in the summer season; though they seem beautiful, not viewing them as real and giving up attachment to them is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
24 All suffering is like the death of your child in a dream. To take such delusive appearances as true is exhausting. To see unpleasant circumstances as deceptions is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
25 If those who aspire to enlightenment willingly give up their bodies, what need is there to mention external objects? To give generously with no hope of reward or benefit is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
26 If lack of discipline prevents you from benefiting yourself, your wish to benefit others is just a joke. To observe discipline with no longing for worldly existence is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
27 For a Bodhisattva who seeks of virtue, every perpetrator of harm is like a precious treasure. To cultivate patience without feeling irritation is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
28 If Shravakas (disciple) and Pratyekabuddhas (lone buddha), who strive for their benefit alone, expand effort as if to extinguish a fire burning in their heads, to cultivate joyous effort, the wellspring of positive qualities is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
29 Vipashyana (clarity of sight) perfectly endowed with shamatha (tranquility of the mind), completely conquers all afflictions. To cultivate meditative concentration that transcends the four formless states (infinite space, infinite consciousness, infinite nothingness, and neither perception nor non-perception) is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
30 The practices of the first five perfections (perfect teacher, perfect student, perfect teaching, perfect time and perfect place) without wisdom cannot achieve perfect enlightenment. Equipped with skillful means and cultivating, the wisdom of non-conceptualizing the three spheres (sensual realm, material realm and immaterial realm) is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
31 If you do not analyze your own faults, you might put on a Dharmic (religious) façade while behaving in a non-Dharmic way. To continue analyzing your faults and then discarding them is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
32 If compelled by your own afflictions you speak of the faults of other Bodhisattvas, you will degenerate yourself. Not citing the faults of those who have entered the path of Bodhisattvas is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
33 Desire for gain and services leads to mutual arguments and a decline in activities of listening, reflecting and meditating. To relinquish attachment to the possessions of others is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
34 Harsh words disturb the minds of others and disintegrates a Bodhisattva’s conduct. To give up harsh and unpleasant speech towards others is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
35 Once you become accustomed to afflictions, they are hard to undermine with antidotes. To eliminate afflictions such as attachment, the moment they arise, with the remedial weapons of mindfulness and introspection is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
36 Wherever you are and whatever you do, always examine the state of your mind. Continuously working for the welfare of others is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
37 To dedicate the merit thus accumulated through these efforts to enlightenment with the wisdom free of concepts of the three spheres (sensual realm, material realm and immaterial realm), to eliminate the suffering of all infinite beings, is the practice of Bodhisattvas.
By: Ivan W. Stein