In the last post, we talked about how we can use the practice of taking and giving to generate a special “Christ-like” bodhichitta. We essentially take on the delusions and contaminated karma of those close to us and then view whatever delusions and negative karma that ripen within our own mind as that which we have taken on.
We can also accomplish this through requests to Dorje Shugden. From our countless previous lives wandering the realms of samsara, we already have on our mind the contaminated karma for virtually any experience. We essentially request Dorje Shugden to activate the karma in our mind that corresponds with the delusions and negative karma of those we love. We request him, “may the delusions that arise in my mind be those of those I love; and when I overcome them in my mind may they be eliminated from their minds.”
The benefits of practicing in this way are almost limitless. First, it gives our suffering meaning, so we gladly accept it. For example, imagine we have bad back pain. Normally, we would just suffer from this experience. But if instead we viewed it as us having taken on all of the back pain of all those we love, and by our accepting and transforming it, others are freed from ever having to experience back pain in the future, then our experience of this back pain has great meaning and we can gladly accept it.
Second, it helps us cut our identification with the delusions arising within our mind. When delusions arise in the minds of others, it does not disturb our mind; but when delusions arise within our mind it does. Why the difference? If we check, the only reason is because we identify with the latter and not the former. When we view the delusions that arise within our mind as those of others we have taken on, we no longer feel them to be “our” delusions, rather they are the delusions of others that we have taken on. By not identifying with them, we give ourselves the distance we need to not suffer from them and to be able to work to overcome them.
Third, Bodhichitta comes naturally. When we practice in this way, we see a direct connection between overcoming our delusions and negative karma and benefiting others. Sometimes we think, “OK, I am healing my own mind, but how am I helping anybody else?” When we practice in this way, viewing our delusions as those we have taken on, this doubt goes away. We feel ourselves to be like a spiritual surgeon going into the minds of other living beings and removing the cancer of their delusions and restoring them to perfect spiritual health.
Fourth, we create a special karmic connection with these beings which will ripen in the form of them being our disciple and them appearing in our life. Venerable Tharchin says those specific beings in dependence upon whom we generate bodhichitta will be the first we liberate when we ourselves become a Buddha. The reason for this is we generate a very close and special karmic connection between ourselves and them which will ripen in the future in the form of us having the realizations we need to lead them to enlightenment and for them to appear in our lives when we have such an ability.
Fifth, by eliminating the delusions in our mind, we eliminate them in their minds. If we understand emptiness, we understand that their faults and delusions come from our mind anyway. If last night we dreamt of somebody in a wheelchair, who put them there? We did, it is coming from our mind. In the same way, if during the dream of the waking state we see people with certain delusions where do these faults come from? Our own mind. But if we remove that fault from our own mind, we will no longer project a world in which this fault appears in others. In this way, we can directly liberate others from their faults and engage in the actions of a Buddha right now.
Finally, when we practice in this way we carry those we love forward in proportion to their karmic connection with us. Venerable Tharchin says, “each step we take towards enlightenment we bring all those karmically connected to us along as well.” This is worth contemplating deeply. If we are karmically close to certain beings, such as our family, and then we take several steps closer to enlightenment but we remain just as karmically close to them, then they too are now that much closer to enlightenment due to their karmic proximity to us. This occurs due to socialization effects of being in our karmic orbit and a more powerful stream of blessings flowing through us into them. If we understand this, we realize all we need do is (1) gain realizations, and (2) cultivate close karmic relationships with others. The rest will pretty much take care of itself.