Modern Bodhisattva’s Way of Life:  The universal bridge to freedom

(3.30) It is the supreme medicine that relieves
The sickness of living beings,
And a shady tree that provides shelter
For weary beings travelling samsara’s paths.

The bodhisattva’s path is the supreme medicine that relieves all sickness.  Kadam Bjorn explained that all physical sickness comes from delusion, and all delusion comes from imbalances within our subtle body.  If we treat the physical sickness without curing the underlying causes, new, different sicknesses will inevitably emerge to take their place.  But if we can remove the underlying causes, we need never be sick again.  We can gain permanent release from all sickness.

The essence of the Sutra bodhisattva path is the mind of bodhichitta, the wish to become a Buddha for the sake of all.  This supremely virtuous mind directly or indirectly opposes all delusions.  All sickness is a result of negative karma, and all negative karma is driven by delusion.  The bodhisattva does not merely seek to pacify his or her own delusions, they seek to eradicate completely the delusions of all living beings.  The essence of the Tantric bodhisattva path is gathering and absorbing all of our inner energy winds into our central channel at our heart, giving rise to the mind of clear light with which we meditate on emptiness.  This brings perfect balance and harmony to our subtle body, permanently freeing us from all sickness.  Ordinary medicines have no such power, only the supreme medicine of the Bodhisattva’s path does.

Samsara’s paths are endless and they provide no respite.  Even when we enjoy good fortune, we never stop having problems because our deluded mind re-projects “problems” on everything we experience.  Samsara’s paths are endless because they go in circles, they never lead anywhere.  Samsara is like a Rubik’s cube for which there is no solution, but we vainly keep playing thinking, “maybe this time it will be different.”  Where are we to find shelter?  Where are we to find the way forward?  Where are we to find an actual solution?  Only in the Bodhisattva’s path.  It solves all our “problems” because everything becomes fuel for our training.  It leads us on the only road away from the cycle of suffering.  It makes clear the only solution to samsara’s games is to stop playing them.  We all thirst for relief, but it will only be found by taking up the Bodhisattva’s path.

(3.31) It is a universal bridge by which all living beings
Can be delivered from the lower realms,
And a rising moon of a mind
That relieves the torment of their delusions.

If we actually could see the demographics of samsara, we would realize virtually all beings languish in the lower realms.  Look at the world today, about 1% control most everything, and the rest of us  struggle over scraps.  Human beings only account for about 0.1% of all beings on this planet, the rest are animals, insects and so forth.  Virtually all of the actions of those in the lower realms are non-virtuous, so of course they remain.  The fortunate beings burn up their virtuous karma and do little to nothing to replenish it.  When it is exhausted, they inevitably fall.

Only the bodhisattva’s path provides a way of emptying the lower realms once and for all.  By eliminating ignorance and dullness from our mind, we close the door on the animal realm for ourselves.  By eliminating miserliness and attachment from our mind, we close the door to the hungry ghost realm for ourselves.  By removing anger from our mind, we close the door to the hell realms for ourselves.  By becoming a Buddha, we gain the ability to bless the minds of all beings every day, and we have the patience and time to lead each and every being gradually to freedom.  According to Tantra, we can literally end samsara in an instant, not just for ourselves, but for all the beings of our karmic dream.

Geshe-la says that the person who cherishes others is like a magic crystal that has the power to transform any community.  What need is there to say of the transformative power of one driven by bodhichitta?  Look at what Geshe-la has done in this world.  One sickly and frail Tibetan armed only with his bodhichitta and Shantideva’s Guide has single-handedly restored the pure Kadam Dharma in the world and brought it to every corner of the modern world.  Look at what great beings like Ghandi, Jesus, Mohammed, Moses and the like have done in this world.  Such is the power of a bodhisattva.  There is no reason we cannot do the same, if not in this life, then in our future lives.  Venerable Tharchin said, “every time I see a new person come through the center door, I see the future savior of all, a future holder of the lineage.”  Such is the vision of a bodhisattva.

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