Modern Bodhisattva’s Way of Life: The mind of patience is the pure land

A pure land and its residents are created by mind. It’s subjective. That creation of a pure land and pure beings must be taking place in our lives.  Where else?  We spend most of our time in our daily life, where else are we going to be creating a pure land with pure residents?  That creation must be taking place with a patient mind. Otherwise we will never be able to create it, it will never be a pure land for us.

There is no objectively existent pure land, with pure beings inhabiting it.  We push away a deluded being, they remain a deluded being.  If we push away deluded beings, which is what we do if anger comes up, they remain for us a deluded being. They remain a deluded being. Where is the Bodhichitta in that?  We will never transform that person into an enlightened being, never. A pure being can never appear in their place. So where is the Bodhichitta?  There can be no Bodhichitta without patient acceptance, pushing no one away, welcoming wholeheartedly everyone without exception. Everyone.

What is a pure land like? In a pure land, everything appears as a Dharma lesson, every moment is an opportunity to practice Dharma, and we have no problems. What is the mind of patient acceptance like? Because we are able to accept everything, everything teaches us some lesson of Dharma. Indeed, it is our ability to transform everything into a lesson of Dharma that enables us to accept everything. Further, with a mind of patience acceptance, no matter what happens, no matter how difficult the circumstance, everything is viewed as an opportunity to train our mind. We don’t need to push away anything or anyone because they are all viewed by the mind of patience as an opportunity to practice Dharma. With a mind of patient acceptance, we may still experience all sorts of unpleasant and indeed painful situations, but for us, none of it will be a problem because we can wholeheartedly welcome everything as an opportunity to train or purify our mind. So from a practical, experiential point of view, there is essentially no difference between being in a pure land and the mind of patience. With both, everything is a Dharma lesson, every moment is an opportunity to practice Dharma, and nothing is a problem.

In Transform your Life, Geshe-la says, “We underestimate the value of patience. It is possible that people might sometimes interrupt our meditation sessions or Dharma study, but they can never take away our opportunity to train in inner virtues such as patience. It is this mental training rather than outer virtuous activities that is the essence of Dharma practice. If we truly understand the value of patience, we shall never resent an opportunity to practise it. Even if we never found the opportunity to sit down to study and meditate throughout our entire life, but we truly learnt to practise patient acceptance every moment of the day, we would make vast progress on the path to enlightenment. On the other hand, if we spent our whole life studying and meditating, but we never practised patience, our spiritual practice would remain superficial and inauthentic.”

Speechless. There is no virtue greater than patience. So if we really want to make progress ourselves and help others, we must take every opportunity to practice patience. Who gives us those opportunities? We need to start seeing the difficult people in our life as the most precious.

2 thoughts on “Modern Bodhisattva’s Way of Life: The mind of patience is the pure land

  1. Yes in our hearts we can love all beings ,but the childish,worldly beings who look down on us and despise us,we should push away. As Shantideva says’The Tathagatas have advised us we should not associate with them.’

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