37 Practices of Bodhisattvas | Thubten Chodron http://thubtenchodron.org The Thubten Chodron Teaching Archive Mon, 20 Nov 2017 03:18:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 “Don’t Believe Everything You Think”: Verses and stories http://thubtenchodron.org/2016/04/changing-thinking/ Thu, 28 Apr 2016 03:53:12 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=71039

  • Togmay Zangpo’s wise advice is the opposite of what we usually want to do
  • Stories from the book show how people use the Dharma to change their perspective
  • The taking and giving practice in daily life
  • Compassion for those who harm us
  • Working with criticism

Don’t believe everything you think 2016-04-27 Osal Ling (download)

YouTube Video

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37 Practices: Verses 17-19 http://thubtenchodron.org/2015/06/making-adversity-the-path/ Mon, 15 Jun 2015 18:41:44 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=57817

  • Three ways that a criticizer benefits us
  • Looking at the usual way our self-centered thought responds to adversity and using the instructions to transform the mind
  • What it means to take on the misdeeds and pain of others
  • When things are going well we may forget about the Dharma
  • Fame and fortune has no essence, it comes and goes. It’s better not to cling to it and not be conceited about having it

37 Practices: Verses 17-19 (download)

Photo of retreatants, courtesy of Abok Kasim.
Video montage, courtesy of Friends from Vihara Borobodur Medan:

YouTube Video

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37 Practices: Verses 11-16 http://thubtenchodron.org/2015/06/transforming-problems/ Sun, 14 Jun 2015 19:17:09 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=57803

  • How self-centeredness makes us miserable, leads to harming others, and is the cause of our problems, and how cherishing others is the cause of real happiness
  • How to do the taking-and-giving meditation
  • Transforming adversity into the the path, when others steal from us or try to harm us
  • Homework assignment: say something nice everyday to someone you don’t like. If we are nice to our enemies they will respond differently
  • How to work with the mind when someone we cared for betrays us. Have a mother’s attitude toward your enemies

37 Practices: Verses 11-16 (download)

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37 Practices: Verses 9-10 http://thubtenchodron.org/2015/06/liberation-and-awakening/ Sun, 14 Jun 2015 15:09:51 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=57618

  • What should be our relationship with “bad friends?”
  • What it means to take refuge in the Three Jewels
  • Don’t make spiritual soup, don’t create your own Dharma mix
  • The difference between mindfulness in Buddhist practice and mindfulness used in psychology
  • Expanding our motivation beyond a good rebirth to liberation and awakening
  • Systematizing the Buddha’s teachings in thee levels of motivation helps to understand the broader scope of Buddhism and to see how the various teachings all fit together
  • Balancing Dharma practice and social engagement
  • Attaining rebirth in a pure land is not just about worship and puja

37 Practices: Verses 9-10 (download)

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37 Practices: Verses 4-8 http://thubtenchodron.org/2015/06/good-and-bad-friends/ Sat, 13 Jun 2015 19:00:40 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=57616

  • What it means to “let go of this life”
  • Meditating on impermanence and death makes your mind become more peaceful
  • What qualities to look for in a spiritual teacher
  • How to form a good relationship with a spiritual teacher
  • The virtuous actions to be practiced and the nonvirtous actions to abandon
  • The mind of attachment doesn’t think about future lives, only about the happiness of this life

37 Practices: Verses 4-8 (download)

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37 Practices: Verses 1-3 http://thubtenchodron.org/2015/06/valuable-rebirth/ Sat, 13 Jun 2015 14:31:31 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=57613

  • The bodhisattva practices are not meant to be an intellectual study but to be applied in a practical way to all aspects of our life
  • Why our precious human life is more valuable than even getting to use Bill Gate’s credit card
  • “Give up your homeland” means giving up ignorance, anger, and attachment
  • We need to create space between the things that we are attached to or have aversion to. When we are near them it is difficult not to be distracted and not engage with them

37 Practices: Verses 1-3 (download)

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Changing our wrong conceptions http://thubtenchodron.org/2014/04/transforming-thoughts/ Wed, 30 Apr 2014 16:40:11 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=29624

  • Our mind and the way we think is what makes us angry, not other people
  • We are convinced that the cause of our suffering and happiness is outside of us
  • An antidote to a mental affliction is always going to be the opposite of what our deluded mind wants to do
  • If you are going to be selfish, be wisely selfish and care for others because it alleviates your suffering
  • View those who harm you as kind—you cannot practice fortitude without someone harming you
  • Dharma practice means transforming your mind
  • It is the people who challenge us who make us look inside, see what our resources are, and let go of wrong conceptions
  • If we change the way we think, we change our experience

Don’t believe everything you think (download)

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Calmando la mente, simplificando nuestra vida http://thubtenchodron.org/2013/07/calma-mente/ Mon, 01 Jul 2013 21:36:34 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=71093

Las 37 prácticas de los bodisatvas, Verso 3

Al evitar los objetos malos, las emociones perturbadoras disminuyen gradualmente.
Sin distracciones, las actividades virtuosas aumentan de manera natural.
Con la mente clara, surge la convicción en la enseñanza.
Cultiva el aislamiento—
Ésta es la práctica de los bodisatvas.

Cultivar el aislamiento

Las emociones perturbadoras, tales como el apego, el enojo, el resentimiento, la venganza, la beligerancia, la pereza, el encubrimiento, el engaño y la pretensión, disminuyen gradualmente cuando no estamos rodeados por los objetos que las provocan.

Cuando nos fijamos en aquello que desencadena la aparición de las emociones perturbadoras, por lo general nos encontramos algún tipo de “objeto malo” que activa nuestras reacciones emocionales. La designación “objeto malo” no significa que los objetos son malos en sí mismos. Más bien, significa que nuestra mente es muy reactiva cuando estamos cerca de ciertas personas, situaciones o cosas. En tales casos, nuestros viejos hábitos surgen con fuerza y nuestra mente pierde el control.

Podríamos estar muy tranquilos, sin problemas, y entonces nos encontramos con alguien con quien tuvimos una pelea hace cinco años. Sólo ver o pensar en esa persona hace que la experiencia desagradable vuelva a nosotros y nos sentimos molestos, deprimidos y enojados. Aunque no ha pasado nada en el momento presente, nos enojamos.

Nuestra respuesta no es culpa del objeto. Es importante entender este punto para no culpar a las personas o cosas hacia las que reaccionamos. A pesar de que siempre decimos, “Me hiciste enojar”, de hecho, nadie nos hace enojar. El enojo proviene de nuestro interior. Sin embargo, debido a que somos principiantes y nuestra mente está fuera de control, cuando estamos cerca de ciertas personas u objetos o en situaciones específicas, nuestras emociones destructivas pueden surgir con facilidad. Sabiendo esto, elegimos ponernos en una situación diferente.

Si no nos ponemos en situaciones en las que están presentes los objetos de apego o enojo o en donde estamos cerca de personas que son una mala influencia para nosotros, entonces ciertas aflicciones no van a surgir tanto en nuestra mente. Ésto no es estar huyendo de la situación. Más bien, le estamos dando a nuestra mente un poco de espacio de los objetos o personas que actúan como detonadores de nuestras emociones perturbadoras. Hacemos esto para poder investigar cómo surgen estas emociones y practicar los antídotos para contrarrestarlas. Cuando hemos desarrollado el antídoto contra esas aflicciones mentales, después, cuando nos enfrentamos a la misma situación de nuevo, somos menos reactivos y más equilibrados al responder.

Por ejemplo, si estás apegado a los helados y entiendes que son malos para tu salud, sabes que no te sientes bien contigo mismo cuando los comes, entonces no te reúnas con tus amigos en una heladería. Esto no significa que el helado o la heladería sean malos. Sólo significa que tu mente está fuera de control. Al principio nos alejamos de las cosas que provocan el apego en nuestra mente. Si evitamos los objetos que incitan nuestra ignorancia, enojo, apego, resentimiento y pereza, nuestras emociones perturbadoras gradualmente van a disminuir. Esto sucede porque estamos escuchando, pensando y meditando activamente en el Darma para cultivar los antídotos contra esas emociones perturbadoras.

Del mismo modo, digamos que estamos tan apegados a alguien que cada vez que no estamos cerca de él o ella nuestra mente se llena de deseo y no podemos pensar con claridad. Para ser capaces de desarrollar la habilidad necesaria para contrarrestar nuestro deseo, necesitamos mantener cierta distancia con la persona que hace surgir nuestro intenso apego. No estamos rechazando a esta persona, nos estamos dando un poco de tiempo y espacio para reflexionar en la impermanencia y en los defectos de la existencia cíclica para que nuestra mente se tranquilice y esté más equilibrada.

Al principio, y por un largo tiempo, nuestra mente va a estar totalmente fuera de control, de modo que necesitamos un entorno aislado. Cuando hablamos de aislamiento no significa que nos vayamos a vivir a una cueva. Significa vivir en un entorno en el que no estamos expuestos a todas las cosas que oprimen nuestros botones, de modo que podemos tener el tiempo y espacio para cultivar los antídotos contra nuestras emociones perturbadoras. Aquí, el aislamiento se refiere al entorno.

Sin embargo, el aislamiento real es el aislamiento mental. Cuando nuestra mente está aislada, no es reactiva a los objetos externos o internos de nuestros pensamientos. Una persona que tiene una práctica de Darma estable y ha entrenado su mente en los antídotos contra las aflicciones, puede mantener una mente balanceada en situaciones en las que previamente se hubiera enojado o apegado mucho. Éste es un beneficio real que proviene de la integración de las enseñanzas con nuestra mente. Debido a que la mente está aislada de las aflicciones, hay más espacio para las emociones y acciones positivas.

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Is what we think true? http://thubtenchodron.org/2013/03/truth-of-our-perception/ Sat, 09 Mar 2013 14:26:56 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=17122

Session 1: Debating with our crazy minds

  • Examples of how to use syllogisms to correct our wrong views
    • We’re worthwhile because we have Buddha nature and can become a fully awakened being
  • Compassion and having a bigger picture alleviates our afflictions

YouTube Video

Session 2: Discussion on syllogisms

  • A brief meditation
  • Group discussion

YouTube Video

Session 3: Group sharing on syllogisms

  • Using syllogisms to develop correct understanding
  • Recognizing the habitual patterns in thoughts and recreating how we think about ourselves

YouTube Video

PDF of a chart on syllogism.

Click the graphic above to open a full-size PDF.

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The 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas http://thubtenchodron.org/2010/04/mahayana-verses/ Sat, 17 Apr 2010 04:13:35 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=16489

  1. Having gained this rare ship of freedom and fortune,
    Hear, think, and meditate unwaveringly night and day
    In order to free yourself and others
    From the ocean of cyclic existence—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  2. Attached to your loved ones you’re stirred up like water.
    Hating your enemies you burn like fire.
    In the darkness of confusion you forget what to adopt and discard.
    Give up your homeland—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  3. By avoiding bad objects, disturbing emotions gradually decrease.
    Without distraction, virtuous activities naturally increase.
    With clarity of mind, conviction in the teaching arises.
    Cultivate seclusion—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  4. Loved ones who have long kept company will part.
    Wealth created with difficulty will be left behind.
    Consciousness, the guest, will leave the guesthouse of the body.
    Let go of this life—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  5. When you keep their company your three poisons increase,
    Your activities of hearing, thinking, and meditating decline,
    And they make you lose your love and compassion.
    Give up bad friends—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  6. When you rely on them your faults come to an end
    And your good qualities grow like the waxing moon.
    Cherish spiritual teachers
    Even more than your own body—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  7. Bound himself in the jail of cyclic existence,
    What worldly god can give you protection?
    Therefore when you seek refuge, take refuge in
    The Three Jewels which will not betray you—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  8. The Subduer said all the unbearable suffering
    Of bad rebirths is the fruit of wrongdoing.
    Therefore, even at the cost of your life,
    Never do wrong—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  9. Like dew on the tip of a blade of grass, pleasures of the three worlds
    Last only a while and then vanish.
    Aspire to the never-changing
    Supreme state of liberation—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  10. When your mothers, who’ve loved you since time without beginning,
    Are suffering, what use is your own happiness?
    Therefore to free limitless living beings
    Develop the altruistic intention—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  11. All suffering comes from the wish for your own happiness.
    Perfect Buddhas are born from the thought to help others.
    Therefore exchange your own happiness
    For the suffering of others—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  12. Even if someone out of strong desire
    Steals all your wealth or has it stolen,
    Dedicate to him your body, possessions
    And your virtue, past, present and future—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  13. Even if someone tries to cut off your head
    When you haven’t done the slightest thing wrong,
    Out of compassion take all her misdeeds
    Upon yourself—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  14. Even if someone broadcasts all kinds of unpleasant remarks
    About you throughout the three thousand worlds,
    In return, with a loving mind,
    Speak of his good qualities—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  15. Though someone may deride and speak bad words
    About you in a public gathering,
    Looking on her as a spiritual teacher,
    Bow to her with respect—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  16. Even if a person for whom you’re cared
    Like your own child regards you as an enemy,
    Cherish him specially, like a mother
    Does her child who is stricken by sickness—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  17. If an equal or inferior person
    Disparages you out of pride,
    Place her, as you would your spiritual teacher,
    With respect on the crown of your head—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  18. Though you lack what you need and are constantly disparaged,
    Afflicted by dangerous sickness and spirits,
    Without discouragement take on the misdeeds
    And the pain of all living beings—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  19. Though you become famous and many bow to you,
    And you gain riches to equal Vaishravana’s,
    See that worldly fortune is without essence,
    And be unconceited—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  20. While the enemy of your own anger is unsubdued,
    Though you conquer external foes, they will only increase.
    Therefore with the militia of love and compassion
    Subdue your own mind—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  21. Sensual pleasures are like saltwater:
    The more you indulge, the more thirst increases.
    Abandon at once those things which breed
    Clinging attachment—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  22. Whatever appears is your own mind.
    Your mind from the start was free from fabricated extremes.
    Understanding this, do not take to mind
    [Inherent] signs of subject and object—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  23. When you encounter attractive objects,
    Though they seem beautiful
    Like a rainbow in summer, don’t regard them as real
    And give up attachment—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  24. All forms of suffering are like a child’s death in a dream.
    Holding illusory appearances to be true makes you weary.
    Therefore when you meet with disagreeable circumstances,
    See them as illusory—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  25. When those who want enlightenment must give even their body,
    There’s no need to mention external things.
    Therefore, without hope for return or any fruition
    Give generously—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  26. Without ethics you can’t accomplish your own well being,
    So wanting to accomplish others’ is laughable.
    Therefore, without worldly aspirations
    Safeguard your ethical discipline—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  27. To Bodhisattvas who want a wealth of virtue
    Those who harm are like a precious treasure.
    Therefore, towards all cultivate fortitude
    Without hostility—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  28. Seeing even Hearers and Solitary Realizers, who accomplish
    Only their own good, strive as if to put out a fire on their head,
    For the sake of all beings make enthusiastic effort,
    The source of all good qualities—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  29. Understanding that disturbing emotions are destroyed
    By special insight with calm abiding,
    Cultivate concentration which surpasses
    The four formless absorptions—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  30. Since the five perfections without wisdom
    Cannot bring perfect enlightenment,
    Along with skillful means cultivate the wisdom
    Which does not conceive the three spheres [as real]—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  31. If you don’t examine your own errors,
    You may look like a practitioner but not act as one.
    Therefore, always examining your own errors,
    Rid yourself of them—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  32. If through the influence of disturbing emotions
    You point out the faults of another Bodhisattva,
    You yourself are diminished, so don’t mention the faults
    Of those who have entered the Great Vehicle—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  33. Reward and respect cause us to quarrel
    And make hearing, thinking, and meditation decline.
    For this reason give up attachment to
    The households of friends, relations and benefactors—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  34. Harsh words disturb the minds of others
    And cause deterioration in a Bodhisattva’s conduct.
    Therefore give up harsh words
    Which are unpleasant to others—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  35. Habitual disturbing emotions are hard to stop through counteractions.
    Armed with antidotes, the guards of mindfulness and mental alertness
    Destroy disturbing emotions like attachment
    At once, as soon as they arise—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  36. In brief, whatever you are doing,
    Ask yourself “What’s the state of my mind?”
    With constant mindfulness and mental alertness
    Accomplish others’ good—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

  37. To remove the suffering of limitless beings,
    Understanding the purity of the three spheres,
    Dedicate the virtue from making such effort
    To enlightenment—
    This is the practice of Bodhisattvas.

The 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas chant

  • Recorded by the Sravasti Abbey Sangha in April, 2010

37 Practices of Bodhisattvas (download)

This post available in Bahasa Indonesia: 37 Praktik Bodhisattwa.

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