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Verses review: The Buddhist view

Verses review: The Buddhist view

Part of a series of talks on the 41 Prayers to Cultivate Bodhicitta from the Avatamsaka Sutra (the Flower Ornament Sutra).

  • Remembering that we’re in samsara
  • Daily motivation for practicing Dharma
  • Not taking our lives for granted
  • Making our Dharma practice more meaningful

Yesterday I mentioned living our lives from the perspective of the Buddhist view. That entails many different steps, but the primary one is to remember what samsara is, what cyclic existence is. If we don’t remember that then if we think about bodhicitta it doesn’t really hit the mark. And if we think about emptiness we lose interest. But if we really think about what it means to be born again and again under the power of afflictions and karma then we wake up and we realize, “Oh, Dharma’s very important. This is serious stuff.” And then that gives us a very strong motivation to meditate on emptiness and to meditate on love and compassion and bodhicitta.

It’s very important, I think, when we wake up each day to just have this little voice in your head (that says) “Oh, I’m in cyclic existence. I’m under the influence of afflictions and karma.

Otherwise we just take our lives for granted. “Oh, I get up, what pleasure can I have? What’s new?” We forget the deeper perspective of what’s going on in our lives. Whereas if we really make a point to remember it every day when we wake up then our Dharma practice becomes much more vivid, much more awake, much more meaningful.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.