The causes of bodhicitta

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The text turns to training the mind on the stages of the path of advanced level practitioners. Part of a series of teachings on the Gomchen Lamrim by Gomchen Ngawang Drakpa. Visit Gomchen Lamrim Study Guide for a full list of contemplation points for the series.

  • The causes to develop bodhicitta
  • Bodhisattvas accept that dukkha exists and the responsibility to eliminate it
  • The role of understanding emptiness in developing bodhicitta
  • Equanimity is preliminary to developing bodhicitta
  • The evolution of friend, enemy and stranger
  • The disadvantages of attachment to friends
  • The disadvantages of hating your enemies

Gomchen lamrim 60: The causes of bodhicitta (download)

60 The Gomchen Lamrim: The Causes for Bodhicitta 09-30-16

Contemplation points

The causes for bodhicitta

Think about each of the causes for bodhicitta that Venerable Chodron discussed in the teaching. Some things to consider are: What is it about these factors that makes them a cause for bodhicitta? How do these factors benefit you now and in the future? How do they benefit others? Which of these causes are strong in your life? Which ones aren’t so strong? What can you do to cultivate them? Does meditating on them inspire your mind to practice them?

  1. The desire to have bodhicitta.
  2. Accumulate merit and purify our negativities.
  3. The inspiration of our spiritual mentors.
  4. Live near practitioners of bodhicitta.
  5. Study the texts that describe it.
  6. Hear, think, and meditate on the teachings about bodhicitta.
  7. Remember the qualities of the Buddha.
  8. Value the Mahayana teachings and want them to exist forever.
  9. Cultivate the thought, “If I generate bodhicitta, then I’ll be able to inspire others to do it too!”
  10. Make requests for the inspiration of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas to help you generate bodhicitta.
  11. Have renunciation and the aspiration for liberation.
  12. Have an understanding of emptiness.
  13. Have an awareness that others’ happiness depends on me.

Conclusion: Feel inspired to cultivate these causes that lead to the beautiful aspiration of bodhicitta, to become a full awakened Buddha for the benefit of all beings. Make a determination to make them real in your life.

Cultivating equanimity

Equanimity is the prerequisite for both meditations on developing bodhicitta. Consider the progression of how our bias arises, the disadvantages of the categories of friend, enemy, and stranger, and how you’ve seen this operate in your own life.

  1. Starts with a wrong conception of “I” (self-grasping).
  2. From self-grasping comes self-attachment.
  3. Which gives rise to attachment for your own happiness.
  4. Which gives rise to attachment towards “friends” who help you get what you want.
  5. Which gives rise to hostility towards those who interfere with getting what you want.
  6. Which gives rise to apathy for those who don’t seem to influence your happiness one way or the other.

Conclusion: With a deeper understanding of how the categories of friend, enemy, and stranger come about, and with conviction in their many disadvantages, resolve to cultivate equanimity in your life through study and application of the teachings.

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