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Bodhisattva ethical restraints 11-18

Bodhisattva ethical restraints 11-18

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.

  • Teaching on the last eight of the root bodhisattva precepts
  • There is no contradiction between the vinaya and the bodhisattva precepts
  • Lying about spiritual attainments
  • Four binding factors that must be present for a complete transgression

Gomchen Lamrim 85: The Bodhisattva Ethical Restraints 11-18 (download)

Contemplation points

Venerable Chodron continued giving commentary on the bodhisattva ethical code, which are the guidelines you follow when you “take the bodhisattva precepts.” Consider them one by one, in light of the commentary given. For each, consider the following:

  1. In what situations have you seen yourself act this way in the past or under what conditions might it be easy to act this way in the future (it might help to consider how you’ve seen this negativity in the world)?
  2. Which of the ten non-virtues is the precept keeping you from committing?
  3. What are the antidotes that can be applied when you are tempted to act contrary to the precept?
  4. Why is this precept so important to the bodhisattva path? How does breaking it harm yourself and others? How does keeping it benefit yourself and others?
  5. Resolve to be mindful of the precept in your daily life.

Precepts covered this week:

Root Precept #11: Teaching emptiness to those whose minds are unprepared.

Root Precept #12: Causing those who have entered the Mahayana to turn away from working for the full awakening of Buddhahood and encouraging them to work merely for their own liberation from suffering.

Root Precept #13: Causing others to abandon completely their precepts of self-liberation and to embrace the Mahayana.

Root Precept #14: Holding and causing others to hold the view that the Fundamental Vehicle does not abandon attachment and other delusions.

Root Precept #15: Falsely saying that you have realized profound emptiness and that if others meditate as you have, they will realize emptiness and become as great and as highly realized as you.

Root Precept #16: Taking gifts from others who were encouraged to give you things originally intended as offerings to the Three Jewels. Not giving things to the Three Jewels that others have given you to give to them, or accepting property stolen from the Three Jewels.

Root Precept #17: a) Causing those engaged in serenity meditation to give it up by giving their belongings to those who are merely reciting texts or b) making bad disciplinary rules which cause a spiritual community not to be harmonious.

Root Precept #18: Abandoning the two bodhicittas (aspiring and engaging).

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.