A Kind Heart Is the Essence of All Practices
Buddhism provides a number of practices on the spiritual path to ultimate enlightenment. If one can grasp the essence, goals will be realized swiftly. But what is the essence? It is great compassion. If you can train yourself in the altruistic mind of great compassion, you will achieve enlightenment and be able to bring benefit to others.
How to practice the path of a bodhisattva in our daily life? To summarize, the key point is to practice great compassion. It is recorded in the sutra that if you cannot train in many teachings, there is one teaching you must train in, that is, great compassion. In a nutshell, even though you cannot do all kinds of virtuous deeds, either Buddhist or worldly, with a virtuous mind, you can still accomplish virtues. I’d like to quote a verse from Patrul Rinpoche:
Train the mind, train the mind, train your own mind.
If you train your mind with bodhichitta,
Even if you are unable to accomplish a single virtue through body and speech,
You will accomplish the benefits of self and others effortlessly.
What does that mean? It means that even if you haven’t done many good deeds through body and speech, by cultivating a kind heart or the mind of bodhichitta, you can accomplish not only the welfare of yourself but also that of others. Therefore, we must practice great compassion in our daily life. I am very convinced that having a kind heart is the supreme cause of accomplishing the benefits of both oneself and others.