76. Bodhicitta in Aspiration III — Considering Others More Important Than Oneself
Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 76
Take refuge and arouse bodhicitta.
Meditate on love in the same way a mother loves her only son. Visualize in front of you a being who can easily draw out your compassion. Imagine this being is suffering from tremendous pain and you simply cannot bear witnessing it. You want to take over all his or her sufferings yourself and give all your joy and merit to him or her, in order to make him or her happy and peaceful.
In general, a mother has more attachment to her only son than to herself. She would rather fall sick herself and never wants her son to be sick. In the same way, if we have to decide who is to suffer between any other sentient being and ourselves, we would like to suffer ourselves, rather than let any other sentient being suffer.
Ponder again, “Whatever befalls me—roaming in samsara, falling sick, dying, sustaining whatever loss—I will accept them all, but I can never tolerate seeing a sentient being suffer in samsara.” In this way, generate strong loving-kindness toward sentient beings.
Perhaps by having studied the Mahayana teachings such as The Way of the Bodhisattva, some practitioners have developed strong bodhicitta. They keep spreading the sacred Dharma and benefiting sentient beings, regardless of how tired they are or how much hardship they have to endure. Such an attitude is absolutely precious.
Meditate in this way, from one being to all beings. Resolve: I am responsible for the happiness of all sentient beings; they pin all their hopes on me. Thus, with sublime bodhicitta I shall embrace all beings, starting with those whom I see or hear in person, to all those filling the vast space, regardless whether they are harmful or beneficial to me.
Please don’t think that sentient beings are unrelated to you. Granted, if you are extremely egocentric and feel repelled by Mahayana bodhicitta, then nothing can change your attitude even if the Buddha were to appear to you. Yet, as genuine practitioners, even if we can’t perfect these bodhicitta practices—considering others as equal to oneself, exchanging oneself and others, and seeing others as more important than oneself—we must at least refrain from harming any sentient being for the rest of our lives. Moreover, we shall help others as much as we can, which can be as simple as helping someone across the road if he or she needs it. If opportunity arises, we may even instill the Buddhadharma in others’ minds, temporarily bringing them a better life in samsara, and ultimately leading them to ultimate liberation from samsara. Do keep these aspirations in mind at all times.
If you really feel inadequate, pray silently with palms together: “Buddhas, bodhisattvas and all lineage masters, please heed me! Bless me! Please soften my recalcitrant mind right away. Please shower your blessings upon my parched heart, drench it, so that bodhicitta quickly sprouts, blossoms, and bears fruit in me….” Praying at all times and in all situations like this, our mind will reveal its power. Also, the blessings of the buddhas and bodhisattvas are infallible. When such causes and conditions come together, they will quickly transmute an utterly ordinary being like us into a Mahayana bodhisattva propitiously.
Once we gain the strength to genuinely give rise to bodhicitta, our words and deeds are greatly transformed, and the task of benefiting sentient beings no longer appears daunting. We’ll be happy in all lives and for sure we will have a bright future.
Dedicate the merit in a state entailing no concept.