77 Becoming Bodhisattvas: “I Will Liberate You”

 
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Alan returns to the theme of equanimity indicating that we do experience equanimity everyday but that it is contingent, short-lived and can develop complacency. Development of Shamatha practice is a form of equanimity but more stable. Think of anything that makes you happy in this life in the desire realm and imagine if you had that constantly – would you be satisfied? One soon discovers the source of genuine happiness is not to be found in the desire realm. Even the attainment of Shamatha, no matter how pleasant, is not stable in true equanimity while we remain in samsara. Clinging to anything in samsara does not generate the spirit of emergence. We know enough now to genuinely renounce such clinging. Alan says that even the sublime equanimity of an Arhat not yet on the Mahayana path, who has realised nirvana and sunyata, needs to go beyond that by generating Great Bodhichitta. When equanimity falters, the natural remedy is compassion. When an Arhat returns into samsara, great compassion arouses their Buddha-nature which becomes the impetus for them to then generate great equanimity. Alan comments on the nature of the ongoing and current suffering in the world and that it can become unbearable. What can be done? Shantideva said that if you unknowingly meet a Bodhisattva and you express benevolence or gratitude, then the karmic connection is generated whereby you are in the Bodhisattva’s mandala which carries through in this and future lives. Since you don’t know who is a Bodhisattva, then treat every encounter with everyone in this spirit of generating Bodhichitta. Alan says “let’s become Bodhisattvas” and turn this thought into actuality by attending with compassion to every creature with the goal that “I will liberate you. I will become a Bodhisattva”. The guided meditation is on cultivating becoming Bodhisattvas to free all. Note to all podcast listeners: Alan says that those people who took yesterday’s empowerment of the Lake-Born Vajra via the live audio streaming, should contact the Santa Barbara Institute with their details so that the text for the sadhana can be provided to them. ___ Course notes, other episodes and resources for this retreat are available here The text for this retreat can be purchased via the SBI Store. Finally, Please contribute to help us afford the audio equipment we rent to make these, and future podcasts freely available.

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