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Causes and Conditions
2022, November, Issue 20
The greatest gift of all is that of Bodhicitta. We can learn and live with great compassion; however, this is ignited when we become determined to awaken. We become amazingly propelled into liberation, whether we are aware of that or not. We can thank all and beyond for such causes and conditions that have led to this.
When we have the aspiration to awaken, we are creating causes and conditions for our limited self to encounter a state beyond any limitations whatsoever. If we are fortunate enough to awaken, we have only our past actions to thank, our own determination to become who we naturally are. If we acknowledge that our confused mind is drifting helplessly within our karmic winds, then we can see that our actions are up to us. Karma is nothing other than action. We can learn to control our actions, our mind, our aspirations.
We, ourselves, lay the groundwork, making enlightenment possible. This does not come from some outside source, other than ourselves. This is why Bodhicitta is the key. It is an acknowledgement that we unlock our true potentiality by our own actions. This does not mean that we should become egotistical about it, it means that we revere all the causes and conditions that made this possible. If we begin to awaken, which is the best thing to be thankful for, then we can thank our own abilities in creating good karma. This is the same as thanking the Guru. We are inseparable.
In my book, The Frog: A Spiritual Autobiography Spanning Many Lifetimes, I made it very clear that we are inseparable from our True Guru. The reason that I wrote this book was not only to give us some confidence, but also to explain how such a thing as enlightenment can take many lifetimes, and that we don’t need to be some great mystic in order to begin this process. We don’t need to be intelligent or strong, or famous or wise, all we need is the key that unlocks everything, unlocks our mind, this key that releases us from eternal bondage. This key is true compassion, it is seeing that there is no difference between a fully enlightened being and you. The key of Bodhicitta is our real condition. This is why the key works.
We must be the ones who individually discover the key, who pick up the key, who use the key to open the door. No one else can do this for us. It must be our own undertaking, or the key will not work.
When we discover our true potentiality, which is without limits, without bounds, we can be thankful that in lifetime after lifetime we made this possible by our own positive actions. Being kind and compassionate opens us up. Seeking a Spiritual Friend who is more experienced than us helps us immeasurably. We lay the groundwork by making things easier for ourselves in future lifetimes, by becoming devoted to a kind and compassionate path right now.
Awakening unlocks all possibilities, as we start to see when our heart and mind begins to open. Awakening helps us to recognize the essence of all. Life becomes a spontaneous expression, not heavy or difficult at all. We can study books about the stages of meditation, learning that life becomes more open, less heavy with each stage. We can experience this reality, through our own meditative practice. It’s important to become serious about awakening through the process of our own meditation.
You can be thankful that you have not dismissed this Seed of Dharma. By awakening to what is, as it is, you can be thankful to all and beyond, starting with you. Every experience is an opportunity to turn that into Bodhicitta. Someone is cruel to you, then you learn from that, turning that experience into great compassion. Seeing why this is happening gives us the opportunity to generate positive actions. The benefits are immeasurable right from the start of your practice.
No matter what happens in this world, it is an opportunity to transform, it can be turned into the key of Bodhicitta. Everything can be transformed into light. This is Spiritual Practice of the highest caliber. It takes continual devotion to our Ultimate Guru, our own efforts, and practice.
As our mind begins to awaken, we see everyone as being a product of their own karmic winds, flying helplessly in storms created by their own actions. We can be kind and gentle to everyone we encounter, as we realize they aren’t really aware of the problems they create for themselves. When we realize that ordinary beings don’t really know what they are doing, we can be kind to them. We can simply practice kindness at all times. This changes the winds. The entire universe changes. Everything begins to brighten. We can do this with relative ease.
We have this opportunity. Anyone can awaken. It is up to us to awaken.