Friday, 21 April 2017

"I lift up my heart and rejoice"

from last night's meeting, as promised

Shantideva's Bodhisattva Vows
(Bodhicaryavatara chapter 3)

In the spiritual energy that relieves 
The anguish of beings in misery and
Places depressed beings in eternal joy 
I lift up my heart and rejoice.

In the goodness producing illumination 
I lift up my heart and rejoice. 

I rejoice in the beings who have gained
Eternal liberation from suffering. 
And I rejoice in those attained to Buddhahood 
As well as in their offspring, the noble Bodhisattvas.

In the ocean-like virtue of the Bodhimind 
That brings joy to all beings 
And in accomplishing the well-being of others, 
I lift up my heart and rejoice. 

To the Buddhas of the ten directions 
I join my hands in respect 
Let blaze the light of Dharmas truth 
For the beings lost in darkness 

To the Buddhas considering parinirvarna 
I join my hands in prayer 
Do not abandon the beings in sorrow 
But remain and teach for countless ages. 

May any spiritual energy thus generated 
By my devotion to the enlightened ones 
Be dedicated to dispelling the misery
Of living beings without exception. 

As long as diseases afflict living beings 
May I be the doctor, the medicine 
And also the nurse 
Who restores them to health. 

May I fall as rain to increase
The harvests that must feed living beings 
And in ages of dire famine 
May I myself serve as food and drink. 

May I be an unending treasury 
For those desperate and forlorn. 
May I manifest as what they require
And wish to have near them. 

My body, every possession 
And all goodness, past, present and future 
Without remorse I dedicate 
To the well-being of the world 

Suffering is transcended by total surrender 
And the mind attains to nirvana. 
As one day all must be given up, 
Why not dedicate it now to universal happiness?

My bodily powers I dedicate 
To the well-being of all that lives. 
Should anyone wish to kill, abuse or beat me, 
The responsibility is purely their own. 

Should anyone wish to ridicule me 
And make me an object of jest and scorn 
Why should I possibly care 
If I have dedicated myself to others? 

Let them do as they wish with me 
So long as it does not harm them. 
May no one who encounters me 
Ever have an insignificant contact. 

Regardless whether those whom I meet 
Respond towards me with anger or faith, 
May the mere fact of our meeting 
Contribute to the fulfilment of their wishes.

May the slander, harm 
And all forms of abuse 
That anyone should direct towards me 
Act as a cause of their enlightenment. 

May I be a protector to the helpless, 
A guide to those travelling the path, 
A boat to those wishing to cross over; 
Or a bridge or a raft.

May I be land for those requiring it, 
A lamp for those in darkness, 
May I be a home for the homeless, 
And a servant for the world. 

In order to fulfil the needs of beings 
May I be as a magic gem, 
An inexhaustible vase, a mystic spell,
A cure-all medicine, and a wish granting tree. 

May I act as the mighty earth 
Or like the free and open skies 
To support and provide the space 
Whereby I and all others may grow. 

Until every being afflicted by pain 
Has reached nirvanas shores, 
May I serve only as a condition 
That encourages progress and joy. 

Just as all previous Buddhas 
First gave rise to the precious Bodhimind 
And just as then carefully followed 
The stages of the Bodhisattva disciplines. 

Likewise for the sake of sentient beings 
Do I now myself generate the Bodhimind,
And likewise will I train myself 
In the disciplines of a Bodhisattva. 

They who out of wisdom 
Have seized the supreme Bodhimind 
Praise, glorify and rejoice in it, 
That it may grow to fulfilment.

From today I will reap the fruit of life; 
Having well won the state of man, 
Today I am born in the Buddha-family 
And am now a child of the Buddhas. 

Thus in future I should make every effort 
To live in accord with the Bodhisattva Ways,
And never should I act as would bring shame 
To this noble faultless family. 

Like a blind man fumbling in garbage 
Happens to find a rare and precious gem,
Likewise I have discovered 
The jewel of the precious Bodhimind.

Thus was found this supreme ambrosia to dispel 
The Lord of death, destroyer of life; 
An inexhaustible treasure able to cure 
The poverty of all sentient beings. 

It is the highest of medicines 
To quell the ills of the living, 
And it is a tree giving shade 
To those wandering on the paths of life. 

It is a strong and mighty bridge 
By which beings can cross from misery, 
And it is a moon to shine in the mind 
To clear away the pains of delusion. 

The Bodhimind is a great radiant sun 
To disperse the darkness of unknowing, 
And it is the very essence of butters 
Gained from churning the milks of Dharma. 

For all guests on the roads of life 
Who would take the very substance of joy, 
Here is the actual seat of true happiness, 
A veritable feast to satiate the world. 

Thus today in the presence of all awakened Ones 
I invite every living being to this festival 
Giving both immediate and lasting joy. 
May the gods and all others rejoice.

photo:  under the newly-leafed Copper Beech Tree Being ~
one of my favourite beings and places in the whole world!

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