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Lions Roar : March 2013
AT THE CORE OF THE Mahayana Buddhist teachings is the crown jewel of bodhichitta, the intention to bring all sen- tient beings to enlightenment. This is the supreme thought, the highest possible concept that the mind can generate. The person who has this intention of becoming awake in order to liberate others is a bodhisattva. At the conclusion of many lifetimes, a being may gener- ate the supreme intention to benefit others. That is the first thought of a bodhisattva. It is also the last thought—the final result of a long journey through every conceivable thought. At that point, there are no other thoughts, for there is no “I” in other. This supreme thought is pure: there are no contorted logics about why it is good to think about others. It is how the bodhisattva really feels. Finally, this thought has beauty and balance because it naturally benefits the bodhisattva and everyone else. The difference between our everyday thoughts and the bodhisattva’s thought is that most of us wake up with the thought of self—“What can I do to be happy?” Like the supreme thought of benefiting others, this thought is first, it is final, and it has its own kind of beauty, an innate symmetry in accord with its own needs. But with this ordinary thought, whether one engages in worldly or spiritual activities, they are all based upon the principle of self. Just as that thought arises so easily and naturally for ordi- nary beings, the bodhisattva arouses a mind of bodhichitta, SAKYONG MIPHAM RINPOCHE is the spiritual leader of Shambhala, an international network of meditation and retreat centers. His forthcoming book is The Shambhala Principle: Discovering Humanity’s Hidden Treasure, available in May from Harmony Books. The intention to benefit all sentient beings is the best of all thoughts, says SAKYONG MIPHAM. Dedicating ourselves to others, we become bodhisattvas. The Supreme Thought PHOTOBYZSÓLTSŰTŐ SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2013 13