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Lions Roar : March 2013
called “me.” Similarly, it regards others not as interdependent but as separate selves too. Because forcing the disparate elements of mind and body into a single “me” is unnatural, trying to hold the concept together always causes tension, and the natural outcome of tension is further ten- sion. When others threaten this tension called “me,” the concept becomes angry. When others cater to and flatter this con- cept, it wants to draw in the praise, and desire is added to the mix. When others’ self-fabrications have more finesse, this self cannot handle it, and becomes envious. Thus, the self experiences a perpetual universe of push and pull. To continue its storyline, it needs to fabricate a universe where it can act out its fantasy, which results in the process of birth, aging, and death. However, no matter what universe it fabricates, the concept of self is always in pain. It is from this confusion and suffering that the bodhisattva awakens. Seeing that the suffering is completely unnecessary, the bodhisattva wishes to alleviate it. It would be another matter if there were, in fact, a self that was causing all the suffer- ing. However, the only source—if it can be considered a source—is the mind’s confusion. The thought of self is considered to be intelligence that cannot see things prop- erly. We are in the dark, trying to feel our way. We might mistake a blanket for a dog, or grab a chair and think it is a table. Therefore, bodhichitta is considered to be the dawning of wisdom. When it is born, it continues; it is not a temporary state. When the supreme mind arises, it is joy- ful. Bodhisattvas’ minds are less coarse because they are more in line with the truth. Because bodhisattvas can see what they are doing, they enjoy their work of benefitting others. This work is delightful not because they are trying to suppress the notion of self, but because they are work- ing in the open day. It is clear to them who they are and, more accurately, who they are not. Therefore, the bodhisattva is relieved of the thought of self and delighted by working for the welfare of others. ♦ SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2013 17