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Lions Roar : January 2015
Everyone Is Your Guest CHöGyaM TRUnGpa RInpoCHe on your life as a future bodhisattva Many Mahayana scriptures speak of inviting all sentient beings as our guests. When we invite a guest, we have a sense of the importance of that relationship. Guests are usually fed spe- cially cooked food and receive extra hospitality. The life of a bodhisattva is relating with all sentient beings as guests. The bodhisattva invites everyone as a guest, constantly offering a feast. Inviting all sentient beings as our guests is the starting point of applying compassion in the Mahayana. By viewing sentient beings as guests, the bodhisattva has a constant sense of the imper- manence of the relationship, because eventually all guests leave. So we view the time with our guests as precious. There is a sense of the preciousness and the impermanence of the relationship. Our guest may be our husband, our wife, or our child—everybody is the guest of everybody, con- stantly. On a day to day level, all relationships for a bodhisattva are based on relating with guests. Compassion is a combination of maitri, or loving-kindness, and generosity. It is a journey out- ward, a journey of communication. On one level, compassion is feeling friendly toward ourselves. On another level it is experiencing a sense of richness, that we can expand the warmth we feel toward ourselves to other sentient beings. It is said in the scriptures that just as fish cannot live without water, compassion cannot develop without egolessness and without the experience of emptiness, or shunyata. It may seem that this view of compassion is somewhat abstract, but in fact it is the heart of the practice of meditation in action. The presence of compassion is experienced as a sudden glimpse, a sense of clarity and warmth simultaneously. According to the scriptures, that glimpse, if you analyze it, takes one-sixtieth of a second. It is so fast and so sharp. The sharpness is the intelligence of the compassion. Compassion also means being open and communicative. It contains warmth. So, first there is maitri, trusting in the heart. HowtoBea Bodhisattva It may seem like an unattainable ideal, but you can start right now as a bodhisattva-in-training. all you need is the aspiration to put others first and some helpful guides like these. prints By MayuMi oda Opposite: “Hands of Compassion” SHAMBHALA SUN jANUAry 2015 47