The Heart of Compassion

Andrew Bank
donal-(1)Level: Intermediate = Meditators willing to develop a daily practice

Monday, 7-8.15 p.m.

 Dilgo Khyentse’s Instructions of Ngolchu Thogme’s 37-fold Practice of a Boddhisattva

Among the Buddha’s many important teachings was his advice about the importance of the intention or motivation behind our words and actions. How do we let go of self-centred motives and speak and act in a more open, altruistic way?

This is where we can learn from the Bodhisattvas, those who seek enlightenment for the sake of all other beings. Their path is the way to selflessness whereby the mind is trained to go beyond its ordinary self-centred preoccupations and anxieties and learns, by gradual degrees, to place others at the focus of its interest and concern.

One remarkable Tibetan Buddhist text on the path of the Boddhisattva was recorded in the fourteenth century by a Tibetan ‘saint’ Ngulchu Thogme (1295-1369). In the course of his studies and teachings Thogme had encountered great material hardship. Various people proposed that he learn how to give initiations and earn money without much effort.

His response to these suggestions was to compile The 37-fold Practice of a Boddisattva which sums up the whole bodhisattva path. Weekly readings will follow the richly reflective and easily accessible explanation of the 37 stanzas of this inspiring ‘poem’ as given by Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991) in 1984, a man widely regarded as one of the foremost poets, scholars, philosophers and meditation masters in Vajrayana Buddhism.