The first entry in a blog seems symbolic. It is.
The bodhisattva concept has resonated with me at a deep level since I was first exposed to it. In my own words it’s a fully realized being who has achieved enlightenment but instead of opting in to the long sought after nirvana she/he CHOOSES to remain on the material plane to help every last soul also achieve enlightenment. What resolve. Perhaps to a bodhisattva, harnessing your life energy in this way IS nirvana. How altruistic. Bodhisattvas remind us to be other-focused. We all know we are happiest when focused on things outside ourselves. The bodhisattva is a reminder of this.
I am probably many lifetimes away from even reaching the entrance of the bodhisattva path but want to head in that direction.
How to do that? It’s not a guessing game. There are guidelines to use as a starting point. You must actively work on developing the six dimensions of human character that require perfecting: generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiastic perseverance, concentration, and wisdom. Careful! These words seem simple but to practice them authentically is challenging. For example generosity doesn’t just mean being generous materially. It also means being generous spiritually. Giving others the benefit of the doubt. Showing consideration for other’s viewpoints and feelings; even when they are contrary to our own. The yoga expression “the fullest expression of the pose” is applicable here. It’s one thing to approach these principles in a superficial way. It’s entirely another thing to really honor them in the way we approach the world so they shine through even the smallest gestures.
My favorite Bodhisattva is Quan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion and serenity. She is strong but feminine. Sometimes she is even shown holding a baby which shows the nurturing element.
It’s good to place reminders of bodhisattva ideals around us. for example, all of my employees know that I always name our wifi signals “bodhisattva.” Hopefully it piques their interests and encourages them to learn about it. And, yes, putting little things like that out there sets a good tone for the business. We always want to have a double bottom line, PEOPLE and profit. It is also an indirect invitation for others to help hold us accountable for living those values.
I also have a large cement bodhisattva statue by my doorway. I bought this statue before I knew what it represented. It just called to me. I was driving up the coast near Malibu and it was for sale by the side of the road. I’m not sure if she is standing guard or greeting everyone as they come and go – or both! I know it helps me to look in her eyes as I walk out the door. Its a great reminder of the intention I want carry as I move through the day. I better do my best since I know have have to face up to her when I get home! I’ve had this statue for about 15 years now and keep taking it with me from place to place. I keep hiring the same Russian movers. Every time they see her, the remember her and thing here we go again because she is so heavy. It takes three of them to move her. Her slight frame is misleading but she is as solid as a rock!
I want to walk the path of the bodhisattva. Want to join me?