A Note from Thay: the Purpose of our Cultivation



Though many of us are sincere practitioners of meditation and earnestly study the Dharma, it's worthwhile to ask ourselves a very central question: What is the purpose of our practice and cultivation?


Thay Hang Truong explains in a simple and concise teaching below.

To start our new year 2020, i’d like to invite you to review the purpose of our cultivation! It may look deceptively simple, yet it is profound and penetrating! Enjoy!


— Thay



Purpose

The purpose of our cultivation is to practice the Bodhisattva Path to become a bodhisattva, moving into the consciousness of altruism.


Why?

What are bodhisattvas? There are three grades of bodhisattvas:


1) Good Friends - Good Friends care for you and your feelings, thus, they do not gossip, back-bite, sabotage, or slander you directly or indirectly. Good Friends can be trusted, as they do no betray you. Good Friends know how to sustain a meaningful and fruitful friendship. Good Friends:

  • are there whenever you need them

  • truly care for your welfare

  • spend time listening to you

  • give good and timely advice

  • uplift you when you’re down

  • protect you when you are attacked

  • stand up for you, and stand with you

  • cry and laugh with you


2) Great Friends - Great Friends are essentially Good Friends, and additionally, they nurture your goodness for a long stretch of time. Great Friends also believe in your potential and thus help you stay focused, allowing your potential to unfold. Great Friends:

  • are willing to sacrifice for you

  • cultivate on your behalf to eradicate your karma

  • give more than they receive from you, never asking for anything in return, never asking for recognition

  • never turn their back on you, no matter how bad or hurtful you may be


3) Bodhisattva Friends (or Bodhi Friends) - Bodhi Friends are essentially a Great Friends, and additionally, they dedicate their life to develop the complete unfoldment of goodness, compassion, wisdom, and skills-in-means in people, including you! Bodhi Friends are wise, knowledgeable, and mature both emotionally and spiritually. To be emotionally mature means to be kind, compassionate, selfless, forgiving, responsible, reliable, and trustworthy. To be spiritually mature means to be wise and humble, to have comprehensive vision, and to have holistic knowledge. Bodhi Friends:

  • know how to untie karmic and emotional entanglements, a must-have skill of a Bodhi Friend

  • are able to coach, teach, nurture, enlighten and mature everyone’s bodhicitta

  • operate at the level of Selfless or Non-Dualistic consciousness



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