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Volume 6 no 1

The Voice of Bliss

If we do not resolve to aspire to be champions, it would be quite difficult for us to become champions. Champions are made of commitment and hard work, hardly by a stroke of good luck. If we do not have the mind of a champion, then how can we be champions? In the same way, to attain the perfect wisdom, the illuminated and enlightened mind or in another word the Bodhi, people have to be resolved about...

Aspiring for the Bodhi mind

Attain the Bodhi to eradicate sufferings
The Bodhi means having enlightenment and cultivating on the enlightened path that ultimately leads to the supreme enlightenment. It also means the principles of enlightenment. When a person is resolved to becoming awakened or enlightened, then he has "resolved to aspire for the Bodhi mind". Before making such a resolution; people must first realise that in life one has to encounter many kinds of suffering. For example, the suffering in birth, old age, sickness, death, parting with loved ones, meeting with dislikes, unfulfilled desires and all the ills of the Five Skandhas [1] which are the most bitter of all. Sentient beings encounter all these distresses, pains and bitterness through their worldly way of life that inevitably is the source of their suffering. In order to eradicate the sufferings they have to attain the Bodhi, and this can only be attained when they are resolved to aspire for the Bodhi mind. In addition, they have to practise the Bodhisattva Path. In this way they can part with the sea of suffering and arrive at the shore of liberation.


[1] Five Skandhas: The components of a sentient being: (1) rupa: the physical form related to the five organs of sense. (2) vedana: reception, senses, feeling, the functioning of the mind or sense in connection with affairs and things. (3) sanjna: conception or discerning; the functioning of the mind in distinguishing. (4) samskara: the functioning of the mind in its processes regarding like and dislike, good and evil etc. (5) vijnana: mental faculty in regard to perception and cognition, discriminative of affairs and things.

Aspire for the Bodhi mind to attain the Bodhi
The Bodhi mind refers to a mental attitude that seeks the right way to attain the wisdom of the Buddha and to become Buddha. It is the mind that aspires for supreme enlightenment.

It is essential that we have awareness in order to be resolved to aspire for the Bodhi mind. If we do not understand the importance of awakening or becoming enlightened, then it is not possible for us to be determined in our aspiration for the Bodhi mind. Even if we have resolved, the resolution will soon fade away. The Bodhi mind is the mind that is resolved to becoming enlightened and it is essential that we have to constantly maintain awareness in our mind.

Awareness is a simple matter, yet for many people it is difficult to attain. For example, an electric heater keeps us warm and comfortable when the weather is cold. However, if you think that it will be even more comfortable to cuddle it as you sleep, then you are being absurd. It did not occur to you, because you do not have the awareness that by so doing, you may burn your clothes and yourself, or even cause death by electrocution. Learning and practising Buddhism follow the same principle; we must have awareness. Therefore, to aspire for the Bodhi mind we need to have awareness.

Practising the Bodhisattva Path is aspiring for the Bodhi

First, we must understand the meaning of Bodhi mind. When we aspire for the Bodhi mind, we have to practise the Bodhisattva Path. The Bodhisattva Path or the Bodhisattva Way of cultivation means to progress oneself in order to help others progress, to save oneself in order to save others and to transform oneself in order to transform others. When you understand this, you will naturally know that it requires wisdom and you will begin to pursue it. It is like charging a battery; it takes time.


Copyright 2002.Jen Chen Buddhism Centre