Perfection of Patience

bestowed by H.E. Garchen Rinpoche in February 2023
– Oral Translated by Ina Bieler & Transcribed by Florence Lee in 2023

Tashi delek to everyone joining us on the livestream from all over the world. First of all I would like to offer to you this nectar of love that comes from the Buddha’s begging bowl. It’s a vast ocean of nectar containing the nectar of loving kindness and compassion that pervades all sentient beings in the three realms of existence.

Today my dharma friends, I’m going to speak about patience. You have received many dharma teachings from various spiritual masters from around the world. It’s mostly due to the kindness and compassion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama that the various spiritual masters around the world are opening the eyes of disciples. What I’m sharing is more related to my own personal experience of having encountered hardships and suffering and having directly experienced these. This is when I understood the preciousness of love and compassion. I understood that it is necessary to uphold love and compassion. I was requested to share these words by disciples who love me and trust me.  Now I’m going to share a few words.

In the supplication prayer from the Five Fold path of Mahamudra at the beginning, there’s a supplication to bodhicitta and it says “it has arisen from the ocean-like treasure of loving kindness and compassion and arises to fortunate ones in the form of the bodhisattvas in order to benefit them. I supplicate to the Guru bodhicitta’. So there is a deep meaning behind this term here ‘ocean-like treasure of love and compassion ‘.  So, what is this love and compassion? In the 37 bodhisattva practices on the verse regarding patience, it says first of all “those who desire wealth of virtue , all those who do harm are like a precious treasure. Therefore treating everyone with patience without a mind of hostility is the bodhisattva’s practice. ” The teachings really are related to this verse.

The 37 practices really is the only thing that I know. It is through the grace of the 37 practices that I have understood the preciousness of love and compassion. And I have understood that love and compassion are very powerful in the beginning, in the middle and in the end. So I’m sharing with you to the best of my abilities on the basis of my own experiences.

There are six realms of samsara and within those six realms, the human realm is really a Pure Land of Nirmanakayas. What is the quality of this Pure Land? It is said that the characteristic of a human being is that they can understand meaning and express meaning. So that is why of the six realms of samsara, we speak about the precious human birth. And the precious human beings have evolved in this world.  But then it is important for a precious human being to understand the workings of karma. Otherwise one is an ordinary human being. The teachings on karma is the teaching on the relative truth. Karma is unfailing. In this human world we experience a variety of happiness and suffering. It all arises from a cause.  Buddha taught that all phenomena arise from causes and there is not a single phenomena that does not arise from a cause. It is just that Buddha nature is unarisen from a cause but everything else relies on causes. Therefore, Buddha taught that it is very important to understand these causes. For example when we make prayers; whichever prayer we make, this prayer is the aspiration of all the Buddhas of the three times. And their aspiration is the happiness and the cause of happiness for all sentient beings.

All sentient beings consists of the various beings in the different realms such as humans and animals. Basically all beings with a body and without a body. And even the slightest happiness or suffering for any sentient being has a cause. This is what we are introduced to in the vehicle on cause and effect. And then many different religions have spread in the world but one level or the other they all agree on karma, cause and effect.  So what is the actual cause of happiness? It is a mind of love and that is really the enlightened intent of the Buddha. The Buddha had developed immeasurable love so therefore the Buddha taught the four immeasurables. Even though our love may not be immeasurable, everyone understands that love is a cause of happiness. And that everything we do with a selfish mind is the cause of suffering.  So this is the teaching of the Buddha and Buddha really means to know the nature of one’s own mind. Everyone has a mind and therefore everyone possesses the cause of Buddhahood. Buddhahood is when one realizes the nature of one’s own mind.

At the state of Buddhahood there is no suffering. The state of Buddhahood is always in a state of happiness. That is why we refer to the Buddhas as the bliss-gone ones. Then on the other hand there are sentient beings in the six realms of samsara appearing temporarily. They are just like temporary ice blocks on the ocean.  The Buddha had said all beings are actually Buddhas. They are only obscured by adventitious stains. Actually everything is complete within just these words. The outer example are ice-blocks on water. As long as we are in an ice-like state, we experience various kinds of suffering even though our true nature is water. Ocean water itself when unfrozen experiences no suffering. So that is an outer example representing the inner meaning of the mind.  When Buddha said “all sentient beings are actually Buddhas”, what he meant was that the fundamental nature of the mind is actually Buddha. The omniscient Longchen Rabjam said in the treasury of pith instructions that “when you realize the nature of your mind, there is no more scriptures”.  When you realize the nature of your mind , that is Buddhahood.

The reason why we do not realize the nature of mind is because we grasp at a duality of self and other. First we consider ourselves as most important. In the 37 practices, it says “all suffering without exception comes from wishing for one’s own happiness. ” Because we consider ourselves as most important, we develop the other six afflictive emotions. And these lead to six kinds of actions. These karmas cause the mind to be in a defiled state just like muddy water or toilet water which we cannot drink.  But science has found ways to repurify these water and make it drinkable again. That is also an aspect of wisdom. It is said that everything that is done in the field of knowable things in this world is done by Buddha. Everything that is done by science is done by this quality of wisdom and from this quality of wisdom, all the qualities of a Buddha actually arise.  When we apply this in order to purify the muddy water of the mind, we need a skillful method. That skillful method is great compassion. When we cultivate great compassion, the mind becomes pure. To recognize the pure nature of the mind is what we call Buddhahood. Whoever sees the nature of the mind is a Buddha . It is the mind which is completely pure like pure water.

First the mind is impure like muddy water or dirty clothes and we need to wash it. The method for washing the dirty water of the mind is the dharma. The dharma consists of 84,000 different teachings but it is said that all the 84,000 teachings are included within the mind of bodhicitta. Even though in this world many different religions have spread, there is no religion that is not connected to love.  All religions see the importance of love. It is just that some have more profound teachings than others. Ultimately according to the Buddhist paths, we attain the state of Buddhahood through the view of the Madyamaka middle way teachings. All religions have beneficial aspects that lead into that direction.  It is just that for as long as we have not realized the nature of the mind completely, we still possess some grasping in the mind. But other than that, there is no religion that does not possess beneficial quality. All religions agree on the mind of love and compassion. Essentially love is the dharma and in the Bodhicharyavatara it speaks about the only medicine for sentient beings. The only source of happiness and benefit for sentient beings in the six realms of samsara is love.

When we speak about increasing and upholding the Buddha’s teaching, what we are really upholding is loving kindness. It is the mind that is all pervasive and is unobscured by self-grasping. This is what we practice when we listen, reflect and meditate on Buddha’s teachings. So the Buddha’s teachings really is love and therefore we call it the sun that illuminates this world.  Coming back to this first verse in the Fivefold path of Mahamudra Aspiration Prayer, “the ocean-like treasure of loving kindness and compassion”. If you have this ocean of love and compassion then naturally trees and flowers will grow. Again there are many different religions in the world and wisdom manifests in many different ways.

There are many great masters in the dharma and also in a mundane sense. Meaning there are dharma practitioners, ordinary worldly beings and also beings anywhere in the six realms of samsara coming to benefit sentient beings in many different ways. These beings have found peace and happiness within themselves and are able to also show the path to liberation and happiness others.

In brief we can say that whoever possesses love and if they are male, they are Chenrezig. If they are female then they are Tara and they all possess Buddha nature.  Buddha nature is only obscured temporarily by self-grasping and this temporary obscuration is cleared away by cultivating an altruistic mind. Whoever possesses and altruistic mind of compassion is Chenrezig. The aspect of wisdom is Tara. One who possesses wisdom will also naturally give rise to compassion.  Wisdom and compassion are a natural union. Another outer example is that of electricity . Everything beneficial in this world is also powered by electricity . Electricity can also cause harm for example when it powers weapons. But from the side of electricity itself, there is no harmful intent. It just depends on how we make use of electricity.

An outer example of the mind is also electricity or the ocean-like water. To summarize the Buddha’s teaching, the Buddha also said “Completely tame your own mind , this is the Buddha’s teaching. ” The Buddha’s teaching is to purify our own mind and nothing else.  In the 37 practices it speaks about the treasure of virtue, that really is love. When Buddha gave rise to love, that is called virtuous in the beginning. Meaning that first of all in the beginning, Buddha attained enlightenment through love and he mounted the royal seat of the Dharmakaya kingdom for his own sake.  Virtue in the middle is that after having attained enlightenment, Buddha then engages in the benefit of sentient beings; stirring and emptying samsara from its depths. Virtue in the end is as a result of such benefit, sentient beings can become matured. This is how it is explained in the Konchok Chidu Guru Rinpoche practice. This is virtue in the beginning, in the middle and at the end.

According to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, there are many remarkable masters that have appeared such as Marpa, Milarepa, Naropa and so forth. They all have endured many hardships for the sake of dharma. If you understand that , then you will understand this wealth of virtue that they pursued. And as a result they achieved benefit for oneself and happiness for others. So the cause of all happiness that they achieved is loving kindness and bodhicitta. They knew how to preserve loving kindness by accumulating it and they upheld it . First the Buddha gave rise to bodhicitta and then he accumulated merit throughout three endless eons. So what Buddha accumulated is the six paramitas and you can see that in his life story.  What Buddha really accumulated is a mind of love and what we as wordly samsaric sentient beings accumulate is money. We work day and night constantly like an ever turning wheel to accumulate money. That is just for the benefit of this life and in order to feed our family and so on. Buddha said that is mistaken because this life is just like a dream.

We understand in the 4 thoughts that turn the mind that this life is impermanent and subject to disintegration. Therefore what we should strive for is this cause that is virtuous in the beginning, in the middle and in the end. That cause which will stay with us from lifetime to lifetime will cause us to proceed from happiness to happiness.  That cause is called bodhicitta or loving kindness. What the Buddha taught is a method to preserve and uphold our love. That is something only the Buddha had realized and no one else. So Buddha accumulated this love by practicing the six paramitas. And it is the Buddha’s aspiration to continue to appear for as long as sentient beings exist.  Buddha also said that wherever space pervades that is where sentient beings pervade. Wherever sentient beings pervade suffering pervades. So on the relative level Buddha emanations that come to benefit beings with this aspiration appear uninterruptedly. They appear anywhere in the six realms of samsara for example also in the animal realm.

For instance within the animal realm beings also possess this Buddha nature in them because there is no one who do not possess love and compassion. At least beings love their own children and that is the smallest of all love. In this way the Buddha loves all sentient beings seeing them like a mother sees her child.   Buddha loves all beings in the six realms of samsara and they want to liberate those who are not liberated. And release those who are not released. Similarly in the animal realm, animals love their own offspring. There are some animals who possess a greater level of peace and happiness.  Many hundreds of animals are able to co-exist and protect one another. That is also due to a cause they have created which is a mind of love. Even the slightest moment of love leads to such happiness. But this love has to be sustained with patience. We have love but we often do not have patience. We do not sustain or protect our love with patience.

Even though we have a precious human body, we are unable to protect this love if we have no patience in our mind. Mainly that comes down to considering ourselves as most important. That is why we are not able to be patient with others. So for now we experience God-like happiness as a precious human being. But our six sense consciousnesses are distracted by the five sense pleasures.  We are attached and we possess these sense objects. And as a result of such clinging fixation we develop the six afflictive emotions. We act on them and we accumulate karma and form habitual patterns in the mind. In this way the ice block further solidifies into harder ice. This is where all the suffering in this world comes from. There is no suffering that doesn’t arise from an afflictive emotion.  Ultimately we want to care for our own well being for example there are some who are in charge of entire countries.  They say that they want to care for their country but actually what they fail to see is that the country is the people. Instead of really supporting the people, they use their people like objects to create war or serve their own self interests. So they are not actually caring for their country because the country is really the people.

Then there are others who have a greater level of wisdom in their mind and they understand that. If they want to care for their country they have to take care of the people. So the mistake that arises is due to very thick layers of self-clinging which makes the mind be in an ice-block like state. That is the cause of all the sufferings and misery in this world and they all arise from a cause.  If the cause is not created then no suffering can arise. But because we have created the causes of suffering from lifetime to lifetime, we continue to experience suffering. It is because of our attachment to self and our clinging to the five sense pleasures. And as a result of that, we engage in the ten non-virtuous actions. And the result of these actions continue to ripen .  As a result of our own actions, those who have accumulated similar karma will meet together. All of you are probably familiar with the ten non-virtuous actions but in brief the three non-virtuous actions of the body are to kill, steal and engage in sexual misconduct. The four non-virtuous actions of the speech are telling lies, slander or harsh speech and idle talk. Then the three non-virtuous actions of the mind are covetousness, harmful thought and wrong views.

Wrong views is the most detrimental and we have wrong views ; we think that there is a “me” and “him”. I want all goodness for myself and he can just go to ruin. We naturally have these negative thoughts towards others. For example another wrong view is to say that ‘the dharma is wrong and after we have died we will just be gone like a flower withering. There is no karma, cause and effect or there is no past and future lives and so on.  These are wrong views that leads to the various sufferings in the world. Many people are holding these kinds of wrong views. As a result of engaging in action on the basis of such wrong views, they experience continuous suffering in the six realms of samsara. If you understand that and if you understand the nature of the mind, you know that everything arises from karma. Everything comes down to a cause.

Once that cause is created, it is bound to mature. Therefore if I create the cause of bodhicitta, then naturally this will lead to liberation. It will cause the ice-block of self-grasping to melt. This is what the Buddha has accumulated throughout three endless eons when he practiced the six paramitas. The path of practice begins with the reflection on the four thoughts that turn the mind. Then creating the cause of happiness that is bodhicitta.

Bodhicitta is like lion’s milk and if you were to ask is it really lion’s milk? Do we need to have the milk of a lion? That is not the point; it is just an outer example. The example of the lion is given because the lion is the king of animals and it doesn’t need to be afraid of any other animal. But the inner example it refers to is bodhicitta. Those who possess bodhicitta have nothing to be afraid about. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are fearless because of bodhicitta. Because of bodhicitta they realized that all phenomena are illusory or dream-like by nature. The Buddha’s mind is vast and all-pervasive like space. The Dharmakaya is like space and within the space of Dharmakaya, no fear exists. That is the state of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas which is like a vast ocean. They see the ice-block state of sentient beings and want to help them melt this ice-block. So they strive single pointedly to help beings melt their ice-block.  They strive by manifesting limitless Nirmanakaya forms that benefit sentient beings. So this is the mind generation or the bodhicitta that Buddha had first developed. Then in the middle he accumulated merits for three endless eons and in the end he attained the state of enlightenment.

Buddha now appears to us to benefit sentient beings. So to our perception Buddhas appear but from the perspective of the Buddha himself, the Buddha has realized that all sentient beings and all phenomena are illusory by nature. No real existing sentient beings appears to the Buddha. Buddha doesn’t really go out to benefit sentient beings but he remains in a space-like state.  While he remains unmoved from this space-like state, Buddha still appears to benefit sentient beings through the dharma. So again to summarize the practice of dharma, what do we need? We need to possess patience and if we possess patience then we are able to protect love. Then we are able to refrain engaging in the ten non-virtuous actions.  If we are unable to cultivate patience then we will naturally engage in the ten non-virtuous actions. We will not understand that a result will mature from these actions in future lifetimes. Then we will continue to accumulate karma upon karma and this is why we now find ourselves in this samsaric world.

Now we are in the southern continent of Jambudvīpa in this world and as precious human beings, we should all reflect on the importance of bodhicitta. In this world as human beings, even the slightest happiness arises from loving kindness and compassion.  It is said in the 37 practices that the happiness of the 3 higher realms is as fleeting as a dew drop on the tip of a blade of grass. But even the slightest happiness is because we have developed love. For example the slightest happiness of a married couple. Because of love , they will be able to stay together for the rest of their lives until they die.  They are able to sustain their love because they are able to be patient with each other. For example if you visit a family that is wealthy but they do not get along. There’s no mutual love then that experience is like hell. But if you visit a family that is very harmonious and they love one another, even if they are very poor you will feel very happy there.

Even if it is just a mundane activity, if there is true love and patience then there will be a corresponding result. So in previous lives we might have cultivated love and protected that love with patience. And as a result of that we have obtained a precious human body. Generally speaking it is said that if we practice ethical discipline we obtain a precious human body.  If we practice generosity we will find wealth. If we practice patience we will experience a long life, have harmonious relations and a beautiful appearance. All of these qualities of generosity, ethical discipline and patience all arise out of love. Ultimately because of love, we have found a precious human body.  As a precious human being, if we do experience happiness then recognize the origin of this happiness. For example if you find yourself being wealthy, then recognize that this is due to having practiced generosity.  Every happiness we experience has a precise cause and that ultimately comes down to love and patience.

At the root is the seed of bodhicitta and the seed of bodhicitta then supports our activities of generosity, ethical discipline and patience. All peace and happiness in this world arises from these qualities. There are many people in this world who are very happy and they live their lives in peace. That is because of love and because they have protected their love with patience.  On the other hand if we fail to protect our love with patience but instead become controlled by the afflictive emotions, then whatever happiness we have will turn into suffering in the end. There are some people who even though they possess a precious human body, they always suffer and run into difficulties. So not everyone is the same even if they are in the same country.  In brief it all comes down to the quality of patience. We have said that bodhicitta is like the lions milk and this lion’s milk must be contained in a golden vase. So the lion’s milk is bodhicitta and the golden vase is patience. Patience is virtuous in the beginning, in the middle and at the end. If you have patience, that mind of patience will endure and there is no need to be afraid of anything as the mind cannot die.

After the body has died, one either goes on to attain enlightenment and merges with space or one continues to wander anywhere in the six realms of samsara. The mind cannot cease to be as it is beyond birth and death. Understanding that, recognize that it is important that we observe karma, cause and effect. Because it is only this body that will die. When we die we will exchange bodies.  Lord Jigten Sumgon said in the Gongchik, ‘that which wanders in the ocean of samsara is the body.” At the root of the twelve links of interdependence is ignorance. So the fault of suffering of all sentient beings in the six realms is ignorance. And because we are ignorant we do not understand the importance and preciousness of love and compassion.  But instead we falsely think that the self is what’s most precious. So we create a dualistic reality of self and other where we are unable to see our true nature. Therefore temporarily we create the six realms of samsara. For example we look at the difference between the higher and the lower realms, we can see that by observing humans and animals who co-exist. We can see how much more suffering is experienced by the animals. All of that has a cause which is a lack of bodhicitta.

When we cultivate love, we begin to recognize the preciousness of the love that we have for our family members. Our parents, our relatives and especially the love that we have for our spouses and so on. So that love is very precious and if you understand karma, then this love will increase to become immeasurable love. So the Buddha cultivated the four immeasurables, recognizing that all beings have been our parents.  The Buddha also recognized that in order to sustain love, one needs to cultivate patience. The lion’s milk of bodhicitta must be contained by the golden vessel of patience. For example for a married couple who understands that will be able to live their lives together until the end. On the other hand if we don’t understand that, we become carried away by the attachment caused by the six sense perceptions. There are some who really like the taste of sweets and they can’t refrain from eating sweets. So they develop diabetes or there are some who can’t stop smoking and they develop lung diseases. Or there are some who can’t stop drinking even until they die. Even though they don’t want to die they keep drinking.  If they don’t want to die, then they have to be mindful when it comes to creating the right causes.

We need to create the cause of love that is contained by the vessel of patience. Such a person who possesses this lion’s milk of love and the golden vessel of patience is a stable person. A person that doesn’t easily change and who is stable like the earth. They possess love and compassion which makes their mind unchanging.  True love is unchanging and therefore an example is that of gold because gold is unchanging. It is the gold of love that will benefit sentient beings.  In this way if you cultivate love then your intention becomes a true and undefiled highest intention for sentient beings. That in turn will lead to the temporary happiness in the higher realms and ultimately will lead to enlightenment.  All happiness comes back to the cause of love. The lion’s milk of bodhicitta must be contained by the golden vessel of patience. Even if you engage in any of the five sense pleasures (when the sixth sense consciousness is connected to any of the sense pleasures), you need to be mindful and practice patience at that time. Because if you fail to be mindful and lose your patience that will lead to a lot of suffering in this life.

What we need to understand is that the ultimate cause of all happiness is love. That is why in the 37 practices it says “to those who desire a wealth of virtue, all those who do harm are like a precious treasure. ” We should really reflect on what is more important. Is it our own body, our life-force or is it love? Normally we consider our own body as the most important.  But if we think about it, your own body will disintegrate one day. There is nothing we can do about it because it is impermanent and subject to disintegration. But the love that we have developed will remain with us even beyond this life until we attain enlightenment. Temporarily it will bring us to the higher realms but ultimately it will bring us to enlightenment.  Your true companion is bodhicitta and it is by far more precious than your own life-force. What is the benefit of cultivating bodhicitta? When you cultivate bodhicitta, self-grasping and ignorance disappears just naturally. In this way we overcome the six afflictive emotions. Otherwise if we are caught up in a mind of self-clinging then it is like a magnet that will attract the six afflictive emotions.

On the other hand if you have an altruistic mind everything becomes positive. For example if you are just eating food, you would consider all the microorganisms inside your body and think you are feeding them. According to the Vajrayana secret mantra, eating with love and compassion in this way becomes a Ganachakra feast offering.  So the altruistic mind is what’s most important and it must be sustained by patience. That is most important especially whenever you encounter hardships and difficulties. That is when you must not lose your patience. Milarepa had said that the root of the lower realms is hatred therefore practice patience even at the cost of your life. One’s body really is meaningless and it will disintegrate. What is most important is that you look after your mind. Again in the 37 bodhicitta practices it says “even though you have not done the slightest thing wrong , if someone comes to cut off your head , you would take on their negativities with great compassion. That is the Bodhisattva’s practice.”

Even if someone were to come and kill you today, you would still not lose your bodhicitta. Because you know that your body is not important and what’s important is bodhicitta. This is what the Buddha had ultimately accumulated. So patience is the ultimate virtue; virtuous in the beginning , in the middle and in the end. Ultimately that is what we need to cultivate. But first of all, we need to recognize the preciousness of bodhicitta. And we need to recognize that the happiness of all beings in the six realms arise from the basis of bodhicitta. So think about this again and again. If you really understand the importance of bodhicitta you will naturally want to give up harming others. Naturally virtues such as ethical discipline, diligence, generosity, patience and so forth will arise. But first you need to understand the importance and preciousness of bodhicitta. You need to come to a resolution where you think that even at the cost of your life, you will not abandon bodhicitta. For example when two friends get angry with one another, they lose their bodhicitta.  You should think that from today onwards you will not angry at your companion. But you will bring your love to reach perfect completion meaning that you will be together for the rest of your lives.

Anger in particular is something that we have to be very careful about . It is said that a single moment of anger destroys the root of virtues that we have accumulated in thousands of eons. So what is this root of virtue? It is love and that is lost when we become controlled by anger. When anger arises, this is where we need to be extremely mindful so as not to lose our root of virtue . At all times, remind yourself with mindfulness the importance of love and to sustain a thought that wishes for the happiness and peace in this world, and also the happiness of all sentient beings in this world.

Recognize that all the conflict and wars that we just mentioned before arises out of a lack of love and self-grasping. So ultimately, if we hold on to self-grasping, it will lead to the downfall of others and in the end it will lead to our own ruin. It will also lead to birth in the three lower realms from which it is very difficult to become ever liberated again. The root of all such misery is our self-cherishing mind.

Again, all suffering without exception comes from wishing for one’s own happiness. So, think about this really well my friends. I’m sharing these words with you just from my own personal experience. I do not have much learning or many other great qualities. During my 20 years in prison, I practiced being very careful when it comes to anger. I can say that throughout this time, the labor that I had to perform was done in order to benefit the country. Never once did I have a thought of hatred towards the country or a single person.

I was always very careful to protect my mind from anger arising. I would like to impart that to you my friends. Be very careful when anger arises. Again I’m not someone who possesses much learning and do not have many vast transmissions or empowerments and so on. But I have reflected on patience and my main place of practice was the prison. And so what I’m imparting to you is really just my own personal experience.

And what I learnt from this time in prison is that I must by all means practice patience. And so my dharma friends this is my experience that I would like to share with you. One more important thing I would like to mention is that in order to cultivate bodhicitta, it is very helpful to recite the Shantideva dedication prayer from the Bodhicharyavatara again and again.

When you read this dedication prayer, you read through various kinds of sufferings and really bring them to mind. For example, when you read about the suffering of blindness, then bring to mind the suffering of someone who is actually blind. Then, imagine that they would somehow regain their sight; how much happiness would they experience. So, reflect in this way as you recite through each of the different sufferings that are stated in the Shantideva dedication prayer.

Whenever you come to a certain suffering that you read about, a feeling of unhappiness arises within you. At this time, you are actually practicing Tonglen and taking on the suffering of others. Then, you continue to read on the aspirations of all the Buddhas of the three times on how they want to dispel all that suffering from sentient beings. So, the Shantideva dedication prayer is a very important prayer because as you recite this prayer, you really reflect upon different kinds of sufferings.

First, as you recite through different kinds of sufferings, you reflect on that and bring that suffering to mind. Then, as you go on reading, you come to the antidote to that suffering which is bodhicitta. It is the antidote to the cause of all suffering which is ignorance. It is karmic actions created with a self-grasping mind. Bodhicitta is the antidote to all such karma and as you read through this prayer, think that may these karmas be brought to an end through the antidote of bodhicitta.

So, I encourage you to recite this particular prayer over and over again. Tashi delek to all of you.

Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara Dedication Prayer

“May all beings everywhere
Plagued by sufferings of body and mind,
Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy
By virtue of my merits.

May no living creature suffer,
Commit evil or ever fall ill.
May no one be afraid or belittled,
With a mind weighed down by depression.

May the blind see forms
And the deaf hear sounds.
May those whose bodies are worn with toil,
Be restored on finding repose.

May the naked find clothing
The hungry find food
May the thirsty find water
And delicious drinks.

May the poor find wealth,
Those weak with sorrow find joy;
May the hopeless find hope,
Constant happiness and prosperity.

May there be timely rains
And bountiful harvests;
May all the medicines be effective
And wholesome prayers bear fruit.

May all who are sick and ill
Quickly be freed from their ailments.
Whatever diseases there are in the world,
May they never occur again.

May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed;
May the powerless find power
And the people think of benefiting each other.

For as long as space remains,
For as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then may I too remain
To dispel the miseries of the world.”