Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva: Verse 1

The Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva: Verse 1

Photo by Varun Nambiar on Unsplash

“Now that I have this great ship, a precious human life, so hard to obtain,

I must carry myself and others across the ocean of samsara,

To that end, to listen, reflect, and meditate

Day and night, without distraction, is the practice of a bodhisattva.”

It feels arrogant entering this stream of writers while trying to write commentaries on the text by revered Tibetan, Gyalse Tokme Zongpo, born in Central Tibet, 1295. My teacher, Geshe Ngawang Dakpa supported my passion for one of his teachers, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Understanding little of the more austere schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Rinpoche’s warmth captured me.

For three years I engaged in an hour-long daily Yamantaka practice, never understanding a single word of it. If ideas are passed to me from Tokme Zongpo through Khyentse Rinpoche, through Geshe Dakpa, maybe this time will be different.

What are we all really doing here? A nation on the edge of losing, captured, we’ve become hostages, unwilling victims of a blackmailing tyrant, hoping we’re going to save ourselves and our compatriots with weapons made of words.

What does this wise Tibetan tell us about our yearning to change the course of history?

Anam Thubten Rinpoche said we strengthen our spiritual intention by prayer and recitation of our mantras. Likening the Buddha’s “luminous consciousness” to our modern talk of neural plasticity, he delivered this promise of personal transformation.

Writing daily becomes a mantra recitation, dedicated to saving us from the horror of a nation gone crazy. The study, reflection, and meditation become our call for freedom. But are we really willing to give up the comfort we’ve been fooled to believe we live in?

The idea of being a slave is unbearable but what’s the alternative before us?

This post was created with Typeshare




Descriptions of our lives may appear “personal,” and problems may seem “psychological,”: but on analysis, the political emerges. Citizen sociologists reporting on modern life.

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Lynn E. O’Connor, PhD

Lynn E. O’Connor, PhD

Psychologist, Clinical & Research Consultation, Counseling & Coaching,

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