Teaching by Lama Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
September 1998, Vancouver, BC, Canada

First I would like to lead meditation on bodhicitta. And this moment I would like to ask you to visualize white light, like a full moon. Beautiful white light like a full moon. You visualize that on your chest. And think, "This white light is my mind. This white light is loving-kindness. This white light is my mind of loving-kindness, my mind of love, my mind of compassion." So you visualize this beautiful white light, like a complete circle, like a moon. Then light shining, white light shining from here, radiating, shining, radiating. Light shining, radiating to ten directions: to the east, to the west. Light going to the south, to the north. And to the four cardinal directions, and to up, and to down. Light goes to all over, and goes first light goes to this earth, to everywhere on this earth. Then beyond the earth.

So this light reaches, it reach six realms. And this light reach all sentient beings, the light of love. I send my love and compassion, my pure thought, my pure wish, sincere thought. My wish: "May all beings have happiness. May all beings have cause of happiness. May all beings have no suffering. May all beings have no cause of suffering. May all beings have peace and bliss. Enlightened mind -- the mind of Buddha." So I send this light -- every, all sentient beings touched by this light. This light reach all beings, and all beings experience the mind of loving-kindness. [Meditate.]

The subject of the talk to night is meditation on, meditation on bodhicitta, precious bodhicitta. So the subject of talk is meditation on bodhicitta, and this meditation is the essence of the path, and essence of the practice of the final scope, the final scope of Lam Rim, the Great Scope of the Lam Rim.

First I would like to say a little bit about the definition of bodhicitta. The Tibetan word for bodhicitta is "Jang chub chi sem." "Jang chub" means body, and "jang chub" or "body" means enlightened, enlightenment -- enlightenment or Buddhahood. "Jang," Tibetan word "jang" and "chub," two different words, two words. "Jang" means accomplished all the necessary training. "Jang," or sometimes we call it "chang" means one who accomplished all the necessary trainings, all the practice. One who accomplished all the practice or meditation. So this is referring to Buddha. And "jang chub" -- "chub" means the person who achieved all the necessary realizations, and all the important realizations. All complete realizations of enlightenment -- "jang chub."

"Chi sem" -- "sem" means mind. Mind that is gone through all the training, meditation training and accomplished. And no more training is necessary now, no more meditation is necessary. "Jang." "Chub" means "because he or she, or the Buddha, achieved all the realizations, highest realizations and perfections." "Chub." "Jang chub" or "bodhi."

So there's another, also, meaning: "Jang chub" means the mind of the enlightened being, the mind of the Buddha, is "jang" means so refined, so pure. And the most, the most selfless mind. No more self-cherishing, no more self-centered mind whatsoever. And "chub" means one who accomplished all love and compassion. Complete love, complete compassion. And one who has love and compassion towards all beings, every sentient beings. No one is excluded. Every sentient being. Always, forever and forever. Ever and ever. Like, we have love and compassion, but we don't have love and compassion all the time, because all of a sudden we become angry. All of a sudden selfish mind arises. And sometimes we have love and compassion to certain people, and we don't have for certain people. It's a partial love, partial compassion.

But Buddha is different. Buddha's love and compassion is for everyone, all sentient beings. Totally beyond self-centered mind. Altruistic mind. And the Buddha become enlightened being because "for the sake of all sentient beings." Buddha practiced six perfections because "for the sake of all sentient beings." Buddha remained as a Buddha forever and ever because "for the sake of all sentient beings." And Buddha comes back to the world, again and again and again, until the end of samsara, until end of suffering, because "for the sake of all sentient beings." And Buddha has inexhaustible compassion and love, never-ending love, never-ending compassion. Never give up no matter how difficult it is, no matter how many cruel people you see, you meet, you run into. And Buddha never give up, always have love and compassion towards everyone.

So this kind of mind, this kind of realization, is called "bodhicitta" or "jang chub chi sem." We call "jang chub chi sem rinpoche" because "rinpoche" means "the precious one." "Rinpoche." So this mind is the precious mind. This is the most precious one. This mind is more precious than anything else. This mind is the holy mind. This mind is pure mind. This mind is that we should take refuge. This mind we should put on -- place on altar. We should bow down, we should do prostrations. We should make offerings. We should rejoice. We should keep it, save it, protect this mind, for the benefit of all sentient beings. This is so precious, we call it "jang chub chi sem rinpoche." So this is the essence of the Mahayana path.

So I would like to say that all the Buddhas of the three times -- Buddhas of the past and present, future -- encourage people to practice bodhicitta, to cultivate bodhicitta right from the beginning. And right from the beginning they encourage people to become Mahayanists, or practice bodhicitta. And Buddhas also encourage people not to become what we called Hinayanists or Shravakayanists or Pratchekayanists. Because Shravaka or Pratchekayanist or Hinayanist means -- people who become Hinayanist means the people who practice Dharma and meditation for their own sake, their own liberation, their own freedom and peace and escape -- escaping from samsara. So the Buddha said, "Do not enter into the Hinayana path, Shravaka path, Pratcheka path unless you have to and if you don't have the karma to enter into Mahayana path. If you don't have the karma, or mental disposition to cultivate bodhicitta, then you have no choice, or you're not ready, so might as well practice Hinayana path. That's why Buddha also taught Hinayana path. But ideally everyone should enter into Mahayana path.

And one of the great Kadampa lama called Geshe Potawa, Geshe Potawa said, "When you're travelling through the mountains, through the valleys, you have to cross river. And you should think carefully, and instead of crossing the river twice, you should make sure that you don't have to cross twice. Is there any way you can cross the river once? Because sometimes we don't know the way, right? So the river goes around like this, and curves, and so we get lost. Sometimes we cross this river. Then you go up the other side of the river, then you can't go up. There's nowhere to go. Nowhere to go because there's a land-block, there's a canyon or there's cliff. Then you have to go around and cross the river, same river again, and back. And then you go up, walk along the river, and then cross the river again, in order to get to the other side of the mountain.

But if you know the road, and kind of easy way, or not the easy way, but right way, the right path, right trail, then you may not have to cross the river twice. Why not find out the right path, so that you only have to cross river once?

So this is example. Instead of going into the Hinayana path, do so much training, hard work, meditate, meditate, meditate, practice, practice. So much purification, and going through this path. Then you finally reach nirvana, and then at some point you realize this is not the final goal. You don't even want to stay there forever, because you don't feel it is right to be self-content and rejoice yourself. Saying, "Oh, I'm happy now. I'm free from samsara." And you know that is not right. So then you have to cross river again. You come back to Mahayana path. Then you practice again, training, training, training. So this is why the Geshe Potawa said you should enter, enter Mahayana path.

So therefore the real path, actual path, direct path to enlightenment, Buddhahood, is the Mahayana path. During earlier when we studied Medium Scope Lam Rim, the Lam Rim teaching when we studied Medium Scope, during that time the Medium Scope emphasis on renunciation. And renunciation and emphasis on liberation or liberating oneself from cyclic existence. And liberate oneself. So that is because for the sake of accomplish the realization of renunciation. But once you accomplish the realization of renunciation, you have a strong renunciation, you accomplish strong renunciation, realization of renunciation. You accomplish a strong dedication, profound dedication and commitment to the Dharma path, then you must enter to the Mahayana path. 

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