August 26, 2015

Love Born from Wisdom, Not Emotion.


Bodhicitta is the essential, universal truth.

This most pure thought is the wish to bring all sentient beings to the realization of their highest potential: enlightenment.

The bodhisattva sees the crystal nature that exists in each of us, and by recognizing the beauty of our human potential, always has respect.

For the disrespectful mind, human beings are like grass, something to be used. “Ah, he means nothing to me. Human beings are nothing to me.”

We all try to take advantage of someone else, to profit only for ourselves. The entire world is built on attachment. Big countries overwhelm small countries, big children take candy from small children, husbands take advantage of their wives. I make friends with someone because he can benefit me. It is the same with the rest of the world. Boyfriends, girlfriends. Everybody wants something.


The desire to make friends only for the other person’s benefit is extremely rare; however, it is worthwhile. Buddha explained that even one moment’s thought of this mind dedicated to enlightenment for the sake of others can destroy a hundred thousand lifetimes’ negative karma.

We have attachment which makes us tight and uncomfortable. But even a tiny spark of bodhicitta’s heat makes the heart warm and relaxed.

Bodhicitta is the powerful solution, the atomic energy that destroys the kingdom of attachment.

Bodhicitta is not emotional love. By understanding the relative nature of sentient beings and seeing their highest destination, and by developing the willingness to bring all beings to that state of enlightenment, the mind is filled with love born from wisdom, not emotion.

Bodhicitta is not partial. Wherever you go with bodhicitta, if you meet people—rich people or poor people, black or white—you are comfortable and you can communicate.

We have a fixed idea: life is this way or that. “This is good. This is bad.” We do not understand the different aspects of the human condition. But, having this incredible universal thought, our narrow mind vanishes automatically. It is so simple—you have space and life becomes easier.

For example, someone looks at us, at our home, at our garden and we freak out. We are so insecure and tight in our hearts. Arrogant. “Don’t look at me.” But with bodhicitta there is space. When someone looks we can say, “Hmm. She’s looking. But that’s okay.” Do you understand? Rather than feeling upset, you know it is alright.


Bodhicitta is the intoxicant that numbs us against pain and fills us with bliss.

Bodhicitta is the alchemy that transforms every action into benefit for others. Bodhicitta is the cloud that carries the rain of positive energy to nourish growing things.

Bodhicitta is not doctrine. It is a state of mind.

This inner experience is completely individual. So how can we see who is a bodhisattva and who is not? How can we see the self-cherishing mind?

If we feel insecure ourselves, we will project that negative feeling onto others.

We need the pure innermost thought of bodhicitta; wherever we go that will take care of us.

Read more of Lama Yeshe’s teachings at Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.




Becoming a Bodhisattva: The Supreme Thought.


Author: Lama Thubten Yeshe

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photos: Author’s Own, Hartwig HKD/Flickr 


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Lama Yeshe

Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935. At the age of six, he entered the great Sera Monastic University, Lhasa, where he studied until 1959, when the Chinese invasion of Tibet forced him into exile in India. Lama Yeshe continued to study and meditate in India until 1967, when, with his chief disciple, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, he went to Nepal. Two years later he established Kopan Monastery, near Kathmandu, in order to teach Buddhism to Westerners. In 1974, the Lamas began making annual teaching tours to the West, and as a result of these travels a worldwide network of Buddhist teaching and meditation centers—the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)—began to develop. In 1984, after an intense decade of imparting a wide variety of incredible teachings and establishing one FPMT activity after another, at the age of forty-nine, Lama Yeshe passed away. You can read more of Lama Yeshe’s teachings here and read excerpts from Adele Hulse’s forthcoming biography of Lama, Big Love.