Practices › Bodhicitta
Courtesy of Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche
O precious and sublime bodhicitta,
May it arise in those in whom it has not arisen,
May it never decline where it has arisen,
But go on increasing, further and further!
Texts on the subject of bodhicitta (byang chub sems), which (on the relative level, at least) is the compassionate wish to attain enlightenment for the sake of all living beings—and has been variously translated into English as 'thought of enlightenment', 'awakening-mind', 'spirit of awakening', etc.
- The Blissful Path to the Ocean of Bodhichitta: A Brief Prayer of Aspiration for Mind Training by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
This prayer of aspiration for training the mind in bodhicitta by exchanging all the world's suffering for genuine happiness is based on Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye's longer text, The Gateway to the Ocean of Bodhicitta.
In this short text, the celebrated Dzogchen teacher Nyoshul Lungtok Tenpe Nyima offers a prayer to the root and lineage gurus and all the buddhas and bodhisattvas requesting their blessings and inspiration so that we might perfect the cultivation of bodhicitta in all its aspects.
This prayer of aspiration covers the entire Buddhist path, but places special emphasis on the cultivation of bodhicitta in its various forms. For to have bodhicitta, says Patrul Rinpoche, is to have "all that's needed to attain enlightenment."
- A Brief Commentary on the Refuge & Bodhichitta Prayer known as Sangyé Chö Tsok Ma by Ngawang Tenzin Norbu
Taking a famous four-line prayer as his basis, Patrul Rinpoche explains the practice of taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha, and arousing bodhicitta, in both its relative and ultimate forms.
- The Brightly Shining Sun: A Step-by-Step Guide to Meditating on the Bodhicaryāvatāra by Patrul Rinpoche
Patrul Rinpoche was renowned for his mastery of, and fondness for, Śāntideva's classic guide to the way of the bodhisattvas, and this is his practical manual for applying its wisdom and meditating on its key themes.
Notes on a number of topics, including how Buddha Śākyamuni generated bodhicitta and completed the accumulation of merit over three incalculable aeons, the four kāyas, the twelve deeds, and the three councils. The text is undated and has no colophon, but it is possible that Jamyang Khyentse drew upon Zhuchen Tsultrim Rinchen's (1697–1774) catalogue (dkar chag) to the Derge Tengyur or a similar source.
- The Ritual of the Bodhisattva Vow According to the Tradition of Patrul Rinpoche arranged by Chatral Rinpoche
This elaborate ritual for taking the bodhisattva vow, which includes preliminary recitations and practices as well as the vow itself, was arranged according to the tradition of the great Dza Patrul Rinpoche (1808–1887) by the holder of his lineage, Chatral Rinpoche Sangye Dorje, in 1986.
- Vast Clouds of Samantabhadra’s Display: A Ritual of Worship to Delight the Teacher, his Eight Heart-Sons, and their Retinue by Neten Chokling Ngedön Drubpe Dorje
A ritual for paying homage to the Buddha and eight main bodhisattvas as a means of generating bodhicitta. The text belongs to The Great Compassionate One, Lotus Uṣṇīṣa (thugs rje chen po pad+ma gtsug gtor) cycle within the Chokling Tersar.
Extracted from Śākyaśrībhadra's Seven Branches for Practising the Sacred Dharma (Saptāṅgasaddharmacaryāvatāra), these verses for taking refuge and generating bodhicitta are often recited independently of their original source.
Three Noble Principles
A brief explanation of the three noble principles (of arousing bodhicitta in the beginning, remaining without reference in the middle, and dedicating merit at the end), which are said to be the root of the Mahāyāna path.