And what is a bodhisattva, anyway?
I can tell you of my practice thus far.
It is sitting in the slough of despond, not fearless but vulnerable, choosing compassion in chaos, accepting the uncertain. So yes, my life is messy but it is not dull.
Time and again, I find light in failure, sometimes only a sliver but it is enough. So little is true need.
I see all of life as an experience. The only reason I am here is to live each moment. Escape is an empty option. There is no putting the present on a shelf.
Every time I escape, I end up in a dearth of thought, chasing down one rabbit hole after another. I always end up nowhere, and the world has not changed. Sometimes it’s worse than when I left.
What better time to practice being a bodhisattva.
These are interesting times–an ancient Chinese curse–or is it? We are in a war–of words, of culture–with who we are and are not.
We are separate in our will. What makes each one of us whole is not always palatable. What a dull place the world would be if it were.
We have to dive into this war we are waging. We need to go to the core of who we are– each one of us–to find a reverence for all life, our connection to one another.
Being a bodhisattva is not fearless or egoless. It is sitting with my fears–what haunts me–the stories I tell myself, based on feeling and not fact, spun from what if’s and what might have been. Castles in the air.
My ego in escape mode spins a fine story; it knows the ghosts of my life. Yet, each of my stories, stripped of its drama, has substance. It is vulnerability–the well of compassion–the energy of the bodhisattva.
I am the strength of my stories, once I accept the truth of them–my unkindness, my ability to inflict pain. In humility and modesty–“bodhichitta (awakened heart)”–I open to the experience of others. I connect.
I cannot say what a bodhisattva means for you. Whatever it is, be it.