Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Spirit of Awakening

Bodhi means to be awake, or to be awakening. Chitta is heart, mind, spirit, and intention. So bodhichitta is the aspiration, the intention, and the experience of waking up, knowing how things actually are, in order to bring about the deep and genuine benefit of oneself and others. This bodhichitta, or spirit of awakening, includes two inherent, indestructible abilities that we all possess: the ability to know the nature of what is arising in our experience, and the ability to to respond in ways that bring benefit to oneself and others.

These abilities are more than possessions; this is our very nature -- our buddha nature -- which cannot be lost and cannot be destroyed. It can only be temporarily covered over by the emotional turmoil and reactions that arise from the confusion of not knowing how things really are. When we can abide in the turmoil, and clear up the confusion, we are buddha: awake and responsive to experience, situations, and other beings.

Don't underestimate the power of confusion and turmoil to create suffering. And don't underestimate your very nature: responsive awareness.

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