Bodhisattva’s Vow

I am only a simple disciple, but I offer these respectful words. (Any words I make are vulgar in expressing the Dharma. My mistake is made as I utter the first sound.  A frog’s croak has more wisdom.  A child’s laugh holds more boundless compassion.  My throat is dry and harsh.) 

When I regard the true nature of the many dharmas, I find them all to be sacred forms of the Tathagata’s never-failing essence. Each particle of matter, each moment, is no other than the Tathagata’s inexpressible radiance. (The essential nature of this moment steps lightly while underfoot leaves crunch and winds blow the husk away.)

With this realization, our virtuous ancestors gave tender care to beasts and birds with compassionate minds and hearts. Among us, in our own daily lives, who is not reverently grateful for the protections of life: food, drink, and clothing! Though they are inanimate things, they are nonetheless the warm flesh and blood, the merciful incarnations of Buddha. (The wonder of this moment is both mundane and profane, subtle and infinitely complex; the experience of this moment is one of simple gratitude and humble acceptance.)

All the more, we can be especially sympathetic and affectionate with foolish people, particularly with someone who becomes a sworn enemy and persecutes us with abusive language. That very abuse conveys the Buddha’s boundless loving-kindness. It is a compassionate device to liberate us entirely from the mean-spirited delusions we have built up with our wrongful conduct from the beginningless past. (Interconnected but bliss is a perception and not a physical quality.  The world continues as before.  We are embraced by the light of Dharma while feeling its sharp edge against our throat.  We rely upon our actions, our actions carry the Dharma.)

With our open response to such abuse we completely relinquish ourselves, and the most profound and pure faith arises. At the peak of each thought a lotus flower opens, and on each flower there is revealed a Buddha. Everywhere is the Pure Land in its beauty. We see fully the Tathagata’s radiant light right where we are. (We embrace.  We hold the knife.)

May we retain this mind and extend it throughout the world so that we and all beings become mature in Buddha’s wisdom. (My trust is a fog.  Hope is burned off by the morning sun.  The birds preach a sermon and fly away. Clarity.)