37 Practices to a Perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast

1
Right now, you have a good boat, fully equipped and available — hard to find.
To free others and you from the sea of samsara,
Day and night, fully alert and present,
Study, reflect, and meditate — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

One time round in this human existance. Why fuck around?  Effort is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

2
Attraction to those close to you catches you in its currents;
Aversion to those who oppose you burns inside;
Indifference that ignores what needs to be done is a black hole.
Leave your homeland — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

We attach to those around us.  Love but do not cling.  Renunciation is the key to the perfect Bodhisatvva Breakfast.

3
Don’t engage disturbances and reactive emotions gradually fade away;
Don’t engage distractions and spiritual practice naturally grows;
Keep awareness clear and vivid and confidence in the way arises.
Rely on silence — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Splendid isolation, I don’t need noone.  Alone in a crowded room.  Seclusion is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

4
You will separate from long-time friends and relatives;
You will leave behind the wealth you worked to build up;
The guest, your consciousness, will move from the inn, your body.
Forget the conventional concerns — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

All things pass away or move away from you.  The plate tectonics of life.  Non-attachment is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

5
With some friends, the three poisons keep growing,
Study, reflection, and meditation weaken,
And loving kindness and compassion fall away.
Give up bad friends — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

A mirror reflects the objects around it.  Avoiding assholes is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

6
With some teachers, your shortcomings fade away and
Abilities grow like the waxing moon.
Hold such teachers dear to you,
Dearer than your own body — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Teachers appear in the guise of assholes.  Meeting assholes is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

7
Locked up in the prison of their own patterning
Whom can ordinary gods protect?
Who can you count on for refuge?
Go for refuge in the Three Jewels — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Feet firmly attached to the ground while mind flies in the cloudless sky.  Taking refuge in clarity is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

8
The suffering in the lower realms is really hard to endure.
The Sage says it is the result of destructive actions.
For that reason, even if your life is at risk,
Don’t engage in destructive actions — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

You can be stupid just don’t be fucking stupid.  Avoiding radical douchebaggery is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast. 

9
The happiness of the three worlds disappears in a moment,
Like a dewdrop on a blade of grass.
The highest level of freedom is one that never changes.
Aim for this — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Dewdrops are not forever; dispelled by the morning sun.  The memories themselves are even ephemeral.  Embracing moments of impermanence is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

10
For time without beginning, mothers have lovingly cared for you.
If they are still suffering, how can you be happy?
To free limitless sentient beings,
Give rise to awakening mind — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Do good for others without thought of what you get in return. Didn’t your mother teach you that? Altruism is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

11
All suffering comes from wanting your own happiness.
Complete awakening arises from the intention to help others.
So, exchange completely your happiness
For the suffering of others — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Bob and weave.  Keep your hands up.  Learning to take punch is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

12
Even if someone, driven by desperate want,
Steals, or makes someone else steal, everything you own,
Dedicate to him your body, your wealth, and
All the good you’ve ever done or will do — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Hearts and car-stereos are often stolen and pawned to others.  Embracing non-attachment is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

13
Even if you have done nothing wrong at all
And someone still tries to take your head off,
Spurred by compassion,
Take all his or her evil into you — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

What value lies in a head of lettuce?  Is yours not afire?    Handing over your head on a platter with a silver knife is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

14
Even if someone broadcasts to the whole universe
Slanderous and ugly rumors about you,
In return, with an open and caring heart,
Praise his or her abilities — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Didn’t we just talk about your mother?  Learning to build houses from sticks and stones is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

15
Even if someone humiliates you and denounces you
In front of a crowd of people,
Think of this person as your teacher
And humbly honor him — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Just pretend everyone is naked.  Humility in the face of adversity is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

16
Even if a person you have cared for as your own child
Treats you as his or her worst enemy,
Lavish him or her with loving attention
Like a mother caring for her ill child — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Every raise a teenager?  Accepting ingratitude is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

17
Even if your peers or subordinates,
Put you down to make themselves look better,
Treat them respectfully as you would your teacher:
Put them above you — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Weather the storm of spite and averice.  Knowing when to bring your umbrella is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

18
When you are down and out, held in contempt,
Desperately ill, and emotionally crazy,
Don’t lose heart. Take into you
The suffering and negativity of all beings — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Even the Bodhi-mind has to jump a puddle or two.  Learning to jump while mixing a margarita is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

19
Even when you are famous, honored by all,
And as rich as the god of wealth himself,
Don’t be pompous. Know that the magnificence of existence
Has no substance — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Today’s BMW is tomorrow’s Gremlin but learning to appreciate a 1972 Jeep CJ4 is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

20
If you don’t subdue the opponent inside, your own anger,
Although you subdue opponents outside, they just keep coming.
Muster the forces of loving kindness and compassion
And subdue your own mind — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Ignoring the need to punch a wall is meaningless but knowing where the studs are is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

21
Sensual pleasures are like salty water:
The deeper you drink, the thirstier you become.
Any object that you attach to,
Right away, let it go — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Sensual pleasures add flavor but add nothing to nutrition.  Not building a meal out of your spice rack is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

22
Whatever arises in experience is your own mind.
Mind itself is free of any conceptual limitations.
Know that and don’t generate
Subject-object fixations — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Your thread of practice does not dangle loose and alone.  It leads to a large tapestry.  Not pulling the string from your sweater is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

23
When you come across something you enjoy,
Though beautiful to experience, like a summer rainbow,
Don’t take it as real.
Let go of attachment — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Objects are just objects.  A rainbow is just a rainbow. OMFG!  Double rainbow?! A miracle!

24
All forms of suffering are like dreaming that your child has died.
Taking confusion as real wears you out.
When you run into misfortune,
Look at it as confusion — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

There is a moment upon waking that the dream seems real.  Moving past this moment in life is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

25
If those who want to be awake have to give even their bodies,
What need is there to talk about things that you simply own.
Be generous, not looking
For any return or result — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Sometimes buying a round of drinks for a group of strangers in the right thing to do.  Generosity is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

26
If you can’t tend to your needs because you have no moral discipline,
Then intending to take care of the needs of others is simply a joke.
Observe ethical behavior without concern
For conventional existence — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Don’t be donkey following a carrot.  Internalizing a firm ethical and compassionate foundation is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

27
For bodhisattvas who want to be rich in virtue
A person who hurts you is a precious treasure.
Cultivate patience for everyone,
Completely free of irritation or resentment — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Because the world is full of people not like you and our ego wants to shape them in our cookie-cutter conception of being.  Allowing people to be themselves without is the key to the perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

28
Listeners and solitary buddhas, working only for their own welfare,
Are seen to practice as if their heads were on fire.
To help all beings, pour your energy into practice:
It’s the source of all abilities — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Bodhi-Mind is not a competition.  Realizing that life and practice is a race without winners or losers is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

29
Understanding that reactive emotions are dismantled
By insight supported by stillness,
Cultivate meditative stability that passes right by
The four formless states — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Contemplation tames a wild mind.  Remembering that we need to still hold the reins is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

30
Without wisdom, the five perfections
Are not enough to attain full awakening.
Cultivate wisdom, endowed with skill
And free from the three domains — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

In kindergarten I learned that a tomato is a fruit.  But knowing that it goes horribly with a fruit salad is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

31
If you don’t go into your own confusion,
You may just be a materialist in practitioner’s clothing.
Constantly go into your own confusion
And put an end to it — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Practice is not easy. Don’t look for comfort.  Examining our errors with an open mind is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

32
You undermine yourself when you react emotionally and
Grumble about the imperfections of other bodhisattvas.
Of the imperfections of those who have entered the Great Way,
Don’t say anything — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

No matter how perfect we think we are, the moonlight still illuminates and the sun still casts shadows.  Realizing our own shadows and accepting those of others is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

33
When you squabble with others about status and rewards,
You undermine learning, reflection, and meditation.
Let go of any investment in your family circle
Or the circle of those who support you — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Rather than comment on a neighbor’s lawn; mow and cultivate your own.  Engaging with our own practice and providing support for others is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

34
Abusive language upsets others
And undermines the ethics of a bodhisattva.
So, don’t upset people or
Speak abusively — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Mind your fucking tongue!  Proper table manners are the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.  Some tables call for cursing.

35
When reactive emotions acquire momentum, it’s hard to make remedies work.
A person in attention wields remedies like weapons,
Crushing reactive emotions such as craving
As soon as they arise — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Take down shambling masses of delusions like one takes down a zombie hoard.  Knowing the value of a head-shot is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

36
In short, in everything you do,
Know what is happening in your mind.
By being constantly present and alert
You bring about what helps others — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Even when asleep, our ears are ready for the howl of a wolf.  Alertness is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

37
To dispel the suffering of beings without limit,
With wisdom freed from the three spheres
Direct all the goodness generated by these efforts
To awakening — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Sit down and eat but remember that we all share the same bowl.  By poisoning our practice we poison the practice of others.  Passing around a clean bowl is the key to a perfect Bodhisattva Breakfast.

Relying on my practice, old sutras and worn boots, I stumble down a Bodhisattva path.  But when limited by human faults and basic difficulties; the option always remains to craft the perfect omelette with a mighty wisk of practice.  Even a Bodhisattva has to pick out bits of eggshells.  The eggs are substandard but the company divine.

Teabowl_engraved

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