Spiritual Alchemy Through Bodhimind

We not only met with the teachings of Buddha, but we have this wonderful tradition of Jamgön Lama Tsongkhapa, and all these great beings. So, just being good alone is not good enough. You have to be extraordinarily good. And you can easily do it. I almost like to say it here: if you can’t do it, nobody else can do it. Honestly. We are in that situation. That’s not because of ourselves, but because of the opportunity we have. If we can’t do it, nobody else can. Also it is simple. It is not complicated. It is very simple.

The key is bodhimind, nothing else. That mind is what we have to search for. The bodhimind is already on your own pillow – if not already in your head or heart. But you need to pick it up. It is not far away. You don’t have to search far. It is on your pillow. You just need to pick it up. But before you pick it up, you have to recognize what it is. That’s why learning is the first step. Otherwise, instead of picking up bodhimind you may be picking up bedbugs. Then you will be in trouble, right?

What is bodhimind? It is a thought that is totally dedicated to compassion and love, plus the desire to seek full enlightenment. It’s as simple as that. You and I have the opportunity to develop it – whether it is a mentally created mind or naturally becomes your mind. We can do both. The first step is to mentally, imaginatively shape it and pick it up and hold it, trying to merge that with your mind. That is what it boils down to when you speak in layman’s terms.

You create that mind, so make sure you create it right. Try to make that your mind. At least artificially you can think: for the benefit and service of all living beings I will do all the right things. I will not waste my day, my month, my week, my year, but particularly this day and this particular work. This is a sort of mentally fabricated thought that then is accepted by our own mind.

Then it is taken in, and our mind is made into that nature, by merging with that thought, becoming oneness with that thought. That is at least the artificial bodhimind. If you can do that every day in the morning, you make your day worthwhile. Everything you do during that day becomes double and triple the amount of virtue. If you can do that, then in the words of the Bodhisattvacharyavatara: whoever develops that mind I will prostrate to that person.

Whoever comes in contact to you and connects with you, that life becomes worthwhile, even if it in the context of harm.

The last verse in the Bodhisattvacharyavatara says:

Ka la nö pa che ja de dra wa
De wa jung ne de la ta chab je

Whosoever even harms, that will create joy.

That’s because of the connection. The best connection is to have good relations. But, if that is not possible, even a bad relationship will make a difference and create joy. That much benefit is in the bodhimind. Buddha praises it like, “a gold solution, that when applied makes every metal into gold.” I believe this is not talking about gold plating. The traditional Indian sorcery system was able to transform metals into gold. That is not available now, otherwise everybody would become wealthy, right? We would all become Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. That is not possible. But traditionally in India there was this magical sorcery. That is what this is referring to as a metaphor. Another name for gold is, “essence of earth.” Now of course we have this, “rare earth.” That’s different. Truly, essence of earth is gold. The ordinary mind transforms into that extraordinary state. That is the metaphor of metal changing into gold.

The ordinary, very common, contaminated, impure physical and mental body we have, can be made into the extraordinary, pure buddha’s body. This is from the Bodhisattvacharyavatara:

Mi tsang lu di lang ne gyel wei ku
Rin chen rin thang me par gyur we na
Jang chub sem she ja wa rab ten sung

For it transforms the unclean body we have taken
Into the priceless jewel of a Buddha form

Such a priceless jewel can be transformed by this mind. That’s why it is called bodhimind. Each and every one of us has the possibility and capability to pick that mind up. If you don’t, at least unconditionally, without putting extra force and effort, have it become part of our mind. If we don’t have that, we have wasted our life, after having all this opportunity.

So we realize that what happened before yesterday is gone. But, what we can do from today onwards, that is what we should do.

~ Gelek Rimpoche, Jewel Heart Ann Arbor, November 11, 2012




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