Monday, October 31, 2011

Dogen instructed,
An ignorant person thinks and speaks of senseless things. There is an aged nun working for this temple. It seems that she is now ashamed of her humble situation, so she tends to talk to others about how she used to be a lady of the upper class. Even if people believe her, there is not any merit in it. It is entirely meaningless.  
I think everyone tends to hold such sentiments like hers. However, such sentiments clearly show a lack of bodhi-mind. One should reform this kind of mentality and become more compassionate. 
Also there is a certain lay monk who completely lacks bodhi-mind. Since he is a close friend, I would like to tell him to pray to the buddhas and gods to arouse bodhi-mind. But he will definitely get angry and it may cost us our friendship. However, unless he arouses bodhi-mind, it is useless just to be close friends (Shobogenzo Zuimonki, Book 4, Chapter 9).
Bodhi means awareness.  Bodhi-mind  is the mind seeking awareness or the Way.  This can also be interpreted as the mind that is aware, the mind that aspires to live in accordance with reality instead of being pulled by egocentric desires that are contrary to it.

Zen Master Dogen contrasted bodhi-mind with hinayana mind, which means the attitude of practicing only for the sake of self emancipation or of escaping from samsara by one’s own effort. Most people in the world are being dragged about by the hinayana mind, he taught, discriminating good from evil, distinguishing right from wrong, seeking after what is good while discarding what is bad.  In the spirit of a bodhisattva, we should instead vow to save all living beings.  In Shobogenzo Hotsubodaishin (Arousing Bodhi-mind), Dogen said, “To arouse bodhi-mind is to vow and work for the salvation of all living-beings before saving oneself.”

The great Buddhist patriarch Nagarjuna said that bodhi-mind is the mind that solely sees the impermanence of this world of constant appearance and disappearance.   

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