Tuesday, November 08, 2011


The term bodhi-mind comes from the Japanese bodai-shin, which in turn is shortened from the Sanskrit annutara-samyak-sambodhi-citta.  In English, the former, bodhi-mind, refers to the mind that seeks enlightenment, and the latter, annutara-samyak-sambodhi-citta, is the mind of complete perfect enlightenment.

It is tempting to think that one term refers to a beginner, a mind that seeks for enlightenment, while the latter refers to an accomplished one who has achieved that enlightenment.  From there, one can surmise that the original Sanskrit term meant one thing and that by the time it got passed from one language to another, from one tradition to the next, and arrived in Japan, it came to mean another.

That would not be correct.  The enlightened mind, annutara-samyak-sambodhi-citta, is the mind that is aware, the mind that aspires to live in accordance with reality instead of being pulled around by egocentric desires which are contrary to it.  The enlightened mind is the seeking mind, bodai-shin, and the seeking mind is the mind of complete perfect enlightenment.  These are not two things, but one.  Practice is not the path to enlightenment, practice is enlightenment itself.  Being on the Path is the Way, not the completion of the Path (as if . . . ).

But back in the here and now, I would be remiss if I didn't note that today was my last day as an employee of my now former firm.  I am as of this evening officially a lone contractor, with only a single client so far, which just so happens to be that former employer.  Adapting the formless form of water, I'm transforming with this new role into the next stage of my existence.

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