Bodhisattva Vows

Consider undertaking the vows and practice of a Bodhisattva. In taking these vows you will join with the hundreds of thousands of Buddhists in the west and millions in Asia who have done so. As is traditional, you might seek out a Buddhist center or temple and take the Bodhisattva vow in the presence of a teacher. Or, if you cannot do so, you can take them at home. Create a sacred space and place there the images of Bodhisattvas or Buddhas who have gone before you. If you wish, invite a friend or friends to be your witness. Sit quietly for a time and reflect on the beauty and value of a life dedicated to the benefit of all. When you are ready, add any meaningful ritual, the lighting of candles, the taking of refuge. Then recite your vows. Here is one traditional version, but there are many others: Suffering beings are numberless, I vow to liberate them all. Attachment is inexhaustible, I vow to release it all. The gates to truth are numberless, I vow to master them all. The way of awakening is supreme, I vow to realize… You can modify the language of these vows so that they speak your deepest dedication. Then you can repeat them every time you sit in meditation, to direct and dedicate your practice.

This excerpt is taken from the book, “The Wise Heart”

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