Bodhisattva

White Tara

So, every now and then I remember to draw an oracle card.
 
Because I was triggered early by someone’s assumptions, I decided to draw a Goddess card to ask which energies I should draw towards me to handle the situation.


 
white tara

White Tara – Sensitivity
 
Funny, I’ve been interested in her for years, but haven’t done a lot of research on her. Come to find out, she’s the Buddhist version of the Hindu Kwan Yin. Go figure. Sensitivity and Compassion. I was hoping to draw Kali.
 
White Tara ~ Sensitivity: “You are becoming increasingly sensitive. Avoid harsh relationships, environments, situations, and chemicals.”

Message From White Tara: “As you have purified your inner world of thoughts, actions, and intentions, it’s natural that you seek purity in your outer world as well. This is to acknowledge your heightened sensitivity, which is as real as it seems! you have stripped away the outer protective layers of unneeded defenses, which blocked your psychic ans spiritual awareness. Now you are on the path of ascension, which calls for your heightened awareness. And with this awareness does new levels of sensitivity to the impure and harsh. Your body is a trust worthy instrument of measurement of your tolerance level. Steer clear of that which your body signals you to avoid. Take excellent care of your body, and it shall serve you well!”
Various meanings of this card: Acknowledge and honour your sensitivity. take steps to protect yourself from negativity. Avoid chemicals. Steer clear of situations with loud noise, crowds, violent media, and other triggers.

About White Tara (pronounced Tair-uh): White Tara is an aspect of Tara, a female Buddha and Hindu Mother Creator. The many female faces of the Buddha and Mother Creator are represented as various colours of Tara. White Tara represents purity, maturity, and compassion. The eyes on her hands, feet and forehead allow her to be aware of all prayers. She helps us to live long and peaceful lives.”*
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How Full is Your Bucket?


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How Full is Your Bucket?
aka
Being a Bodhisatva


I just read this book on our drive to Chicago yesterday. I was able to read it in 40 minutes. It was written by a major person in the creation of positive psychology and his grandson and was a very easy read.

Basically, it’s about having a bucket that you try to keep full with positivity. Each person has a bucket. Positive actions towards others fills their buckets and in turn fills yours. Negative actions towards others empties their buckets. They don’t mention that being negative empties your own bucket, but i believe it does.

It also mentions that you shouldn’t be around those that empty your bucket. There is a part of me that doesn’t always believe that. If everyone walks away from those that empty buckets/are negative, that’s going to leave a lot of lonely people out there on their own. If people had left me when i was going through my negative times, i’d be in worse shape now. it was the support of those that stayed with me, that helped me out.

Well, i’ve been letting this book percolate within me since reading it....and what is coming together for me is that being someone that learns to fill other peoples buckets, is a bodhisatva. Yet, a bodhisatva will also fill the buckets of those that dip into others buckets more than they fill them.

Though, there is a line. There are some people that attempt to fill buckets, but aren’t true with their actions. It’s pretend for them because they think it’s more about the actions instead of about truth and really feeling positive about something. I can tell if someone says something ‘positive’ to me or gives me a gift...but they aren’t really feeling it. To me, that feels like manipulation. Don’t try to fill my bucket because you want me to feel a certain way. i’m not sure that i’m explaining that correctly.

i’m going to have to think about it a little more.

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Bodhisatva in Real Time

So, sometimes when I write about something, study, reflect on it...the Universe thinks it’s important for me to experience. I’ve been writing about Bodhisattva and the Bodhisattva Vow. Expansive compassion, helping others, etc.

Well, recently the Universe has been throwing at me all I can handle...and reminded me with a ranting Facebook private message, that I should be helping people. Three people alone today reached out for help, saying something along the lines of ‘I don’t know why I’m writing you, but it just seems right.’ And the Facebook rant said, basically, in my words....”I asked for help and answers from you months ago, you told me to talk to a professional because you didn’t have the answers, and I’ve been mad at you for not fixing me since then, and only telling you about it now.”

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So, I want to help these people that came to me today and over the last week or so.....but now i have to make sure that i’m doing it because i want to and because i have compassion for people, and not because i don’t want them to be pissed at me for not fixing them. Or do i? Does it matter why a Bodhisattva (apprentice) helps another person, or only that they do it? Is it more important to listen and help them fix their own problems, or do it for them so that they feel better? I don’t know that I’ve read the answer to that anywhere.

I personally feel that i’d rather help out of compassion. But, what i’m reading about Bodhisattva is that they help others regardless of the reasons.
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Bodhisattva (part 3)

Bodhisattva (part 3)
 
From the same magazine article, is this statement:

“By taking the bodhisattva vow, we open ourselves to many demands. If we are asked for help, we should not refuse; if we are invited to be a parent, we should not refuse. In other words, we have to have some kind of interest in taking care of people, some appreciation of the phenomenal world and its occupants. It is not an easy matter. It requires that we not be completely tired and put off by people’s heavy-handed neurosis, ego-dirt, ego-puke, or ego-diarrhea; instead we are appreciative and willing to clean up for them. It is a sense of softness whereby we allow situations to take place in spite of little inconveniences; we allow situations to bother us, to overcrowd us.”

I’m still trying to figure this one out. We should not refuse help. If we are invited to be a parent, we should not refuse. ……also the idea that we should be willing to clean up peoples ‘ego-dirt, ego-puke or ego-diarrhea or heavy-handed neurosis’….again, I’m not sure I get the benefit of cleaning up behind people. Or exactly what that means.

As someone that used to allow themselves to be walking over, used and abused, it sounds like it’s asking me to do the same. It sounds like when Amanda in Chicago, told me that to be a Priestess, meant that I should go back home and attempt to heal my main perp. I just don’t understand why I’m supposed to put myself in a position to clean up after others. How do they learn their life lessons if someone is always cleaning up after them?

This is the part of the vow that just doesn’t click for me. I would rather live in a way that others want to emulate. Show doors. Open eyes. Have compassion and show people they are valuable human beings. Not walk behind them with a broom as they shit on me. Because that is what it will feel like. Ego-dirt, Ego-puke, heavy-handed neurosis is all about drama. Why feed the drama?


Maybe I have this idea all wrong and am just not understanding what he’s trying to convey. But, at the moment, this idea feel icky and unhealthy. 

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Bodhisattva pt 2

Bodhisattva (part 2)

kwanyin


Actually, the idea of being a Bodhisattva is very scary and a little confusing for me. Scary, because to put others first and to feel what it is they need, means that I have to drop my walls. As an empathy, it’s less scary out there if my walls are up. I can deal with the emotions of people and the world on a more level playing field, when my walls are up. I’m more serene. Or so I think.

So, to drop my walls and feel others pain and suffering is terrifying actually. It taps into my pain and I think my pain feeds off of it. Once that spiral has started, it’s hard to pull me out of it. Or at least it has been in the past.

Maybe my luminous self is telling me that that spiral isn’t necessarily going to happen this time and I’m stronger than I think I am. To me, it takes strength to help others in a way that is not about stroking my own ego. Strength, because it is about putting others first. Or maybe not strength, but faith. Or a combination.

Example…..it’s easier to ignore a beggar on the street. It takes strength to look them in the eye and hand them a dollar. When I do this, I feel a surge of adrenaline, so it’s definitely a fear that I’m overcoming which takes strength to move through.

Another thought…..I feel I already somewhat walk the path of the Bodhisattva. We don’t charge for our workshops….we share openly on the podcast, in our books, in our writings, with those we mentor, with our partners, with anyone that asks…..we don’t walk this path as a way to pay our bills……we create places for people to feel empowered with their life choices…..we show doors to people and allow them to walk through if they desire, even holding hands for a few. We give of ourselves because it feels good to help others.

Well actually I have to look at that statement…..’it feels good to help others’. Not always. I’m glad I can help, but sometimes, if I speak honestly, it’s a pain. I reached out to someone last night because it felt they were in pain, but my husband had to remind me of the Bodhisattva path. Why? Because they were texting me while I was playing a video game with my husband. I’m glad they were able to reach out, and proud that they reach out and honored that they felt comfortable enough to reach out to me….but I also wanted to relax and play the game. I did text her back and give her the option to call me. That felt more like the ‘middle way’ and made me feel good. I hope it made her feel good as well.

It made me think of something that has always concerned me about putting others first…. where do you draw the line of taking care of yourself and helping others in bigger moments? From what I’m reading, you don’t take care of yourself. Others always come first. This is where I have an issue.

One of the first things taught to me on my recovery path was that I had to take care of myself before I could take care of others. Is this still true? I see some people work themselves to the bone, just to help other people. They get no enjoyment out of life because they are always tired and don’t do things to replenish themselves. This part is scary to me. I never knew how to take care of myself and am still learning how to do that. I don’t want to give that part of my adventure up.
*more to come*

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Bodhisattva

Over the weekend, it was spoken to me that Dan and i are bodhisattva's. Then the person asked me if I knew what that was. I told him I did and 'thank you'. 

That simple statement impacted me profoundly and the idea has been stuck in my head. i know we help people, and I know that I did a 'share' at the open sangha about the bodhisattva vow and what is involved. 

I was concerned when my husband brought up the idea of taking the Bodhisattva vow a couple of years ago. Though, I wish he had finished the conversation instead of shutting me out when I doubted that taking the Bodhisattva vow was a wise step. I mean, how can you take a vow to help absolutely everyone that comes to you? 

This word has resenated with me for a long time though. And actually, it's a very scary step. To always put someone before yourself, can be very challenging. We have run across people that need more help than we can possibly give them. How do you account for this? We have people that need our assistance so much so, that it becomes an addiction. 

So, I read the following article by Chogram Trungpa (http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3001) .....and he answers a couple of these questions and validates a couple of thoughts of mine. 

Taking the bodhisattva vow implies that instead of holding our own individual territory and defending it tooth and nail, we become open to the world that we are living in.  * Scary *

It means we are willing to take on greater responsibility, immense responsibility. * I feel I already do this, so not so scary *

Real commitment based on the realization of the suffering and confusion of oneself and others. * Resonates deeply *

We are not going to be instigators of further chaos and misery * Makes perfect sense *

No longer try to build up our grandiosity, by sharing little truths to build credentials * Humble *

Giving up privacy and developing a sense of greater vision * This we are already good at. i’ve always believed that my story happened for a reason. So, I share. *

Contribute something to the world through our own gentleness * Yes *

****and there is more in the article that i want to contemplate.

The word....the feeling....to walk the same path as Kwan Yin.....I know that I will probably never get to that level of enlightenment. I don’t know that my goal is enlightenment or ever has been. My goal is to help others in the way that i can. That is sharing my story, sharing tools that have helped me to help others. Compassion and love.

It will still be hard for me at times, I’m sure. My guess is that is like some of the other decisions that i’ve made over the years. And sometimes they involve going back to step one and having the intention to follow the path of the healer.

Is the path of the Bodhisattva the illuminated me that came to me in the meditation? I don’t know....but I’m sure I’ll be thinking about that for awhile.
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