How Full is Your Bucket?

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How Full is Your Bucket?
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.


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.”


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.


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 ( .....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 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.