Bodhisattva Vow* *Truncated and rewritten for therapists, adapted by CSW May I be an advocate for those who need a voice, And a guide for those who wish to know better their own minds and hearts. May I provide healing space for those who feel stuck and tight, And containment for those who feel unmoored and adrift in confusion and pain. May I remember and respect always The autonomy and messy humanness of those with whom I sit, May I offer patience and ruthless compassion To those who fall, again, and again, and again. May I understand the difference between offering unconditional love, And enabling harm done to others, to self, and to me. May I know well my own elastic boundary, And allow it to expand and contract to best meet whatever circumstances In which I find myself, and those to whom I have dedicated my energy, and my heart. May I help people everywhere who are hurting, as well as myself To remember to look at the sky when the sun and the moon are setting, and rising, To smell the air just before it rains, when the sky is swollen purple, To taste the sweetness and bitterness of every breath, To savor the touch of loved humans, animals, and even the softness of leaves, and flowers, and blades of grass, To listen to the humming song of cars going by on the endless road, of wind through the bare and supple branches of the trees, of the music of their—our—own voices, speaking our truths, and our pain, and our healing. Until every being finds their truest way of moving through the endless world, may I return To sit in solace and solidarity with any who want or need to sit with me.
"I said to my teacher Achan Chah I I still have very many thoughts, my mind wanders a lot, even though I'm trying to be mindful.
He said:Don't worry about this, try to keep your mind in the present. Whatever there is that arises in the mind or the heart, just watch it, let go of it. Don't even wish to be rid of thought, then the mind will reach a natural state, no discriminating between good and bad, hot and cold, fast and slow, no "me" and no "you", no self at all, just what there is.
When you walk, no need to do anything special, simply walk and see what there is. No need to go to a cave or cling to isolation. Wherever you are, know yourself by being natural and watching. If doubts arise, watch them come and go. It's very simple. Hold on to nothing.
It's as though you're walking down a road, periodically you run into obstacles. When you meet difficulties, see them and overcome them by letting go. Don't think about the obstacles you've passed already, don't worry about the ones you haven't seen yet. Stay in the present. Don't worry about the length of the road or a destination either.
Everything is changing. Whatever you pass, do not cling to it, and eventually the mind will reach its natural balance where practice becomes automatic and effort becomes effortless. All things will come and go of themselves.
Sitting hours on end is not necessary. Some people think that the longer you sit the wiser you must be. I've seen chickens sit on their nests for days on end. Wisdom comes from being mindful in all postures. Your practice should begin as you awaken in the morning and continue until you fall asleep. What is important is only that you keep aware, whether you're working or sitting or going to the bathroom.
Each person has their own natural pace. Some of you will die at age fifty, some at age sixty-five, and some at age ninety. Don't think or worry about this. Try to be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become quieter and quieter in any surroundings, like a still forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come and drink at the pool. You will see clearly the nature of all things in the world. Many wonderful strange things come and go, but you will be still. This is the happiness of the Buddha"