All those happy in the world are so because of their desire for happiness for others

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The Way of the Bodhisattva

Bodhisattva is a term Buddhists use to describe someone who is on the path to enlightenment but postpones the ultimate goal for the sake of helping others arrive there first. Bodhi generally means awakened, and Sattva most often means being, essence or spirit. I have also known Sattva to mean warrior. I like “awakened warrior” best.

What might this mean to us in our daily lives?

In his treatise A Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, eighth century Buddhist master Shantideva said, “All the suffering in the world comes from seeking pleasure for oneself. All the happiness in the world comes from seeking pleasure for others.” That, I believe, captures the essence of how this might matter to you and me.

Bodhicitta literally means “awakened heart or mind,” but it is also known as loving kindness or basic goodness. Basic goodness is the highest expression of your hungry spirit and your most authentic self. It is the treasure of your existence but most often you are not even be aware of it. It is like having a gem in your pocket and mistaking it for an ordinary stone. The gem is not powerless, but failing to recognize it, makes it so. It is the inspiration and belief in that basic goodness that can transform your life, transmute your underlying fear, and give you confidence to be who you truly are.

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