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Buddhadharma : Winter 2013
WINTER 2 0 1 3 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 25 Life, Frame by Frame T hese days, we need to attend to so many different aspects of our lives, such as family, work, and various social situations. Instead of viewing these as obstacles to our spiritual path, we can see them as oppor- tunities to develop wisdom and bodhicitta. Our lives can become like field trips for continually progressing on the path of the bodhisattva. Viewing one’s life as a field trip is not a new concept. Arhats and bod- hisattvas have been doing this for ages. For example, centuries ago in the noble land of India, arhats would meditate for a long time in the forest. Then, once they felt peaceful, they would take a field trip into the village or town to see if their mind really had been tamed. In the midst of all of the village activity with its many distractions, they could clearly see how well they had been able to overcome their normal confusion and reactions. If they could maintain their state of peace and equanimity in the village, they could decide whether to live in the forest or stay in the village to benefit others. Bodhisattvas have always viewed their births in the human world as field trips. Like these bodhisattvas, we can also view this world as a field trip for increasing our wisdom and skillful means. The integrity of the bodhisattva’s way of life depends upon bodhicitta. Cultivating and nurturing bodhicitta in turn depends upon our intention and on developing a good heart. Since these don’t come easily to most Much of the time, life is like watching a movie: we suspend disbelief and lose ourselves in the story. On the bodhisattva path, says Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, we see the illusory nature of these appearances, and in doing so discover a boundless compassion.