A Step by step guided meditation on the profound Mahayana text of Bodhicharyavatara by Patrul Rinpoche called “The Sun of Brilliant Clarity”
Elaborate explanations of Paramitas
Besides the general explanation of patience, there are 24 opportunities to practice patience in general and 72 in particular every day of your life. Patrul Rinpoche says “Patience should be at all times. But to start, may want to choose 24 occasions.”
- When someone treats us with contempt.
- When someone addresses oneself with harsh speech.
- When someone slanders us behind our back.
- When someone causes us pain.
These are four applied to three kinds of individuals, making 12:
- When these four happen to your teachers.
- When these four happen to your relatives.
- When these four happen to your friends (those you love – including you, the one you love the most).
Sometimes, being patient may be easier than these four:
- When our enemies, or those who oppose us, find pleasure and well-being, be patient. When someone you don’t like finds praise, it’s a little difficult to be patient.
- When those who oppose you receive honor and rewards, be patient.
- When those who oppose you are praised, be patient.
- When others speak well of those who you oppose, be patient.
These are four conditions Patrul Rinpoche gives where patience may be more difficult. So, may be these four OR the first four.
When the 12 desired circumstances are prevented:
- Not obtaining praise when we wish for it.
- Not obtaining when we want comforting words from others.
- Not obtaining praise of accomplishment when we have worked so hard for it – acknowledgement – as simple as food you have cooked.
- Not obtaining causes that being happiness.
- When these four don’t happen to ones’ teacher, be patient.
- When they don’t happen to our relatives, be patient.
- When they don’t happen to our loved friends, be patient.
These are combined with the previous four, making 24.
Patrul Rinpoche says “when these don’t happen with the Third category of teachers, relatives, loved ones – including yourself, the one you love the most (laughter) – when these don’t occur, must join with 3 qualities.”
- Must avoid becoming disheartened and instead – use provocative phrase – accept the suffering.
- Do not be angry; instead, disregard the harm done to you.
- Settle your mind in meditation on the reality of profound emptiness, or reflecting on emptiness of self and other.
These three essential points are enhancers of patience.
When these 24 occur, accept the suffering.
When these 24 occur, disregard the harm done to you.
When these 24 happen, rest the mind in emptiness.
This makes the 72 occasions to practice patience.
“Accept the suffering” can be very provocative.
3 reasons to accept suffering.
- Accept suffering because you know it exhausts negative karma. It is painful now, but it is exhausting karmas, like a broom that sweeps the dust.
- Accept suffering because It helps develop revulsion. If confusion can make someone inflict so much harm, think how important it is that I must get past it.
- Accept suffering because Suffering subdues pride. We humans would never be able to do what we do if we didn’t encounter suffering. Suffering subdues pride.
“When these 24 occur, instead disregard harm done to you.” Can be misunderstood.
3 reasonings to disregard harm done to you:
- Use opportunity to develop compassion Use the opportunity to be compassion; you are immediately lessening the karmic impact on the person. Focus on the root cause.
- Because one can use the opportunity to see how one might also be responsible. There is no one singular action done from one side.
- View enemies or adverse situations as blessing of the guru that gives opportunity to practice patience. If that adversity wasn’t there, how would you be able to practice patience or invoke basic awareness?
Contemplate the profound teachings of emptiness:
- Reflect on how elaborations create and exaggerate concepts. Gampopa says: ”no matter how skilled an archer might be at shooting an arrow, if you remove the target, there is no way he can hit the target.“ If you remove your own self, pride- whatever is directed at it, it can’t hurt.
- Reflect on how neither the harm nor the one who harms are completely independent. Harm is a buildup of many factors. Allow mind to contemplate dharma of interdependent origination.
- Reflect on how in the nature of one’s own mind, there is no independent emotion called “anger”. Other than the thought what is nature of “anger”? “Harm”? Where you do not cling to it, what is true nature of any concept?
In these 3 ways, the 24 practices, the growth of natural patience occurs.