Buddhist Philosophy

~ February 21, 2019 ~

Motivation: The Real Meaning of Bodhicitta

Buddhist Philosophy • video

Motivation is a Reflection of Yourself

MotivationIn this teaching, Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche challenges us to come to understand of correct motivation. “Motivation is a reflection of yourself”, he teaches. This shows how important it is to examine our own minds. We can use the analogy of holding up a mirror–let’s examine ourselves honestly.

We need to know if we are self-centered, or if we are transforming to be more aware of others. We need to have more than just concern for others–we need to reflect and think how we can really help. Motivation comes with a “whole package” of skillful means, dignity, no regret, and so forth.


Bodhicitta: Do We Really Have This Motivation?

Sometimes we may think that just thinking good thoughts and having positive thinking is what the Dharma teaches. Instead, Rinpoche points out that this “positive thinking” can be a kind of excuse not to actually do something. Rinpoche speaks here about how to challenge ourselves.

Do we really have bodhicitta? He asks us to be honest and examine if we really feel true bodhicitta. We have to be able to see our own faults and then work with them. However, guilt and regret are not the answer; Rinpoche explains that these emotions do not do anything–we should observe our own character, and see where we can improve–but we shouldn’t beat ourselves up.

Rinpoche reminds us how we need to examine our motivation. What kind of motivation should we develop? Working with our sangha, with our friends and family, is more challenging and more difficult for us–this is our challenge. We have to work with our minds so that we can understand and care for every being. Most importantly, we have to actually be able to feel from the other person’s perspective.

Mother Sentient Beings: Vast Sangha

Buddhists use the example of “mother sentient beings” because those sentient beings are truly so kind to us; all these beings allow us to practice. We need to wish that those kind mothers are all free from suffering. What does this mean? This is how we create whole sanhga, by extending out to all mother sentient beings.

Finally, we need to remember ourselves that our motivation is a reflection of how purified our mind are becoming. As we practice more, we will become more aware of subtle areas of emotions that we need to address.

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