Bodhisattva

“A Bodhisattva is one who comes back and appears in the everyday world, and plays the game of the everyday world, by the rules of the everyday world.  But he brings with him upaya.  He bring with him some way of showing that he’s been on the journey, that he’s come back, and he’s going to let you in on the secret too.”  ~Alan Watts, Turning the Head or Turning On

It would be a mistake to assume bodhisattvas only arrive in lotus-sitting robe-wearing form.  A bodhisattva could reach a lot more people by, for example, carrying a guitar.

Habits 2

“We drink a cup of tea, but we do not know we are drinking a cup of tea. We sit with the person we love, but we don’t know that she is there. We walk, but we are not really walking. We are someplace else, thinking about the past or the future. The horse of our habit energy is carrying us along, and we are its captive. We need to stop our horse and reclaim our liberty. We need to shine the light of mindfulness on everything we do, so the darkness of forgetfulness will disappear.”  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

A Drop of Ink on a White Cloth

“The disciple thinks as follows: ‘I have taken shelter of the guru and been initiated by him. I have now embarked on the road to pure devotion. If my behavior is faulty, then people will not stop at criticizing only me, but will also find fault with my spiritual master, my worshipable deity, the devotional path, the entire Vaishnava Sampradaya, the previous acaryas, even religion itself. They will disparage the scriptures, the great authorities who wrote them, and everyone who follows their injunctions. In the end, they will criticize belief in God itself and all doctrines leading to a higher, transcendental goal in life. They will even condemn my father and mother and their families. As a result, I will have become blameworthy before all these people and end up in hellish existence for many births with nothing to say in my defense.  …If I fall from the standards of behavior expected of a saintly person and Vaishnava, then immediately all the generations of my family will fall into hell. Can I fall down in this way and become the shame and misfortune of my entire family?’

“Just as a drop of ink on a white cloth is clearly visible, the misbehavior of a person who has taken to the religious life stands out and attracts the criticisms of all.”

~Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaja, from Art of Sadhana