There Is No Suffering 17

Great bodhisattvas do not think they have anything specific to accomplish. They do not have the idea that they must help sentient beings; rather, they naturally respond to others, whose needs provide them with the opportunity to practice. Far from expecting gratitude, they are grateful to others. This is not humility; it is just the bodhisattva’ s compassionate interaction with other beings; it also the desired spirit of a Chan practitioner.


The bodhisattva ideal may sound appealing, but without cultivating the altruistic mind of enlightenment, one is not following the bodhisattva path. And, if you have that aspiration without acting accordingly, again, you are not on the bodhisattva path. Finally, if you do not even aspire to bodhi-mind it would be difficult to gain genuine benefits from your practice. But if, while on the practice path you generate bodhi-mind, and compassionately help others, then you are already a bodhisattva, albeit a newborn one.

Bodhisattvas cultivate all six paramitas, especially that of diligence ( virya), without which one is not truly on the bodhisattva path. Without diligence, you will not be able to unveil and leave behind your afflictions, give rise to wisdom, or help sentient beings.