A couple of weeks I was writing a blog post in my head about generosity and the Bodhisattva way, yet every time I sat down to write it I had a feeling that I was missing a very important point and I could not figure out what it was. Then one day I was thinking about it, and it hit me being generous is not necessarily the way a Bodhisattva rolls. For example one day I brought some Oreos to our Saturday meditation retreat and the teacher said “Ah you are a true Bodhisattva for bringing these cookies”. It is easy to see the happiness that these cookies brought the Sangha and it is easy to like somebody who gives you a free Oreo cookie. But how you cultivate that same generous loving quality towards the burglar who robbed your house while you were away? Or the guy to smashed into your car in the mall parking lot and took off without leaving a note? How about the boss that rides your ass eight hours a day so by end of your shift you feel like a broken human being? A cookie doesn’t make all that suffering go away!
For me this is where the bitter sweet truth hides in the dark recesses of my own unclean actions of the past and present. I am going to throughout a few examples from my own life. How do accept that the guy who robbed my house has the same Buddha nature as me? I think back to when I was a kid I would steal just about anything just for kicks. Most of all I would always steal my brothers weed, he was a Bodhisattva for not beating my ass for it. How do relate to the person who hit my car and took off? When I was twenty years old I totaled a VW Bug in a parking lot, I looked around nobody saw me so I bolted. I can connect with that “Oh shit, I really fucked up this time. How do I get of it?”. There is the asshole boss who won’t quit. It is hard to admit this but I am an asshole too. For example the other night my girlfriend wanted me to take her to the food store at 10:30 at night, I was not like “yes dear” I was like “Fuck this shit, I want to sleep”.
So don’t call me Bodhisattva I am a liar, thief, and asshole. It is because I see these traits in myself it allows me connect with others who have the same human nature as I do, and according the Buddha we all have Buddha nature as well. I think there is a paradox in this whole idea of a bodhisattva. When you forgive yourself, you automatically forgive others who have done the same thing to you, and vice versa when you forgive others you are also forgiving yourself. I think this is what makes a Bodhisattva different from a saint and opens the door for true unconditional compassion and love.
You can call me Liar, you can call me a thief, you can call me asshole, but don’t call me Bodhisattva because are all Buddha’s.
Thanks for reading,