Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi
Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/22/2020
Shugen Roshi continues his teachings from The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva, with verse 12:
“If someone driven by great desire Seizes all my wealth, or induces others to do so, To dedicate to them my body, possessions, And past, present, and future merit is the practice of a bodhisattva”
Speaking directly to the Bodhisattva way of life, verse 12, may inspire us to practice deeply or perhaps fill us with a defensive anger. Wherever we are, this verse is sure to invoke a stir within us. And regardless of wherever we think we are, Shugen shows that we can incorporate this teachings into our lives, and for our lives. He asks us to consider who steals from us? We may think of specific individuals in our lives, but time will rob us of our health. Natural disasters may rob us of our friends, homes, or wealth. And what do we do when these things are taken from us unfairly? To guide us, Shugen explores the profound nature of Dana, or giving. Even when we find it hard to give, when we have been wronged. We can give patience, we can give non-violence. By practicing where we are, we manifest the bodhisattva path.