No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva
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Over the years, Pema Chödrön's books have offered readers an exciting new way of living: developing fearlessness, generosity, and compassion in all aspects of their lives. In No Time to Lose Pema invites readers to venture further along the path of the "bodhisattva warrior," explaining in depth how we can awaken the softness of our hearts and develop true confidence amid the challenges of daily living.
Pema reveals the traditional Buddhist teachings that guide her own life: those of The Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicharyavatara), a text written by the eighth-century sage Shantideva. This treasured Buddhist work is remarkably relevant for our times, describing the steps we can take to cultivate courage, caring, and joy—the keys to healing ourselves and our troubled world. Pema offers us a highly practical and engaging commentary on this essential text, explaining how its profound teachings can be applied to our daily lives.
realization of the first bhumi, the ground of Perfect Joy. 10.55 And now as long as space endures, As long as there are beings to be found, May I continue likewise to remain To drive away the sorrows of the world. 10.56 The pains and sorrows of all wandering beings— May they ripen wholly on myself. And may the virtuous company of bodhisattvas Bring about the happiness of beings. Verse 55 is said to be a favorite of the Dalai Lama. It summarizes better than
What use then will our lives have been When all is so degenerate and spoiled? What use is there in living such a life When evil is the only consequence? These verses say more about ruthlessness for the sake of gain. We might claim we need to gather wealth in order to do virtuous deeds, like building temples or feeding the poor. With this Mafia-style logic, we try to justify retaliating against those who would keep us from getting rich. But Shantideva makes it clear that our negative
lives—and to get it, we can do some very mean things. 8.97 Since pains of others do no harm to me, What reason do I have to shield myself? But why to guard against “my” future pain which Does no harm to this, my present “me”? Shantideva once again enters into a debate with himself. In the first lines of verse 97, he presents shenpa logic: “Since someone else’s pain doesn’t hurt me, why should I care about it?” And then wisdom responds. 8.98 To think that “I will have
selfishness.” Foolish selfishness is not concerned with others’ welfare and thus perpetuates our discontent. 8.174 To the extent this human form Is cosseted and saved from hurt, Just so, just so, to that degree, It grows so sensitive and peevish. 8.175 For those who fall to such a state, The earth itself and all it holds Are powerless to satisfy. For who can give them all they crave? 8.176 Their hopeless craving brings them misery, And evil
wound Be turned to lovers offering their flowers. 10.10 And those engulfed in fiery Vaitarani, Their flesh destroyed, their bones bleached white as kunda flowers, May they, through all my merit’s strength, have godlike forms, And sport with goddesses in Mandakini’s peaceful streams. These verses refer to traditional descriptions of hell, where, similar to Dante’s Inferno, the intensity of the suffering makes it seem endless. Whether it’s the agony of cold hatred or hot