Yesterday, early morning, we renewed our Bodhisattva Vows at the wonderful Phen Dhe Ling Buddhist Centre with the equally wonderful, Venerable Thupten Lodey. It was a very deep, moving experience. Vowing to develop one’s self for the sake of others and to remain within the cycle of rebirth until all attain enlightenment is the central theme of these vows. We also chanted verses from ShantiDeva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life.
May I be a guard for those without one,
A guide for all who journey on the road,
May I become a boat, a raft or bridge,
For all who wish to cross the water.
May I be an isle for those desiring landfall,
And a lamp for those who wish for light,
May I be a bed for those who need to rest,
And a servant for all who live in need.
May I become a wishing jewel, a magic vase,
A powerful mantra and a medicine of wonder.
May I be a tree of miracles granting every wish,
And a cow of plenty sustaining all the world.
Like the earth and other great elements,
And like space itself, may I remain forever,
To support the lives of boundless beings,
By providing all that they might need.
Then in the evening we made the mistake of choosing to watch Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, the new film by veteran director Sidney Lumet. Now I know this has received very good reviews, but really I can’t see why it was made or what it adds to film making or humanity in general. If you are thinking of going, don’t. 😦 But from it, you can see why such things as Bodhisattva Vows are needed.