The Thirty-Seven Practices of All the Bodhisattvas Verses 5-9

Dharma talk given by Ven. Geshe Tsewang Thinley September 20, 2020.

Music by Barefoot Bran Music.

The Thirty-Seven Practices of All the Bodhisattvas
by Gyalse Tokme Zangpo

Verses 5-9

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to avoid destructive friends,
In whose company the three poisons of the mind grow stronger,
And we engage less and less in study, reflection and meditation,
So that love and compassion fade away until they are no more.

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to cherish spiritual friends,
By regarding them as even more precious than one’s own body,
Since they are the ones who will help to rid us of all our faults,
And make our virtues grow ever greater just like the waxing moon.

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to take refuge in the Three Jewels,
Since they will never fail to provide protection for all who call upon them,
For whom are the ordinary gods of this world ever capable of helping,
As long as they themselves are trapped within saṃsāra’s vicious cycle?

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is never to commit a harmful act,
Even though not to do so might put one’s very life at risk,
For the Sage himself has taught how negative actions will ripen
Into the manifold miseries of the lower realms, so difficult to endure.

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to strive towards the goal,
Which is the supreme state of changeless, everlasting liberation,
Since all the happiness of the three realms lasts but a moment,
And then is quickly gone, just like dewdrops on blades of grass.

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The Thirty-Seven Practices of All the Bodhisattvas Verses 2-4

Dharma talk given by Ven. Geshe Tsewang Thinley August 16, 2020.

Music by Barefoot Bran Music.

The Thirty-Seven Practices of All the Bodhisattvas
by Gyalse Tokme Zangpo

Verses 2-4

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to leave behind one’s homeland,
Where our attachment to family and friends overwhelms us like a torrent,
While our aversion towards enemies rages inside us like a blazing fire,
And delusion’s darkness obscures what must be adopted and abandoned.

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to take to solitary places,
Avoiding the unwholesome, so that destructive emotions gradually fade away,
And, in the absence of distraction, virtuous practice naturally gains strength;
Whilst, with awareness clearly focused, we gain conviction in the teachings.

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to renounce this life’s concerns,
For friends and relatives, long acquainted, must all go their separate ways;
Wealth and prized possessions, painstakingly acquired, must all be left behind;
And consciousness, the guest who lodges in the body, must in time depart.

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The Thirty-Seven Practices of All the Bodhisattvas – Verse 1

Dharma talk given by Ven. Geshe Tsewang Thinley July 19, 2020.

Music by Barefoot Bran Music.

The Thirty-Seven Practices of All the Bodhisattvas
by Gyalse Tokme Zangpo

Namo Lokeśvaraye!

You see that all things are beyond coming and going,
Yet still you strive solely for the sake of living beings—
To you, my precious guru inseparable from Lord Avalokita,
I offer perpetual homage, respectfully, with body, speech and mind.

The perfect buddhas, who are the source of all benefit and joy,
Come into being through accomplishing the sacred Dharma.
And since this in turn depends on knowing how to practise,
I shall now describe the practices of all the buddhas’ heirs.

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to study, reflect and meditate,
Tirelessly, both day and night, without ever straying into idleness,
In order to free oneself and others from this ocean of saṃsāra,
Having gained this supreme vessel—a free, well-favoured human life, so difficult to find.

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