Tog-me Zong-po lived nearly 800 years ago yet his 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva is still considered a pinnacle list of traits a person who wishes to become enlightened for the benefit of all beings has. The following 13 practices are what I consider the most practical and helpful out of the 37 and by applying these practices to our daily lives we can make a lasting positive impression on the collective consciousness of humanity…a positive influence that is deeply needed in this time of transition from the old order to the new paradigm. Some of these are not easy but for those of us that want to embark on the journey to awakened enlightenment, these are practices that will lead us there.
1.) Day and night, be fully alert and present. Listen, reflect, and do alot of meditation.
2.) Attraction to those close to you catches you in its currents. Aversion to those who hate on you burns inside. Indifference that ignores what should be done is a black hole. Take a step outside your comfort zone.
3.) Some so-called friends take you further and further away from the path to awakened consciousness. These kinds of friends ridicule and discourage learning, reflection, and meditation. These kinds of friends make you lose kindness and compassion. Give up these bad friends.
4.) All suffering comes from wanting to please our own selves. Enlightened awakening arises from when our thoughts and actions help others. So, in exchange for our selfish desires and neglect of our suffering humanity, replace thoughts of self with concern for all others.
5.) If someone spreads ugly rumors about us with cruel words, and even if what that person has said spreads to others and gains wide acceptance as being the truth; wish for that person to overcome their troubles and gain peace of mind. Applaud all their positive traits and treat them with kindness.
6.) If in a crowd full of people someone exposes our faults before others and points out the flaws we still have; do not get angry or become defensive; just listen in silence and reflect on their words. Treat this person as a teacher.
7.) If someone we love and have cared for with kindness treats us with thankless resentment and treats us as if we are their most hated enemy, then see these acts as a terrible sickness that has infected and affected their mind. Treat them with even more love and affection.
8.) Even when you are famous, praised, and rich don’t be arrogant. Know that the magnificence of existence, as awesome as it is, ultimately has no substance. Cast out what pride you might have as a result of fame.
9.) If we are not able to take control of the anger inside of us, although we may overpower and conquer others outside, the anger will just keep coming. Turn inwards and tame the wild flow of your mind-stream.
10.) Whatever appears to be truly real is simply what a mind in delusion creates. This mind of ours is also from the beginning devoid of an essence inherently real. Realize Truth is beyond the conceptions we have known and beyond the knower as well. Dispel the belief in inherent existence.
11.) Abusive words and language that we say in anger cause others alot of pain by disturbing their minds and we who are striving to be enlightened will find that our practice will decline. So seeing the faults that arise from harsh language, abandon abusive and hurtful language.
12.) Without making efforts to clearly analyze delusions we have and mistakes we commit, then even though on the outside we look and play the part, we may simply be spiritual materialists. For this reason, try to examine mistakes, delusions, and faults you possess, then afterwards try to remove them completely.
13.) In everything you do, be mindful of what is happening in your mind. By being constantly present and aware that you are feeling, thinking, and acting in a way that helps others.