No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva (Anglais) Broché – 14 août 2007
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Let's say you're out walking and you notice the beauty of the sky. Right on the spot you could rejoice in that very thing. You could rejoice in your good fortune to be in such a beautiful place. Or you might notice, "Well, what do you know? I just did something kind." And you rejoice in that. Maybe you spontaneously said something encouraging, or helped someone with their heavy bags. That instinct to reach out was right there within you. Whatever form it takes, you can rejoice in that virtue, in that tenderness within you.
When others are happy and doing well you can rejoice in their good fortune as well. There are continual opportunities to rejoice in your own good fortune and the good fortune of others. Someone may simply get a letter or a compliment that makes them happy. Or, a person who's been very depressed may have some personal insight that lifts their spirits. Right on the spot we can rejoice in their good fortune.
Generally this is not so easy to do. It's not the natural inclination or habit of mind. Instead, what we notice is our feeling of not-so-glad-about-our-good-fortune—or anyone else's. When you're having a really bad day, seeing someone else having a good day usually does not give you joy. Very likely you thoroughly resent it. Or when someone else gets the job promotion you wanted, your first instinct may not be to rejoice in their good fortune.
If you make it your practice to rejoice for even one week, it will probably show you some envy and resentment you didn't even know you had. Who would have thought that the practice of rejoicing would be a setup for seeing our neurosis? The usual response to this is to feel we've blown it. For the aspiring bodhisattva, this is not the case. When your intention is to wake up so that you can help others to do the same, then you can rejoice in your capacity to see where you're stuck as much as you rejoice in your capacity for loving kindness.
There is no other way for true compassion to emerge. No other way to water the seed of bodhichitta. This is how you know what other people are up against. Just like you, they aspire to open, only to see themselves close. Just like you, they have the capacity to feel joy and, out of ignorance, they block that joy. The difference is that we can get smart and begin to see when we get hooked and do something different. Instead of going on automatic pilot, and following the same old momentum, we could let the storyline go and stay present with an open heart. And we could rejoice that we are even slightly interested in choosing such a fresh alternative. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
Revue de presse
“No Time to Lose represents the fruition of Chödrön’s years of practice and study: a traditional commentary in which passages from The Way of the Bodhisattva are interspersed with her ever-approachable and pithy instructions for daily life.”—Parabola
“Chödrön provides consistently clear expositions of Shantideva’s sometimes convoluted verses and lines of argument, keeping her eye firmly on the question of how his discussion is relevant to the lives of ordinary people living in modern societies. A superlative presentation of the text.”—Buddhadharma
“In this ambitious and profound work, Chödrön hits high stride, creating a wide-ranging, accessible, and soul-stirring commentary on the classic Buddhist text The Way of the Bodhisattva.”—Spirituality and Health
“Chödrön is a clear teacher, explaining key terms and making things simple and characteristically plainspoken. She is also the right kind of motivator, telling readers immediately what’s in it for them: this book can inspire those who want to make the world a better place.”—Publishers Weekly
“Pema Chödrön’s writings have been helpful to countless numbers of people trying to find some ground for their being in this chaotic world.”—Bill Moyers
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Reading Shantideva's poem, it is obvious that not much has changed for humankind in 1300 years. We are still greedy, self-absorbed and ruled by our desires and kleshas, negative emotions that distort our perception and keep us from experiencing the present moment. In our search for happiness, we repeatedly reach for and attach ourselves to things that are impermanent, destined to disappear and die, including our ego.
Death, indeed, looms large throughout the book. Leading a life full of compassion and free of attachment assures an easier passage when our end comes. "If we can't handle being told off or not getting what we want, how will we be able to handle death?" Chodron asks almost urgently. And as we have no idea when this might occur, there is no time to lose in getting our house, and more importantly, our heart in order.
Using vivid imagery and written in very accessible language, the poem itself provides a systematic, if somewhat idealistic, program for achieving happiness, good karma and peace of mind throughout our lives and at the end. Chodron's interpretation, in gentle and engaging prose, shows us how Shantideva's advice and admonitions apply to our daily trials and tribulations.
Of course, there is a difference between ideals and what we can realistically achieve. Meditating upon the dirtiness and eventual decay of the human body in order to quell lust, for instance, is a hard sell for both Shantideva and the wise and modern Chodron. Most of us, after all, are neither monks nor nuns. It is definitely something to ponder, however, when possessed by one of our most human and perhaps destructive kleshas.
The philosophy and the teachings in No Time to Lose are similar to those found in other books by Chodron or other Buddhist writers: The mind causes our unhappiness, thus we must learn to apply mindfulness to all our actions and interactions; generosity is its own reward; and all hardships in life are opportunities to learn, to free ourselves from self-absorption, to practise the virtue of patience. What is different here is the logical build-up of the teachings: from developing our intention to change, to preparing the groundwork and transcending our hesitation, all the way through taming the mind and dissolving the barriers between self and other.
Reading this book from beginning to end feels like walking the Boddhisattva's path. Though we may not be enlightened when we reach the final page, Shantideva and Chodron have provided us with a practical guide should we wish to embark on the real journey.
Pema's humor includes the movie "Groundhog Day," Harry Potter books, & quotes: p. 272: "As Dzigar Kongtrul once said, `Trying to find lasting happiness from relationships or possessions is like drinking salt water to quench your thirst." Indeed, the book title could be a pun. Some teachings are profound & advanced: p. 108: "The paramitas & letting go of self-clinging are the same...wherever any action takes us beyond self-absorption, it becomes a paramita...until we deal with poverty mind, the redistribution of all the wealth in the world won't change the outer situation," p. 269: "Shantideva makes reference to the linear development of the paramitas...our spiritual development, however, doesn't always go in such a straight line," & p. 312: "It's always wise, however, to use the teachings that apply to where you are right now as your guide to daily living." My favorite root text stanza p. 324, para. 8.140 describes exchanging oneself for another via mental role play (~Silva Mind Control); it's magnificently empathy-building. Unfortunately, Pema excludes Chapter 9 "Wisdom"--perhaps the most difficult & the one I'd most like to have her address. Also, while the text extensively addresses relative Bodhichitta, it essentially ignores Absolute Bodhichitta, somewhat limiting it.
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