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Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

May 18, 2020

This is the second episode detailing a method to develop bodhicitta, the wish to attain enlightenment to relieve the suffering of all living beings. The world needs such noble pursuits, which take responsibility for one another. 


Seven Point Cause and Effect Method to Develop Bodhicitta


  1. Recognizing that all beings have been our mother 
  2. Remembering the kindness of our mothers
  3. Developing the wish to repay the kindness of our mothers 
  4. Great Love
  5. Great Compassion
  6. Exceptional resolve
  7. Bodhicitta

Developing Great Compassion

The object of compassion is all living beings. The intentions of great compassion are thinking:


“How nice it would be if living beings were free from suffering,”

“May they be free from suffering,” 

“I will cause them to be free from suffering.” 


The steps of the meditation to develop great compassion are first to cultivate it toward someone dear, then toward someone for whom you have neutral feelings, and, finally, toward someone you have aversion to. When you have equal compassion for your enemies and friends, cultivate it gradually toward all living beings in the ten directions.


When you spontaneously feel compassion which has the wish to completely eliminate the sufferings of all living beings—just like a mother’s wish to remove her dear child’s unhappiness—then your compassion is complete and is called great compassion.


The cultivation of wholehearted resolve

At the conclusion of meditating on love and compassion think, “These dear living beings for whom I feel affection are deprived of happiness and tormented by suffering; how can I provide them happiness and free them from suffering?” Thinking in this way, train your mind in this thought in order to take on the responsibility to liberate living beings.



The great Buddhist master, Kamalaśīla, said, “When you have committed yourself to being a guide for all living beings by conditioning yourself to great compassion, you effortlessly generate bodhicitta, which has the nature of aspiring to unexcelled perfect enlightenment.”


Someone aspiring to become a bodhisattva should hold the training in the bodhicitta as the core instruction that motivates all our spiritual practices. Try to sustain the motivation it in and out of meditation.


Kamalaśīla’s second Stages of Meditation says: “Cultivate this compassion toward all beings at all times, whether you are in meditative concentration or in the course of any other activity.”


References and Links


Je Tsongkhapa. Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Je Tsongkhapa, Volume 2. Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, Editor-in-Chief, and Guy Newlan, Editor, pp 43-50.