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Transformation

Butterfly 

 Being Transformed

The essential method of Mahayana Buddhism is transformation: the Bodhisattva transforms what is negative into positive, what is bad luck into good luck, the unfavorable into favorable. Transforming all negativity into positive conditions is called gyurwa—transformation. What does this mean?  

The Bodhisattva takes every situation as a chance to see one’s limitations and go beyond them, to discover the ultimate enlightenment in oneself by bringing out one’s innate love and compassion. Every situation, every chance encounter, every heartbreak, every thought is a precious opportunity to awaken completely if we have the courage to remain beholden to the open heart, Bodhicitta mind. This is the Bodhisattva’s view, as well as meditation and action.  

When we practice this path we have to transform our fundamental attitude towards life, towards what happiness actually is, towards suffering, towards what our values are. We have to let go of our old karmic belief systems that are based on not understanding who we are. Those persistent views are our habitual tendencies.  

Life itself is not samsara. Samsara can never be found as an outer circumstance. It is not in the elements, nor is it in the past, present, or future. Samsara, suffering, is in our own mind, based on fundamental ignorance about reality. We have to see the falsehood of those belief systems that we have held in our minds.  

By awakening to the false, we awaken to who we are and what reality is. In this awakened state we begin to see that there is no suffering, no negativity, no circumstance that can cause hope and fear within. Our struggle is the creation of our own mind, our own resistance to reality.  

We are not running away from any circumstances whatsoever—not running away from what we are facing right now, or what we will have to face tomorrow morning. We are simply opening our heart and flowing with life’s natural direction without fighting the flow. When there is no resistance, there is a sense that everything is a blessing, whatever happens. Whether there is good fortune or bad fortune, a Bodhisattva perceives everything as a spiritual lesson in how to be content. Thus a Bodhisattva exudes, without effort, an inexhaustible generosity, love, and compassion toward all beings. Everything is Buddha’s voice, a living teaching, thus there is a sense of reverence that treats every circumstance as some kind of sacred phenomena, a sacred entity.
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