That Bodhisatta Vow

One of the things I appreciate most about “(ext)my teacher”:http://soulsword.org, is that he’s a bodhisattva, not just a buddha. In English, that means that he’s concerned with the salvation of the world. At his enlightenment, he chose to return to this world with all its sorrows and pains, and he wants his students to become enlightened and practice being the light, so they can give light to the world wherever they are, whatever they do.

One night just over six years ago, Jesus came to me, and destroyed my religion. What was left was something I didn’t expecta fierce desire to follow him, to be like him. I realized he was Bodhisattva, Christ, the teacher who saves the world, and that he himself said he longs for us to follow him in this work, to be one in him, as he is one in the Father (Jn. 17:21-22). St. Paul taught that Christ is a power of God that extends beyond Jesus, that all who sincerely trust him, become “members of his body,” that is, parts of the same being (I Cor. 12:27), and that Jesus is the eldest of many brothers (Rom. 8.29).
So, a few days later, on May 5, 2000, as I sat on a pier I privately made my own bodhisattva vow to God, to work for the salvation of all according to all the grace I am given.

I confess I do not live up to my vow very well. Perhaps it is because it’s so daunting that so few people take it up in this culture. Yet my vow works on me, as I work to fulfill it … And I’m blessed to know a realized bodhisattva who guides me to the light I want to shine.

Last night, Kitabu Roshi urged his students to “become what you admire.” Not to just worship Christ, but to become Christ, become the Buddha, become the teacher.

There’s so much that can be said about this, so much that has been said already. But those who actually come to believe it’s possible are few, and those who resolve to do it, are fewer still. So today, I renew my vow. “Theosis”:/faith/theosis.html is more than just a work of grace. It’s a pledge to be worked on and be available for the world, here and now.

Are some of you also being called to this?

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13 thoughts on “That Bodhisatta Vow

  1. Jon-

    Could you have chosen another pathway?
    Your very being is enlightenment, is nothingness, is all-ness. I bow to you as you are still, knowing “I Am.”

    Coming to a point where one believes anything is possible is quite extraordinary, especially the possibility of becoming a Re-Mind-er…and then actually Re- Membering.

    I am Re-Minded by so many who cross my path, so many strangers, friends and loved ones- each reminding me to show kindness, compassion, gentleness; reminding me I do have a choice, no choice…that it means everything, and nothing together.

    Be-

    Namaste’

  2. Isn’t it refreshing to know that through this crazy technologial nervous system called the Internet, the Self in its myriad of forms across the planet can converse with itself? What I’m saying is, there are not always many people in one’s geographical area that are in-tune with what you are speaking about here, but meeting similarly minded people online is indeed a blessing.

    And the universe is blessed because of bodhisattvas such as yourself. Just remember, when days come that make you feel like you’re not being a bodhisattva, you’re still buddha.

    Happy Vow-birthday. 🙂

  3. Jon:

    It’s an honor to be a witness (virtually) to the renewing of your vow. Thank you.

    It is daunting, yes–but most worthwhile things are, at least to the ego. On another level, it’s the most natural thing in the world, indeed it always already is.

  4. You’re an inspiration for me Jon. Hope you feel better. You’re in my prayers.

    Isaiah – Can any of us choose a path that isn’t laid out for us? We are all affected deeply by dependent arising. It’s an interesting question.

    Trev – The net is marvelous for that reason!

  5. Looks like the “roll called up yonder, friends. I join in congratulations to Jon; what I find most admirable is his willingness to “say who he is”, confess the reality of his identity in all its particulars.

    I do believe that is an essential part in reaching the goal that we have set for ourselves.

  6. Zach-

    What do you mean by ‘dependent arising’?

    It is an interesting question….but what is ‘independent arising?’

    Is there any one thing that occurs that doesn’t affect all things?

    I do not know the answers to these questions.

  7. Isaiah-
    This seemed to be the best page on dependent arising that I could find: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependent_arising
    In very basic terms it’s just cause and effect. Everything that happens does so because of pre-existing causes.

    From this view, there is nothing that arises independently and nothing that occurs that does not affect all things (perhaps not directly, but in some way.)

  8. Yes- I feel this to true. I also feel that dependent arising cannot be explained to another, that one must live through the questions and into the answers for themselves- only then will it makes sense and with it the realization that the pathway chosen, really chooses you.

    How little we are in control- and yet we ‘make’ all the moves. How much better to walk on, walk on, and see where we are going.

    Jon’s decision, our decision changes everything and yet, what and who has changed?

  9. Wow, what a great conversation here! Dependent arising, no less! It’s been a while since I’ve seen a conversation this deep anywhere on the Net!

    DA reminds me of the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna says that only he is the doer, although it sure feels like we are.

  10. Jon,

    My fierce desire to follow Jesus has also led me to a place of deep internal transformation. There are times when I can barely remember what I was like before that transformation began. And, truly, the process must have begun long before I finally realized that I was a Christian.

    Perhaps we, all of us, are here to transform the world.

  11. I was steadfastly ignoring Christianity (though faithfully following the path of Wicca, which has many similar insights and a sequence of initiations which reflect the classic soul-journey) when Jesus appeared to me (both as his Jesus self, and as the Cosmic Christ), along with Kwan Yin.

    I like your emphasis on the Cosmic Christ – so do you think the Buddha-Nature is the same as the Cosmic Christ? I know that Wicca is a valid spiritual path because it has got me this far on my spiritual journey, and I am still a Wiccan whilst also honouring Jesus. And Kwan Yin, though she has only appeared once, whereas Jesus has visited me five times.

    I strongly believe that all religions contain the path to salvation, or union with the divine, or metanoia & theosis. I want to follow Jesus in a community, but I don’t want to join any community that denies his love to LGBT people, or claims to be the only path to the Divine. I also want to continue with Wicca. Am I asking too much?

  12. I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE SPENT TOO MUCH TIME LOOKING OUT TO THE WORLD FOR OUR ANSWERS WE HAVE ALLOWED OURSELVES TO BE DESTROYED BY OUR ATTRACTION TO WORLDLY THINGS AND IT IS WITHIN WITH THE UNDERSTANDING OF LETTING GO THAT WE WILL BEGIN TIO TRUELLY BRING US CLOSER TO UNDERSTANDING THE BUDDHA, JESUS ASK YOURSELF THIS DO I REALLY BELIEVE IN THIS EVEN LETTING GO THE DOUBT CAN CHANGE YOU

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