There are two indispensable method or a skill in order to, to achieve enlightenment. And they are purification of defilements and accumulation of merit and wisdom. If you closely observe the path of the Buddha you will realize a big aspect or character of path consist of this two elements, the element of purifying defilements and accumulation of merit or wisdom. Accumulation of the merit or the wisdom, and specially accumulation of the merit, such an important attribute of the path can begin even here, now, this very minute with the right motivation of listening to the teachings. And myself with the right motivation of sharing this teachings to you. And when I say right motivation not just to make ourselves loaded with all kinds of scholastic information. Not just out of curiosity, anthropological curiosity, but really genuine kind heart to help others and ultimately place them in the state of enlightenment. With this motivation, if you begin listening to this teaching then as Shantideva said, even if you fall asleep during the teaching, somehow you will accumulate the merit effortlessly. And I am not making this up, you can always refer to the Bodhicharyavatara. I think it is in the second chapter. So for this reason, I remind you to tune, generate, tune the right motivation, generate the right motivation.
For those who are still not clear about what we mean by the right motivation, at the least, fundamentally the motivation to receive this teaching should be something to do with walking towards the enlightenment, aiming towards the enlightenment. Not only for oneself but for the others. And I am sure this attitude of wishing enlightenment for others, for many of us is very abstract. Believe me. I basically stumbled into this earth in a Buddhist family, for that matter kind of a hard line Buddhist family. So it is now almost half a century that I am been Buddhist. And even now, to me, this concept or this attitude wishing enlightenment for all sentient beings, to me 99.99 times is abstract. The great Nyingmapa masters Patrul Rinpoche said, to wish enlightenment for all sentient beings is actually much more easier than to wish enlightenment for one person. For many of us. Such is the case for myself. But we should not discourage because many beginners like yourself and like myself we have to begin somewhere and our starting point is what we call aspiration bodhicitta. And this is what we can do, this is what we should do, and this is the most economical thing to do. And it has so much benefit.
I am sure you know the world is run by wish list. It is the wish that is running the world. Even in our mundane expression we have expression: It is the thought that counts. Birthdays, death anniversaries, special occasions, we send cards. And it actually does make people happy to receive this ridiculous card. There are the most useless thing actually. But it does help make people happy. So wish has such a power. It is the wish that actually generates this powerful action. It is the strong and determined wish that really develops this courage.
There are so many benefit practicing what we call aspiration bodhicitta. Among many someone who practice aspiration bodhicitta, at least this person also practices humility. Because when you are wishing, when you are aspiring, you are automatically admitting that you don’t have what you are wishing for. Therefore it is generating some kind of a humility. And humility is so important. When a person has a humility, then the person is beginning to become a perfect vessel for the practice and the study. So even so it might sound very abstract, and almost like a poetic to wish enlightenment for all sentient beings, it is one wish that you should not forsake. You can let go everything. You can really do without a lot of things. But aspiration bodhicitta, if you can keep that consistently, sooner or later, you will end up courageous, bold.
You know Shantideva said in Bodhicharyavatara – Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara is amazingly user friendly guidance to the infinite and powerful bodhicitta practice. Shantideva even suggest to practice the generosity by giving things like vegetables and you start giving from right hand to the left hand. That sounds kind of ridiculous, right hand to the left hand. But that, the great bodhisattvas of the past, who has seen the benefit of the bodhicitta, there is so much wish that the beings, the follower of the buddhadharma, there is so much wish that this is one thing they would in the future or all times treasure. So there are so many many skills, methods, reminders to think about bodhicitta.