The Maine Retreat


Profound Treasury of The Ocean of Dharma Readings

The Heart of the Buddha. Chapter 1: What is the Heart of the Buddha?

“Fundamentally speaking, ladies and gentlemen, here is the really good news, if we may call it that: we are intrinsically buddha and we are intrinsically good. Without exception, and without the need for analytical studies, we can say that we automatically have buddha within us. That is known as buddhanature, or bodhichitta, the heart of the buddha.”

Mahayana 4. Enlightened Genes

““Fundamental enlightened mind or essence exists in us all the time. It is there right at the beginning, although there is no beginning. Before any kind of perception occurs, wakefulness is already there—beyond concept, beyond limitation, beyond anything measurable. We can all awaken—that is the hope and the potential.”

Mahayana 5. Basic Goodness

“There is a basic state of existence that is fundamentally good and that we can rely on. There is room to relax, to open up. We can make friends with ourselves and with others. That is the fundamental virtue of alaya, or basic goodness. It is the basis of the possibility of absolute bodhichitta.”

Mahayana 7 Expanding your Practice

“At the mahayana level, there is greater vision. Dedication becomes not just dedication to yourself and your own liberation, but an expansion of openness, love, and compassion. There is a quality of dignity, which is not especially localized, and the path begins to expand beyond one’s own individuality.”

Mahayana 9. Awakening Your Enlightened Genes

“There is no limit as to how much you could develop loving-kindness toward yourself or compassion toward others. You can go all the way. It is like the atmosphere, which has no boundaries. You can achieve complete freedom; you can experience vastness.”

Mahayana 17. Joining Profundity andVastness

“If you develop depth, at the same time you are developing benevolence. Because of that warmth, you don’t have to defend yourself anymore. When you realize that you don’t have to defend yourself, you realize there is no defender, either, so a big dissolving process takes place. That seems to be the basic idea of compassion. So compassion is not just being loving and emotionally kind; it is actually compassion that cuts through.”