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The Third Practice of Virtue - Without Agitation - Ksanti-Paramita

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3. The Practice of Non-Agitation (Endurance or Forbearance)

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The Flower Garland (Avatamsaka) Sutra says:

Children of the Buddha: What is the Bodhisattva Mahasattva’s practice that is without agitation?

These Bodhisattvas always cultivate endurance and forbearance in the spirituality of the Dharma with humility and reverent respect. They do not harm themselves, others or both, they do not take from themselves, others or both, and they are not attached to themselves, others or both. Not greedily seeking fame or profit, they only make this thought:

“I must always teach the Dharma in order to free living beings from that which is evil. Eliminating greed, hate, stupidity, arrogance and conceit, the concealing of faults, stinginess, jealousy, flattery and deception makes one able to constantly abide peacefully in the endurance that is soft and gentle.”

Children of the Buddha: Bodhisattvas attain endurance in the spirituality of the Dharma like this, and abide in it even if hundreds, thousands and millions of living beings come to them making countless remarks to them with language that is unpleasant, indecent, unkind, undesirable, malevolent, lacking in virtue, ignoble, ignorant, deeply hateful, evil, and unbearable. With these words even the endurance of the Bodhisattvas is reviled and slandered. Further these living beings have hundreds, thousands and millions of hands with countless weapons with which they oppress and injure the Bodhisattvas for countless eons without letting up. When the Bodhisattvas encounter these poisons and these tortures, with their hair standing on end and their lives about to end, they make this thought:

“If my mind is stirred and disordered by this suffering, I will not have self mastery, self control, self possession and self illumination. I will not have learned cultivation, I will not have proper concentrationd I will not be serene and still. I will be indiscreet with my desires and I will bear attachments. How will I be able to make the minds of others become pure?”

At this time the Bodhisattvas will also make this thought:

“I have abided in Life & Death from the beginning of time and always received suffering and distress like this.”

Reflecting on this, they redouble their efforts, making their minds pure and so attaining joy. They are skillful in self-mastery and control, and are able to peacefully abide in the spirituality of enlightenment (the Buddha Dharma). They also make others similarly attain this spirituality. They further reflect on this:

“This body is empty. It is without a self, without possessions and does not have an absolute reality. Being empty, it is without duality. Whether I am suffering or content, all is without existence because all things spiritual are devoid of self. I should understand this thoroughly and teach it broadly to people, making living beings extinguish and become free of their views. Therefore, although I now encounter bitter sufferings I must endure and accept them and have thoughts of being kind to living beings, of abundantly benefiting living beings, of offering peace and contentment to living beings, of having compassion and empathy for living beings, of embracing and accepting living beings, and of not forsaking livings.

To attain their own awakening, they make others attain their awakening and devote their lives to the path of enlightenment. This is called the Bodhisattva Mahasattva’s third practice, that is without agitation.