James Gritz recently returned from India, where he was filming a documentary on the 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, and the events surrounding the Kagyu Monlam and the 900-year celebration of the first Karmapa. On his blog the filmmaker shares an interview he did with Tsoknyi Rinpoche during his time there . Gritz had asked him to tell the story of his own experience of working with bodhicitta under the bodhi tree. Tsoknyi Rinpoche responded:
“Five years ago I thought I needed to change something so I looked into my whole Buddhist practice — what I needed to change, what I needed to improve, and I realized what I needed to improve is bodhicitta. I think the comfortable Dharma practice, I usually call California dharma practice, in which you make yourself very cozy, mindful, relaxed, aware, love, love to others — all this makes you feel happy. All the things that make up a dharma practitioner I have — if I have a little bit of stress, the environment is not so good, then I think OK, this is impermanence, and then I practice. Oh this is the Buddha realm, so I make myself very joyful and cozy for Dharma. But one needs to be willing to suffer for others. Real compassion is not afraid to suffer. One needs to think, I need to help, I’m going to help, but along the road of helping I will face a lot of difficulties, but I am OK with that. I’m willing to take that risk. Bodhicitta activity is not comfortable, it is a rocky journey along the path, but if you are willing to take it then I think the first seed of bodhicitta is growing in your mind.”
Continue reading the rest of the story on James Gritz’s blog.