Preface

        "Everything returns to Oneness at the source, but there are many expedient methods that lead us there." This is a very popular saying in Buddhism. However, even though three are many expedient methods, we must really practice with diligence; otherwise, we are left with only many expedient methods having no particular benefit for anyone -- i.e., with nothing at all. Therefore, Master Shih-Hsien Hsing-An took pity on people and devas, for he could not stand the spectacle of Sangha members and lay Buddhists abandoning the great Tao or wasting time; and he also felt that losing their opportunity to progress toward and even to gain Enlightenment was, indeed, a great pity.
        So Master Hsing-An wrote this composition, urging people to generate the Bodhi Mind as quickly as possible. he encourages all Sangha members and lay Buddhists to be diligent in their opportunity to progress toward and even to gain Enlightenment was, indeed, a great pity.
        So Master Hsing-An wrote this composition, urging people to generate the Bodhi Mind as quickly as possible. He encourages all Sangha members and lay Buddhists to be diligent in their practice and to delay no longer. The Master promotes the ten causes and conditions leading to the state of grace in order to teach people how to generate the Bodhi Mind. Bodhi Mind is the Mind of Enlightenment, and if one has already generated the Bodhi Mind, he then can take the Great Vow to benefit all other sentient beings by enabling all people to generate the Bodhi Mind and attain Supreme Enlightenment.
        Thus; it can be said that the Bodhi Mind is like a fertile field, growing all pure Dharmas in the minds of sentient beings. Also, the Bodhi Mind is like the bright sun, illuminating the whole world. Furthermore, the Bodhi Mind is like a broad way, allowing and encouraging all sentient beings to enter the City of Wisdom. This means that the Bodhi Mind is a peaceful haven to which all sentient beings can ultimately return.
        We have, very fortunately, been reborn in this world. Fortunately, also, we have been reborn as human beings and are able, therefore, to learn the Buddhadharma. If we do not make the most of this good opportunity and are not diligent in generating our own Bodhi Mind, then it would really be a great pity to lose these great causes and conditions that make possible the generation of the Bodhi Mind. This idea is reflected in the sutra, which says: "Once we have lost the human body, we cannot recover it even in ten thousand Kalpas." If this is  truly the case, then wouldn't the loss of our bodies and the opportunity to generate the Bodhi Mind be unfortunate and, indeed, a great pity?
        The Great Master Shih-Hsien Hsing-An, with the deepest compassion for all sentient beings, bound, as they are to the transmigratory Wheel of Life-and-Death, very kindly took the Great Vow to rescue then from the ocean of suffering and convert them by helping them eliminate their defilements and by teaching them how to generate the Bodhi Mind. If people come to be aware of the importance of the Bodhi Mind, they should also be clear about Enlightenment as it relates to the Bodhi Mind. The Bodhi Mind is Enlightenment, and Enlightenment is the Mind of Great Tao. to benefit people and help them become more aware of the interrelationship of these concepts, I have appended to this Composition Urging the Generation of the Bodhi Mind a Gatha of over one hundred lines, which was taken from the Avatamsaka Sutra and is entitled "Merits Gained by Generating the Bodhi Mind", the purpose of which is to promote and strengthen the generation of the Bodhi Mind. In addition, I have added Ch'an Master Ch'eh Wuh's "Ten Articles of Faith", which alerts people to strive to achieve Enlightenment through their own minds and the practice of the Tao of Bodhi. I sincerely hope that these additions will help all people to integrate the concepts of the Bodhi Mind, Enlightenment and the Great Tao and that all people will gain great benefit from the Buddhadharma and be led, through to the desired goal.
        So I would like to say to all virtuous men and women and to all of my friends: We are human beings and have a rare and wonderful opportunity to hear the Buddhadharma now, so we should feel very happy and should be careful to consider this opportunity as being very precious in this lifetime. We should make absolutely sure that we do not miss this opportunity or let it slip by due to a mindless oversight. After reading this Composition Urging the Generation of the Bodhi Mind, if you have already generated, concentrated and embraced your Bodhi Mind, please continue to increase it. On the other hand, if you have not yet generated your Bodhi Mind, please do so immediately. Then hold it forever, never letting yourself regress!
        In this light, the Avatamsaka Sutra says:

Though a wheel of fire about your head
Were wildly whirling and flaming,
Just do not abandon your Bodhi Mind
Even amidst such strong suffering
        This Gatha clearly expresses to us the idea that it is extremely important that no person should overlook or neglect generating the Bodhi Mind and, furthermore, that one must be ever vigilant and mindful never to regress.

Dharma Master Lok To
Young Men's Buddhist Association of America
Bronx, New York
March, 1996


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