SEVEN-FOLD CAUSE AND EFFECT
Monday, August 12, 2019
Seven-fold pith instruction for generating bodhicitta related to its cause and effect (Tib. རྒྱུ་འབྲས་མན་ངག་བདུན ) — the way of generating bodhicitta (i.e., the wish to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings) as taught by Atisha, which has the following seven points: (1) recognizing beings as our past mothers, (2) remembering the kindness of beings, (3) repaying their kindness, (4) love, wishing beings have happiness, (5) compassion, (6) altruism and (7) bodhicitta. The first six points relate to the causes of bodhicitta, and the last relates to the result, bodhicitta itself. The seven-fold cause and effect method instructs us to see all sentient beings as dear, especially our enemies and those we hold in neutrality, and cherish them in the same way we cherish those with whom we have strong, positive attractions. It is known as the “cause and effect” instruction because each step is the necessary preliminary to the next.
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