‘If the bodhisattva realizes she or he could give up anything and everything because there is nothing to give up, and this realization makes her or him happy, not afraid, not dejected, not cowed, then she or he is a true bodhisattva. This teaching wisely and surprisingly acknowledes fear as an essential ingredient of our personalities. We identify with the vulnerable self: we think we are and possess what we are not and do not possess. Hence fear of loss of self and possession is essential in us. When basic identity is challenged, fear arises, often masked by anger. To practice the perfection of giving, we have to overcome this fear, realizing that there really is nothing to fear. Everything is empty in the first place.’ (The World Could Be Otherwise)
I have been turning my attention to my class on the Bodhisattva Vows, which begins a week from tonight at Zen Center, and Norman’s new book was an obvious choice of reading material. I have been enjoying it very much so far; expect to see more excerpts from it over the weeks to come.