Tag Archives: generosity

37 practices: verse 25

25. To practice generosity

If, wishing to attain awakening, / I need to give even my body up,

Then doesn’t it go also without saying / that this applies to mere external stuff?

Without hope for reward or benefit / to generously give away a gift:

This is the way a bodhisattva trains.

verse 25 audio above

Note: The whole translation to date (verses 1-26) is now posted as a pdf file under “The 37 practices translation” at the top of this page.

Entering the home stretch: With verse 25, Tokme Zangpo introduces the six paramitas, the heart of action bodhicitta. These are the transcending actions we engage in that propel our boat, the precious human existence, to the shore of full awakening. The first five of these actions–generosity, ethical conduct, patience, joyful effort, and meditation — are also ordinary virtues through which we benefit ourselves and others.

When we apply the sixth transcending action, the wisdom that realizes emptiness, to the first five paramitas, that is what makes these virtues transcending actions that also directly help us awaken. This wisdom is the same as ultimate bodhicitta, the nature of mind, which we have already studied in 23-24.

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