Home » Excerpts » Give The Dharma By Asking For It

Ask well if the answer matters
to the welfare of you
and/or all others.

— Shilashanti

Bodhisattvas aspire to offer all their actions of body, speech and mind as Dharma gifts. We have received the gift of the Dharma, and now we have an opportunity to give it to others. The Lotus Sutra depicts Buddhas and Bodhisattvas waiting calmly and patiently until beings properly request teachings, and then they wholeheartedly offer the Dharma to those beings. Sincerely requesting the teachings is also a great gift of Dharma. In many Mahayana scriptures, when teachings are conveyed, they often begin with Bodhisattvas giving the gift of a question…

When Bodhisattvas ask questions, they don’t ask for the purpose of getting something. Asking questions is one of the ways that Bodhisattvas give the gift of Dharma. They want their questions to be really helpful. They ask for their questions for the benefit and happiness of many beings… Such questioning is one of the great forms of Bodhisattva generosity. [Note: Of course, we should also ask questions to resolve our doubts about the Dharma, as part of the learning process.]

Entering the Mind of Buddha:
Zen and the Six Heroic Practices of Bodhisattvas
Reb Anderson

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