Are you a Bodhisattva?
Here’s the thing: we need more Bodhisattvas, not Buddhas, in the world.
If you’re wanting a spiritual path or philosophy to commit to, I say choose the path of the Bodhisattva.
It’s easy to be a buddha sitting in a dissociated state of blissful elevation above the world. We have enough of those types of people already.
But the path of the Bodhisattva? It’s a path of heart-centered devotion and compassion. It’s a path of courageously embracing the shitstorms and existential voids of life. It’s a path of soul-embodied Love and Oneness.
While the Buddha is clean, detached, and purified non-dual awareness, the Bodhisattva is a tantric, fleshly, wild-divine being who knows what to do with the blood, pain, and filth of life.
So, my friend, I implore you to know that to embody your Soul’s purpose, you need to embrace the Bodhisattva path. The survival of our society, our very existence as a race, and our planet depend on it. I’ll explain why a little later.
But first, let’s define what I mean by Bodhisattva.
What is a Bodhisattva?
In Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is a person who delays enlightenment in order to help all living beings achieve liberation (Nirvana). The word itself is composed of the Sanskrit words bodhi which means “enlightenment, awakening” and sattva which means “essence, being.” Put together, Bodhisattva can be translated as “one whose essence is enlightenment.”
And do you know what’s so beautiful about this term? What I love is how inclusive and universal it is. Everyone’s essence is enlightenment. We’re all unique expressions of the Divine. Therefore, we can all become Bodhisattva’s if we so choose.
“But do you need to be a Buddhist to be a Bodhisattva?” you might wonder. No. This is a term that refers to the fundamental essence within all of us that ultimately transcends all religions and labels.
“Do I have to be special or spiritually elevated to be a Bodhisattva?” might be the next question. Again, no. This is a path for everyday people living everyday lives – it’s not reserved for the “spiritual elite” (p.s. there’s no such thing!).
As Buddhist monk and spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says,
A bodhisattva is someone who has compassion within himself or herself and who is able to make another person smile or help someone suffer less. Every one of us is capable of this.
See? No Elite-Spiritual-Person badge needed!
7 Signs You’re a Bodhisattva In-the-Making
Not everyone is suited or attracted to Bodhisattvahood. This is a path for special souls who want to make a meaningful and long-lasting change not only in their own lives but in the lives of others too.
Can you relate to any of the following signs?
- You feel a strong calling to help, guide, and/or uplift others
- You often feel intense pain for the suffering of the planet (including plants, animals, ecosystems, and humanity at large)
- You’re a highly sensitive person and/or empath
- The path of Heartfulness is more appealing to you than the path of Mindfulness
- You have a strong affinity with the Wounded Healer archetype
- You’re a generous and devotional person by nature (your deepest fulfillment comes when you are of service)
- You’ve undergone some kind of spiritual awakening
Bodhisattvas are also focused on the eagle’s eye view (as opposed to the worm’s view) of life and the long-term consequences of their actions. They gravitate toward a we-centered life philosophy more than a me-centered approach to living.
“How will my actions ripple into the world and influence others?” is one of the central questions Bodhisattvas are preoccupied with.
If you understand that you’re not at the center of the universe, but are one part of the Web of Life, chances are that you’re already walking the Bodhisattva path!