The Bodhi Resolve

Bringing forth the Bodhi resolve is like adding yeast to the dough, so that it will rise and expand over time.

What is the Bodhi resolve? I have a very simple analogy: Before we bring forth the Bodhi resolve, we are like flour before yeast is added. Bringing forth the Bodhi resolve is like adding yeast to the dough, so that it will rise and expand over time. What is the Bodhi resolve like? It is without any form or mark; it is only the enlightened Way. To be enlightened means to understand; to understand the principles of the Way. Yet we should not stop at understanding the principles; we must also cultivate the Way.

The Bodhi resolve can also be compared to a pagoda: no matter how tall a pagoda you plan to build, you have to start from the ground. The ground is analogous to our “mind ground.” Just as we have to build a pagoda story by story from the ground up, the Bodhi resolve is similarly built up from the mind ground. Starting very small, it gradually grows greater and higher. And eventually, when we perfect our merit and virtue, we will become Buddhas. This is only a very simple and rough analogy.

A talk given on November 12, 1979