The Resolve for Bodhi (bodhicitta), the aspiration to reach full Awakening for the sake of all living beings, is a core element of Mahayana Buddhism. This short text by Master Xing An (d. 1734) who lived in Hangzhou, provides instructions on the Resolve for Bodhi that fit well into the Chinese cultural context, while staying true to the spirit of Mahayana Buddhism. Mainly written for a monastic audience, the text provides an intriguing glimpse into the Buddhism of the Qing Dynasty, which is yet to receive much scholarly attention. At the same time, the text and its modern commentary by Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua also speak to the people of the twenty-first century, asking what makes our lives worth living. (Based on audio recordings of lectures given by Master Hua at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, California, in 1979, and at Gold Mountain Monastery in San Francisco in 1985)
About the author
Master Hua was born in 1918 near Manchuria, China into a family of frugal farmers. He learned to read at 15, and after his mother’s death at 19, he became a monk. He meditated by his mother’s grave for three years and practiced other austerities before receiving full ordination. At Nan Hua Monastery in Canton, Master Hua received the mind-to-mind transmission of the Patriarchs Master Hsu Yun, making him a Patriarch in direct lineage with Bodhidharma, the last patriarch of India, and Hui Neng, the first patriarch of Zen. With the arrival of the communists on the Chinese mainland, the Master went to Hong Kong to promote orthodox Buddhism. In 1962, he brought monastic, Mahayana Buddhism to America. He founded the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, the International Translation Institute, and over 20 other monasteries and temples all over the globe, with the goal of spreading Buddhism worldwide.
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