And so Part 2 of the Festival begins. In the morning Gen Devi guides us in meditation in connecting with Buddha Shakyamuni and then developing the heartfelt wish of bodhichitta, the wish to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all, in this way preparing us for the afternoon’s Bodhisattva Vow Ceremony.

Gen-la Khyenrab began his morning teaching by quoting Geshe-la saying that the Festivals are our ‘special Dharma activity’ and that they include all Three Wheels of practice, the Wheels of study, meditating, and working for the Dharma. Gen-la said, we can engage in these easily here at the Festival, and then continue at home. In his clear and encouraging commentary on the Bodhisattva vow, Gen-la emphasized how we practice at our own level.

The afternoon Vow Ceremony itself was beautiful. The shrine was overflowing with a wonderful arrangement of offerings. Gen-la gave great encouragement at the beginning, saying how wonderful for our present world if we could emulate the ancient Bodhisattvas! We can do this because we all have Buddha nature, our present compassion. Bodhichitta is an advanced form of compassion, he said. By training in compassion every day, gradually we will develop actual bodhichitta through which we transform all our virtues into the path to Enlightenment, solve all our problems, fulfill all our wishes, and benefit all living beings. What a mind!

How amazing to be among an assembly of nearly 2000 people generating bodhichitta together and committing themselves to the Bodhisattva’s way of life. Gen-la guided us in dedicating that vast merit for the flourishing of Kadam Dharma, enlightenment for all living beings, and world peace.

What beautiful minds! How wonderful to be part of a Bodhisattva family striving our best through the 3 Wheels and the Six Perfections to improve ourselves for the benefit of all.