37 Practices of the Bodhisattva - Verse 2

Ken McLeod

Ken McLeod continues his commentary on the 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva. To watch his other video teachings on the 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva, click here.

Attraction to those close to you catches you in its currents;
Aversion to those who oppose you burns inside;
Indifference that ignores what needs to be done is a black hole.
Leave your homeland — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

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Ken McLeod's picture

I have not tracked down Anais Nin's quotation, though I have seen it in many places.

When reading traditional texts such as The 37 Practices, it is helpful to step out of our usual literal interpretation and feel what Tokmé Zangpo is pointing to. These are intended as aspirational verses. They lift the heart to greater possibilities. Success and failure are not the concern here. The aim is to set a direction.

starpathmontana's picture

Yes, as I practiced che gom & jok gom with this verse & your teaching on it, that was what I experienced in that moment. Since then, I have noticed how strong my attachments are in some areas & also have been able to release more of my clinging in others. I'm also aware of how each verse builds on the next & seems to be taking us deeper.

starpathmontana's picture

What is Anais Nin's quote from?
Like without attachment is delight, a shift in perception brings dislike to clarity & purified indifference is non thought. Thanks for verbalizing the discomfort that arises when stepping out of the family system's way of interaction & yet still remaining compassionately & lovingly in the family. I have been hanging out/teetering on that limb for some time now. Your discussion of this verse of Ngulchu Thogme Zangpo's is helpful to this old but very young aspiring bodhisattva.

anne conn's picture

The diary of Anais Nin: 1931-1934, Vol 1. Bottom of page 142.

starpathmontana's picture

Thanks for the information. My books of Anais Nin burned in a fire a number of years ago & I had forgotten them until this quote. It seems like a good place to pick up re-reading her.

Ken McLeod's picture

The point of "leaving our homeland" is to give ourselves a chance to find a way of experiencing life without being confused by the three poisons, attraction, aversion, and indifference. Because of the depth of family conditioning in most of us, to find this way, we need to separate from the family system, and that is the essential meaning of "leave your homeland". This doesn't mean we have to cut off relations with our family (though many cults force people to do just that). However, we do need to be willing to experience the discomfort that arises when we step out of the family system's way of interaction.

Again, these lines can be interpreted literally and/or poetically.

mobrien17's picture

After listening three times to this verse, I am still confused. Are you saying that we can leave our homeland through practicing one of the three experiences, i.e. loving kindness, or we let go of all three. Mary O'Brien

meditatortoo's picture

Hi carole,
The problem could be the web browser that you are using. If you can access more than one web browser you might find for instance 'firefox' will provide a platform for this video whilst 'explorer' doesn't. You are not alone in experiencing access difficulties, I am not that technical, so cannot help you beyond this suggestion.

carole.milligan's picture

Thanks for your suggestion. I was using Firefox earlier and just now and the problem seems to have disappeared.

carole.milligan's picture

No video available here either.

kentc33's picture

Dear Carole,
If you're using Flashblock with either Firefox or Google Chrome,
then try disabling it and restarting your browser.
Blessings, Kent