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37 Practices of the Bodhisattva with Ken McLeod - Introduction

Ken McLeod

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Ken McLeod, known for his ability to shine light on the most subtle and difficult of dharma teachings (see his Tricycle Retreat and essay on the Ganges Mahamudra if in doubt) will lead us in an exploration of the 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva. Based in Los Angeles, Ken is the executive director of Unfettered Mind, "a place for those whose path in practice lies outside established centers and institutions."

Ken's down-to-earth commentary on the 37 Practices will be of value to practitioners of all traditions. Questions? Ask Ken below!

37 Practices of the Bodhisattva Introduction

You who see that experience has no coming or going,
Yet pour your energy solely into helping beings,
My excellent teachers and Lord All Seeing,
I humbly and constantly honor with my body, speech, and mind.

The fully awake, the buddhas, source of joy and well-being,
All come from integrating the noble Way.
Because integration depends on your knowing how to practice,
I will explain the practice of all bodhisattvas.

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two_bells_singing's picture

Very glad I finally found this and was able to hear it from the beginning. Thank you.

cobham's picture

I'm afraid I'm with Dogen on this, as my experience is like this: the texture of the flag flowing in a mild wind catches my eye - my mind feels as one with the texture of the fluidity of the movement - the movement of fluidity in the external world matches the movement of fluidity in the internal world - it feels as if there is no difference between the internal and the external - like attracted to like
How do you experience nothing moving in the middle of movement? I genuinely would love to know : )

mralexander99's picture

Go to the eye of the hurricane (i.e. experience).

steve.condry's picture

I get his face as a still photo on the screen, but the video does not go forward.

Anyone have a solution?

Ken McLeod's picture

Sorry about the audio problems. It seems to vary from person to person. I do have a soft voice, and for that reason, we set up the mike very carefully.

ShelleyRenee's picture

Thank you so much, Mr. McLeod, for this teaching series. I'm looking forward to Part 3, and learning more about how I can apply these teachings in my daily life.

lashamrock's picture

When is the second installment of this series?

I thought it would be this week, the week of the 10th, and I only find the introduction again.

Thank you, Dina

Sam Mowe's picture

The second installment (which is actually Verse 1) can be found here:

starkravin's picture

Clear diction and on my computer there is no "hum" in the background. The techie problems must be local.
Looking forward to the next 37 weeks Ken. CJ

drlizhulsizer's picture

Mind of the great sage of India? Or conditioned mind? Is there a difference? Are they the same? Who could decipher this? And where does anything move to or from? It seems when you meet the Master all of this is still and falls away. The breath moves the lungs who moves the breath? Nothing is standing still or moving.
Everything arises and falls apart over and over again...befuddled? Baffled? Anyway love the talk Ken. Hard to hear though. What is the importance of the homages in everyday life now? Do they settle the mind? help relax the agitations? Liz

Brad_Isaacson's picture

Yes, ultimately nothing moves because there is no-thing. As Hui Neng said, "From the first, not a thing is!" However, was Dogen (or Hui Neng) wrong in saying that mind moves (only [sic])? From a middling understanding one could accurately say that only mind moves recognizing the emptiness of "things" one could then say that the appearance, and therefore, the imputation onto the experience of movement is manufactured by the mind (small 'm') and thus the mind moves. This is the middling point of view because one is still caught in a limited experience of emptiness where one has tasted emptiness but has yet to fully realize it to the point of not only no thing, but no self and no division between the experiece, the experiencer and that which is experienced. Truly no mind-no thing is the resident understanding in the ultimate realization. So, Ken, was Dogen/Hui Neng wrong? Yes/no is the answer.

Michael Jaquish's picture

Thank you so much for sharing your considerable insight into these important issues with us, Ken. There is much to ponder here.

Marcella's picture

This was a lovely, gentle introduction and a teaching in itself. I had no problem hearing or understanding Ken and am grateful for his thoughtful presence.

kentc33's picture

"It is your mind that moves" was not Dogen but Hui-neng, the Sixth Zen Patriarch, in the Mumonkan,
case 29. Does the term "mind" refer to mind essence or to mind function?

Philip Ryan's picture

Thanks, kentc33. This episode also appears in the Platform Sutra. Ken and I spoke about this misstatement of his immediately after filming, and he decided to let it stand, but thanks for pointing it out!

Philip Ryan's picture

Hello commenters, thanks for your input. Ken speaks softly, but his diction (?) is fine, thank you. We;ll work on the audio hum going forward.

worthmoremusic's picture

diction...diction and better audio...please. _/\_

bilden's picture

No doubt this material is important, as are Ken's insights and comments concerning it. However, the audio quality is really sub-par (at least to my ear). Ken's words are not very distinct and an ever-present hum underscores everything. Can anything be done to rectify this? I hope this comment will be considered helpful and not critical (which it is not meant to be).

sschroll's picture

I agree, I agree....had a hard time understanding what he was saying and thought it was my hearing lose. I changed the hearing aids and still had a hard time

bodhi143's picture