Equalizing and Exchanging Self for Other

What better day than today on Halloween to practice Bodhicitta? But no trick or treat, rather, treat and treat! The other classic method of cultivating Bodhicitta is more expedient than the seven-step method talked about in our last post. Nevertheless, it is harder as it seems we are giving everything away. Actually, we are gaining enlightenment! It is called, Equalizing and Exchanging Self for Other. The wisdom of emptiness reduces and eliminates ego grasping and self-cherishing so that our ego is not more important than others, but without putting ourselves down, allowing us to start exchanging self-cherishing for cherishing others. We begin feeling that others’ lives are as important to them as ours are to us. As a group, others are more important than just one me. Exchanging self for other means to cherish others as we do ourself, like a mother cherishes her only child. She will sacrifice everything, even her life if necessary, for her child. We practice taking all the suffering of others away from them and into ourself with the inbreath. With the outbreath we give all our merits, virtue, and joy to others. This is the tonglen practice. Fathoming the depth of this practice can be overwhelming. Step by step.