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Since we are going to conduct a ceremony of generating Bodhicitta or the mind of enlightenment, I feel that, regardless of whether we are able to actually develop a true aspiration for the attainment of full enlightenment, for the benefit of all sentient beings, what is most important is to develop the resolve and determination that today, at this place, on this occasion, we will make a pledge to enhance our capacity for warm-heartedness and develop a genuinely altruistic mind, aspiring to help other sentient beings.

Sometimes, because of our human nature, it can be very effective to participate in a group ceremony like this with other fellow human beings, saying prayers and reciting verses together, with a strong determination to develop a kind heart. A sheet of paper with three verses has been distributed, and the recitation of these verses is the actual ceremony of generating Bodhicitta.

I will briefly explain the meaning of these three verses. The first verse is a formula for taking Refuge in The Three Jewels - the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. By reciting this verse, you are mentally seeking Refuge in The Three Jewels and developing faith based on admiration and appreciation for the deeper qualities of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. In a sense, you are emulating the example; just as they have become fully enlightened, you also aspire for that state of enlightenment. Then you state the objective, which is to be of service to all other sentient beings and that you are seeking Buddhahood.


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