Beyond Archetypes

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Sustaining awakening

In looking at the bodhisattva figures as archetypes, we must also realize the artificial nature of archetypes. The archetypal aspects of the bodhisattva figures are helpful as patterns. We can feel a sense of what it might mean to behave as a bodhisattva ourselves by examining the fearless insight of Manjushri, the luminous activity of Samantabhadra, the unconditional generosity of Avalokiteshvara, the faithful witness of Jizo, the loving concern of Maitreya, the clever displays of Vimalakirti, and the selfless determination of Siddhartha Gautama. But all of their kindness and efforts are only real when we see the bodhisattva figures not as theoretical or mythological but as actualities expressed in our world.

Bodhisattvas are just around the corner

Bodhisattvas are great cosmic beings, helping us all to become bodhisattvas. Bodhisattvas are not who we think they are. Bodhisattvas are simply ordinary beings, making their way back to buddha. Bodhisattvas appear in the nooks and crannies of your life; soon you may start seeing them more clearly. Bodhisattvas are just around the corner. Bodhisattvas are wondrous beings, bestowing blessings on all confused, petty creatures. Bodhisattvas are living in your neighborhood, waiting to say "Good morning" to you. Bodhisattvas are just like you and me. Bodhisattvas are kind and gentle. Bodhisattvas are not who we think they are. Bodhisattvas are tough and indefatigable. Bodhisattvas are not limited to a handful of amazing figures or famous people. Bodhisattvas are not who we think they are. We cannot understand how wonderful bodhisattvas are. We are all bodhisattvas.