To make the Bodhisattva’s vow on a daily basis, brings a sense of energising purpose.
One tries not to feel anything but humble in this endeavour toward the goal of relieving suffering from all sentient beings.
It is a catch-22 though, as one feels humility and awe for the Great Masters and Buddhas who have succeeded, as well as sometimes feeling afraid of offending them by being self-confident.
We all have the same inherent Buddha-nature, and one needs to step out of this clockwork and routine comfort-zone and actually pursue the Spirit of Enlightenment.
It is ideal to discuss Buddhist concepts, and also to discuss the trappings of organised religions.
One needs to follow what feels right for you.
I am absolutely earnestly working towards becoming a Bodhisattva. I do what I can as a householder, and have grown tremendously, truthfully more so in the last 4 years studying Buddhism than the previous 40-odd years as a Christian. However, I am put off of attending a Temple, just as much as I never attended a Church.
One takes deeper meanings of sacred texts and incorporates a gradual change in thinking and behaviour. It certainly cannot happen overnight, and definitely adaptation into daily living is markedly slower when one is studying and practicing alone. Input from other minds, however well-meant, cannot be applied if it doesn’t “fit”.
I read an article recently about how Masters cannot be expected to teach what they know for free, as they have living expenses. I noticed at the Nan Hua Buddhist Temple how the week-long Pure Land Retreat was handled, and due to the language barrier (Chinese) and the fact that it was a “silent” retreat, I was unable to obtain the best view or deeper insights, and I have learnt that, anyway, The Buddha taught to learn the Way for oneself.
To come back to being the best I can be (that is, a Bodhisattva), to relieve my suffering, and that of those nearest and dearest, as well as the entire planet’s inhabitants, and on to the Multiverse’s sentient beings; I do my best to behave with loving-kindness always, and practice Tonglen as often as I can.
I am excited at the possibilities for my being the change and for really helping others achieve liberation, and I say this with no inflated ego, and no expectation of recognition or any ulterior motives whatsoever.
May all beings experience happiness and the causes for happiness.