Enlightened Aspiration

Enlightened aspiration is the vow or commitment to dedicate one’s thoughts and activities to serving all beings without any selfish motivation. The power of such a vow ignites the flame of passion and commitment in oneself, lasting not only for this lifetime but for all successive lives until the attainment of buddhahood. Such an attitude must be observed by all “the seekers of enlightenment.” If people are followers of the mahayana path, they must be “seekers of enlightenment,” and whatever they are thinking or doing, they must be thinking and doing it with pure intention and total dedication.

One sees all beings as loving beings, like one’s own loving mother, and makes the commitment or vow to take responsibility to serve them with the strength of one’s compassion and loving-kindness. Such meditators put this intention into real practice by turning every activity of their lives—big or small—into the service of others from the depth of their hearts. Whether they are doing meditation, saying prayers, cleaning the house, giving a piece of bread to a hungry person, or even just entering a city or waking up in the morning, they will be doing it with the intention to serve others directly or indirectly with pure love. Then the whole of life will transform into a life of true love and wisdom, a source of pure joy and peace for oneself and others.