During this talk, Robert Lockridge, a dharma teacher in the Kwan Um school of Korean Zen, describes the four vows for fulfilling the Bodhisattva ideal: “Sentient beings are numberless; we vow to save them all. Delusions are endless; we vow to cut through them all. The teachings are infinite; we vow to learn them all. The Buddha way is inconceivable; we vow to attain it.” A discussion of the application of the vows follows.
This discussion explores the development of service in Buddhism from the time of Anathapindika, who organized the first Buddhist monastery, through the Bodhisattva Ideal, to present opportunities for service. Three points were discussed: the importance of regular meditation practice and the cultivation of samadhi; the supporting of and support from the Sangha; and matching our personal skills and experience with appropriate opportunities to provide service for others. We also emphasized that service can include being a cheerful, unintrusive presence as well as volunteering to sit with a dying person.