Week of

A Very Gradual Process

The first stage of development, or the first bhumi, on the bodhisattva path is described in the scriptures as a state in which you have drunk half a cup of tea and still have half left. You have selected the tea, brewed it, tasted it, and begun to drink it, but you still have not drunk the whole cup of tea. You still have to drink the other half of the cup, which takes ten steps, ten bhumis, to complete! And then, you must also clean your cup and put it back where it belongs.

The ten stages of the path toward enlightenemnt should be regarded as landmarks, points of reference on a map, rather than as events to be celebrated, such as a birthday or a graduation. There are no medals for achievement on the bodhisattva path. It is frivolous to ask what stage or bhumi you are in or to develop courses aimed at achieving the various levels. It is a very gentle, very gradual process.

From  The Myth of Freedom: and the Way of Meditation, pages 138 and 141.

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