In Mahayana schools of Buddhism, a bodhisattva is a person who practices not only for their own transformation, but also to help relieve the suffering of all beings. Reciting the Bodhisattva Vows of Mahayana Zen Buddhism can help practitioners water their aspiration to cultivate a mind of love and continue their practice—even through difficulties. The following is Thay’s translation of the Bodhisattva Vows, reflecting the essence of Plum Village teachings:
The awakened way is unsurpassable; I vow to embody it.
However innumerable beings are, I vow to meet them with kindness and interest.
However inexhaustible the states of suffering are, I vow to touch them with patience and love.
However immeasurable the Dharmas are, I vow to explore them deeply.
However incomparable the mystery of interbeing, I vow to surrender to it freely.