The Way of the Bodhisattva

by Shantideva | Shambhala © 2006 · 361 pages

The Way of the Bodhisattva is one of the classics of Buddhism that teaches us the key elements of the Bodhisattva—one who has dedicated his or her life to serving the world and releasing all sentient beings from suffering. In this Note, we’ll check out the importance of cultivating bodhichitta (an “awakened mind”) and how we can do it. (Hint: It’s all about “diligence in virtuous ways”! :)

The Way of the Bodhisattva is one of the great classics of the Mahāyāna, the Buddhism of the great vehicle. Presented in the form of a personal meditation, but offered in friendship to whoever might be interested, it is an exposition of the path of the Bodhisattvas—those beings who, turning aside from the futility and sufferings of samsāra, nevertheless renounce the peace of an individual salvation and vow to work for the deliverance of all beings and to attain the supreme enlightenment of Buddhahood for their sake. As such, Shāntideva’s work embodies a definition of compassion raised to its highest power and minutely lays out the methods by which this is to be achieved. It is an overwhelming demonstration of how concern for others, in a love that wholly transcends desire and concern for self, lies at the core of all true spiritual endeavor and is the very heart of enlightened wisdom.”

~ from the Introduction to The Way of the Bodhisattva

The Way of the Bodhisattva.

This is one of the most treasured gems of Buddhism.

In the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, “If I have any understanding of compassion and the practice of the bodhisattva path, it is entirely on the basis of this text that I possess it.”

In this Note we’re going to take a quick look at some of my favorite Big Ideas and see how we can apply them to our 21st century lives.

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About the author



8th Century Indian Buddhist monk