Selections from Shantideva’s The Way of the Bodhisattva: Precise Tools for Navigating these Challenging Times
This four-session course will introduce us to the tools Shantideva offers in the Buddhist classic The Bodhicharyavatara or The Way of the Bodhisattva. This text is one of the most loved and referenced texts in Buddhism, and we will learn why!
In these four sessions we will explore four chapters from this text, chapters that are particularly appropriate for our lives today. Whether you are a seasoned Buddhist practitioner or simply curious, you will gain benefit from learning and applying what Shantideva teaches. Though we hope you will attend the entire course, each session will be complete and contained within itself.
The format of each session will be a presentation of materials first, followed by group discussion.
Materials for each session will be provided. We will be drawing from many translations of the Bodhicharyavatara, so if you have a version you like please bring it along. Any and all are welcome.
This text intersects closely with the Six Perfections and the Four Brahmaviharas as well, so we will also be touching on those.
Session One: Basic history and intro to the text; Chapter One: “The Excellence of Bodhicitta” (Saturday, January 4 from 7 to 9 pm)
Session Two: Chapter Three: “Taking Hold of Bodhicitta” (date in April TBD)
Session Three: Chapter Six*: “Patience” (date in June TBD)
Session Four: Chapter Ten: “Dedication” (date in Sept TBD)
*Some great teachers say that Chapter Six contains all the teachings of the Buddha, and it is a great achievement indeed to dedicate one’s life to practice the Patience/Forbearance as it is explained in the text.
Cost: Sliding scale donation $40 to $80 per class
Led by Susan Shannon, M. Div, BCC
Rev. Susan Shannon has been a student and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism for 45 years, and has studied with many of Tibet’s greatest teachers here and abroad. Since being ordained as an Interfaith Minister and becoming a clinical chaplain, Susan’s ministry has been focused on transformational programs at San Quentin State Prison. Her work is rooted in the principals of restorative justice and emotional literacy, fostering interconnectedness and healthy community engagement. Susan has dedicated her life to the study of sacred Buddhist texts, in various languages as well, and especially loves bringing forth the wisdom of Shantideva’s The Way of the Bodhisattva to as many people as possible.