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Shantideva: Way of the Bodhisattva (The Bodhicaryavatara)

These four sessions 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!

Whether you are a seasoned Buddhist practitioner or simply curious, you will gain benefit from learning and applying what Shantideva teaches.

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.

Four Sundays in June and July from 10 am to 12 noon 

June 7       Chapter 3 – “Taking Hold of Bodhicitta”

How do we take hold of Bodhicitta, the Awakened Heart? The focus here will be on making everything we do, say and think be our offerings of altruistic intention for the betterment of all sentient beings. From this perspective, we are always engaged with living our lives through the lens of interconnectedness. This provides a paradigm shift of “Just Us” where we truly resonate with all of life. From this perspective we can truly begin to serve others. Together we will explore how this chapter is particularly appropriate for our lives today.

June 21       Chapter 6 – “Patience or Forbearance: Part 1”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has stated that this chapter contains all the teachings of Buddhism! This chapter presents the paramita of patience as it extends beyond lifetimes. We learn so many more manifestations of patience through looking with a sharp lens at some of the most challenging situations life produces. Shantideva addresses anger, hatred, suffering, and how to cultivate virtue when those qualities arise. We will explore how to reframe negativity into a positive light and be gracious, even happy, that challenges have arisen, as they give us a chance to skillfully apply the transformational tools the dharma provides, regardless of the outer causes and conditions. In doing so, negativity can come to fruition into an awakened heart, embracing, even deepening our experience of interconnection and healing.

July 5       Chapter 6 – “Patience or Forbearance: Part 2”

Description to come

July 19       Chapter 10 – “Dedication”

Description to come

Cost: Sliding scale donation $40 to $80 per class, or $150-200 for the series

Location: Online on Zoom. You will be sent the Zoom links before the sessions.



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 in prison ministry. 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.




June 21
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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Online via Zoom