A Summer Exploration through Shantideva’s Bodhiccaryavatara: A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life
As summer approaches us, we will experience this course as a five-week “road-trip retreat” visiting tools and skills Shantideva offers in his Buddhist classic A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, also known as the Bodhicharyavatara.
This text is one of the most loved and referenced texts in Mahayana Buddhism, and we will learn why!
Our journey will encompass the entire text—a text that in truth a warrants a lifetime of study—hence the road trip metaphor! We will visit each chapter and the precise tools and insights Shantideva offers us, presented in detail as to how you can integrate them into your daily lives. Whether you are a seasoned Buddhist practitioner or simply curious, you will benefit from learning and applying what Shantideva teaches.
The format of each session will be a presentation of materials first, followed with group discussion. We will be drawing from many translations of the Bodhicharyavatara, so if you have a version you like please bring it along. This text intersects closely with the Six Perfections and the Four Immeasurables as well, so we will also be revisiting on those cornerstones of the Bodhisattva path.
Session One, July 18th: Basic history and intro to the text; Chapter One, Two and Three: The Excellence of Bodhicitta, Taking Hold of and Generating Bodhicitta
Session Two, August 15th: Chapter Four and Five: Keeping our Bodhicitta intact!
Session Three, August 29th: Chapter Six, Patience: The Foundation for all to come. 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 Patience/Forbearance as it is explained in the text.
Session Four, September 12th: Chapters Seven, Eight and Nine: Increasing Bodhicitta for the benefit of all sentient beings!
Session Five, September 26th: Chapter: Ten: Dedication, Review, and Integration
Location: Online on Zoom. You will be sent the Zoom links before the sessions.
Dates and Time:
Sundays July 18, August 15, August 29, September 12, September 26
9:00 am – 12:30 pm Pacific
Cost and Registration:
Full series: Sliding scale donation $150 – $200. All Sessions are recorded if you have to miss one. REGISTER HERE FOR THE SERIES
Individual sessions: Sliding scale donation $35-$50. REGISTER HERE FOR THE AUGUST 15 SESSION
Please bring your own copy of the book A Guidebook to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, also known as the Bodhicharyavatara.
Teacher: Susan Shannon, M. Div. is a seeker, teacher, earth and animal steward, and devotee of the heart. She has worked in the fields of Emotional Literacy and Restorative Justice for over 20 years, incorporating over 45 years of Buddhist practice and study from the Tibetan tradition. She’s worked with various diverse populations all her life including inmates, Tibetan refugees, the homeless, the differently-abled, at-risk youth, and has served as the Buddhist Chaplain to the men in San Quentin State Prison and Death Row. She currently resides in the San Juan Islands where she writes, provides spiritual coaching and tends her land.