Bodhicharyavatara

7 August 2018
Berlin
Arne Schelling

The Bodhicharyavatara (“Introduction to the Way of a Bodhisattva”) is probably the best-known introductory text of the Mahayana path and an integral part of the curriculum of Tibetan monasteries. In this classic Mahayana text, the great Buddhist master Shantideva (8th century) explains the six paramitas, i.e. the six qualities that form the basis for a bodhisattva’s actions.

The ninth chapter of the Bodhicharyavatara is particularly famous because it explains the paramita of wisdom. In this chapter, Shantideva very succinctly describes the fundamentals of the philosophy of the Middle Way (Madhyamaka). In doing so, he explains the buddhist understanding of the two levels (or truths) of reality: relative or conventional truth, that is, how things appear, and absolute truth, that is, how things really are – namely, beyond all concepts of existence and non-existence.

In this study program, we apply these philosophical foundations taught by Shantideva around 1300 years ago to the reality of our lives today, and to practically understand their timeless significance.

  • The benefits of Bodhicitta – Chapter #1 – 5 sessions
  • Confession – Chapter #2 – 8 sessions
  • Full Acceptance of Bodhicitta – Chapter #3 – 3 sessions
  • Carefulness – Chapter #4 – 6 sessions
  • Vigilance – Chapter #5 – 11 sessions
  • Patience – Chapter #6 – 18 sessions
  • Enthusiasm – Chapter #7 – 1 session
  • Meditation on Bodhicitta – Chapter #8 – 3 sessions
  • Madhyamaka & The Essence of Wisdom – Chapter #9 – 10 sessions
  • Dedication, Sharing is Caring – Chapter #10 – 2 sessions

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