This series will also be webcast on our Livestream channel,.
Location: Awakening Vajra Retreat House. White Rd. The shuttle will leave for the Retreat House at pm. After the class, the shuttle will return you to the parking lot on White Road.
This class is suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. All are welcome.
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The Bodhicharyavatara is one of the most influential Buddhist Mahayana texts ever written. Shantideva was a famous scholar and yogi of India in the 8th century. He was born as a prince in the family of King Kalyanavarman. He was born as a bodhisattva type of person and was always very helpful, trying to benefit anyone he met.
Manual Shantidevas Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life: Chapter 8; Concentration
He was also a diligent student and extremely well versed in both science and literature. Shantideva was a royal prince. After his father passed away, he was supposed to be enthroned as new King. But the day before he was to be enthroned, he had a dream in which he saw a big throne.
How can we two sit on the same seat? When Shantideva woke up from the dream, he understood that he was not supposed to become a king. Instead, he fled his Kingdom, leaving everything behind. This is how great master Shantideva was born. In Nalanda, Shantideva preferred to study and practice secretly, always alone and never showing off. The next step is unambiguous:. Here Shantideva evokes a tradition preceding Buddhism, namely the forest hermit of classical Hinduism.
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Such an evocation more strongly resonates with a universal eremitism common to India and easily extrapolated than with a strictly sectarian Tibetan Mahayana. He speaks of a new and free life with "just a begging bowl and a few posessions," dressed in ragged garments. Shantideva even refers to the frequenting charnal grounds, a favorite image of ascetic India. But it is the forest that most compels him.
The chapter reflects on the sources of transience, to the repulsiveness of lust and desire, before returning to the positive images of the path that lies before the narrator. Such a view seems perplexing to contemporary Western ears, including some informed by Buddhism. Understanding ideas often seems not to have this liberating effect. David Burton puts the problem well, in terms of his personal experience:. I do not seem to be ignorant about the impermanence of entities. I appear to understand that entities have no fixed essence and that they often change in disagreeable ways.
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I seem to understand that what I possess will fall out of my possession. I apparently accept that all entities must pass away. And I seem to acknowledge that my craving causes suffering. Yet I am certainly not free from craving and attachment. How, then, might one preserve the common Buddhist claim that knowledge of the three characteristics of existence [i. Burton , Burton explores several potential hypotheses to resolve his question.
This point is reinforced elsewhere in the text; as we have seen, his most famous metaphysical argument, on the equivalence of self and other BCA VIII. References given are to chapter and verse numbers. NE Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics.
Guide to Bodhisattva
History and Works a. He warns that anger leads to suffering in the hell realms far greater than the suffering that originally provoked the anger: If suffering merely here and now cannot be endured, why is anger, the cause of distress in hell, not restrained? MacIntyre , To deny that suffering should be prevented at all, in other words, is to argue in bad faith: anyone who makes such a claim does not really believe it.
Having imagined oneself from the viewpoint of an envious inferior, one then imagines the inverse viewpoint of a contemptuous superior: We joyous ones see him finally mistreated, and the mocking laughter of all the people here and there. David Burton puts the problem well, in terms of his personal experience: I do not seem to be ignorant about the impermanence of entities. Burton , 31 Burton explores several potential hypotheses to resolve his question. References and Further Reading a.
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Translations Cited Bendall, Cecil. Crosby, Kate, and Andrew Skilton. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wallace, Vesna A. Alan Wallace, eds. A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion. Clayton, Barbra. London and New York: RoutledgeCurzon.
Cooper, David E. Ethics: The Classic Readings. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Dayal, Har. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Griffiths, Paul J. Gyatso, Geshe Kelsang. London: Tharpa Publications. Harvey, Peter. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. Lele, Amod. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Harvard University. Mahoney, Richard. University of Canterbury.