Apr 23, 2015 –
Venerable Thubten Chodron gives commentary on Chapter 6 of the Indian sage Shantideva’s classic text, A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. All teachings will be streamed live on Facebuda. Contact puebla [at] tergar [dot] org for information.
When others harm us, we usually respond with anger and the wish to carry out vengeance. Shantideva counsels us to do the exact opposite—to cultivate compassion for our enemies, and to rejoice in the opportunity to purify our past negative actions. By practicing in this way, we develop the loving heart of fortitude, an essential quality for bodhisattvas or great beings who have made the commitment to become enlightened for the benefit of all beings.
The Buddha taught many ways to transform adversities into opportunities for spiritual growth, and Shantideva describes them completely in A Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, a revered Mahayana Buddhist text written in India around 700 CE. Its ten chapters outline the development of bodhicitta, the awakened heart that seeks the liberation and enlightenment of all beings.
This series of teachings covers a variety of Buddhist methods for working with disturbing emotions that arise when we are faced with difficulties, not by falling into depression or striking out at the world, but by framing the situation differently. No matter what our religion, learning to work with adverse situations is essential for all beings.