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Review of Chapter Five: “Guarding Alertness”

95 Engaging in the Bodhisattva’s Deeds

Part of an ongoing series of teachings based on Shantideva’s classic text, Bodhisattvacharyavatara, often translated as Engaging in the Bodhisattva’s Deeds. Venerable Thubten Chodron also refers to the outline of the commentary by Gyaltsab Dharma Rinchen and the commentary by the Abbot Dragpa Gyaltsen.

  • Brief overview of chapters 1-4
  • Verse 1: Guarding the mind with mindfulness and introspective awareness
  • Verse 2: The problems caused by the untamed mind
  • Verse 3: Binding the mind with the rope of mindfulness
  • Verses 4-5: Subduing the mind subdues fears
  • Verses 6-8: How miseries originate from the mind
  • Verses 9-17: All good qualities depend on the mind
  • Verses 19-20: Guarding the mind like guarding a wound
  • Verse 23: Always guard the mind with mindfulness and introspective awareness
  • Verses 24-28: The disadvantages of lacking introspective awareness
  • Verse 29: Recalling the suffering of the lower realms to reestablish mindfulness
  • Verse 34: Refraining from acting on afflictions
  • Verses 48-53: What it means to “remain like a piece of wood”
  • Verse 54: Applying remedial actions to keep the mind steady
  • Verses 55-56: Engaging in virtuous actions
  • Verse 57: Holding the mind steady with no sense of self
  • Questions and answers

95 Engaging in the Bodhisattva’s Deeds: Chapter 5 review (download)

Venerable Tenzin Tsepal

Venerable Tenzin Tsepal was first introduced to meditation in high school in the 1970s. While working as a dental hygienist in Seattle and hospital administration in Yakima, she practiced and attended retreats in the Vipassana tradition. In 1995, she found Dharma Friendship Foundation and teachings with Venerable Thubten Chodron. She attended the Life As A Western Buddhist Nun conference in India as a lay volunteer in 1996. Following a life-changing 3-month Vajrasattva retreat in 1998, Ven. Tsepal lived in Dharmsala, India for two years where she further explored the idea of monastic life. She received novice ordination as a Buddhist nun with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in March of 2001. After ordination, she was immersed in the full-time residential Buddhist Studies Program at Chenrezig Institute in Queensland, Australia, principally with Khensur Rinpoche and Geshe Tashi Tsering. As a qualified FPMT teacher, Ven. Tsepal was appointed the Western Teacher at Chenrezig Institute from 2004 to 2014, teaching the Discovering Buddhism series, tutoring for the general program and leading retreats. In 2015, she tutored three subjects for the FPMT Basic Program. Venerable Tsepal arrived at Sravasti Abbey in mid-January for the 2016 Winter Retreat. She joined the community in September 2016, and received Shiksamana training that October.

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