Bodhisattva vows – City retreat with Geshe Sherab
November 9, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - November 11, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
Shantidevas Bodhicaryavatara, or “Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life,” presented teachings on the bodhisattva path – and the cultivation of bodhichitta – that are remembered especially in Tibetan Buddhism, although they also belong to all of Mahayana. Shantideva was a monk and scholar who lived in India in the late 7th to early 8th centuries. Shantideva’s work includes a number of beautiful prayers that also are bodhisattva vows.
May I be a protector to those without protection,
A leader for those who journey,
And a boat, a bridge, a passage
For those desiring the further shore.
May the pain of every living creature
Be completely cleared away.
May I be the doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed.
There is no clearer explanation of the bodhisattva path than this.
A vow is a subtle invisible form on a mental continuum, which shapes behavior – and helps us to guard the actions of our body speech and mind.
Of the two stages of developing bodhichitta – aspiring and engaged – only with the latter do we take the bodhisattva vows.Taking bodhisattva vows entails promising to restrain from two sets of negative acts that Buddha prohibited for those training as bodhisattvas – to reach awakening – and to be of as much benefit to others as is possible. The promise to keep bodhisattva vows applies not only to this life, but also to each subsequent lifetime until enlightenment. Thus, as subtle forms, these vows continue on our mental continuums into future lives.
Bodhisattva vows are an expression of bodhicitta. Bodhi means “awakening” or what we call “enlightenment.” Citta is a word for “mind” that is sometimes translated “heart-mind” because it connotes an emotive awareness rather than intellect.
- Geshe Sherab speaks excellent english – understands and connects very well with Western students – presenting the Dharma in English in an accessible, warm and open manner.
- Geshe Thubten Sherab was born in 1967 in a small village in the province of Manang, the western part of Nepal. He entered Kopan Monastery and has completed his Geshe studies at Sera Je monastery in South India, followed by a year at Gyumed Tantric College. He then completed retreat and teaching assignments both in the U.S. and Asia. He served as Head Master of Kopan Monastery’s school for four years, overseeing debate training and tantric training activities.