The following story recounts in brief some of the events in the life of the great bodhisattva Shantideva. It is a paraphrase of sections from the Life Stories of the Lineage Teachers of the Steps of the Path (Lam-rim bla-ma brgyud-pa'i rnam-thar) written by Yongdzin Yeshe Gyeltsen (1713-1793), the teacher of the eighth Dalai Lama.
This second course of the ACI In-Depth Course Series presents the entire chapter on “the art of not getting angry,” or the chapter on patience (Chapter Six) from The Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhisattvacaryvatra), by Master Shantideva (c. 700 AD). This course is meant to give much more detail on this subject than the related original ACI course, Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Part Two (ACI Course XI), which covered somewhat less than half of this important chapter.
This Course is the first in a three part series based upon A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhisattvacharya Avatara) by Master Shantideva (700 AD), and the commentary Entry Point for Children of the Victorious Buddhas (Gyalse Juk-ngok) by Gyaltsab Je (1364-1432). Master Shantideva’s work is considered the best book ever written to learn how to live as a bodhisattva, and this is one of the most famous commentaries ever written; it has been translated into English for the first time for this course.
Topics include: An explanation of the perfection of wisdom; the purpose and benefit of realizing emptiness; how to perceive emptiness directly; proofs of emptiness; the two types of emptiness; the emptiness of the body; the emptiness of the mind; the emptiness of feelings; the emptiness of functioning things; the emptiness of the three elements; wrong ideas about emptiness; the meaning of illusion; dependent origination; the two truths; the nature of ultimate reality; wrong ideas we have about existence; kinds of mental afflictions; the six steps which produce all the pain in the world; the five heaps; the three types of compassion; the importance of requesting blessings; the importance of dedicating good deeds; and how to reach nirvana and enlightenment. It is recommended that you study Parts I & II prior to studying Part III.
Topics include: an explanation of the perfection of patience, the perfection of joyful effort, and the perfection of meditative concentration; the results of anger; how to make a habit of not getting angry; how joyous effort supports the other five perfections; obstacles to joyous effort; obstacles to meditation; how selfishness produces pain; reasons to treat others as well as yourself; the source of all the world's pain; compassion as a prerequisite for successful meditative concentration; meditation as a prerequisite for wisdom; where you, your world, and all of your experiences come from; and Buddha nature. It is recommended that you study Part I prior to studying Part II.
Topics include: the definition and types of bodhichitta, types of morality, types of vows, how bodhisattva vows are taken, an explanation of the eighteen root bodhisattva vows and forty-six secondary bodhisattva vows, the four factors needed to break bodhisattva root vows, how bodhisattva vows are broken, how bodhisattva vows are lost, how to keep your bodhisattva vows, how to restore your bodhisattva vows, and the benefits of keeping bodhisattva vows.
We thought it would be very helpful to create a collection of all the teachings and translations that Geshe Michael has done on Master Shantideva’s The Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. So what you’ll fiind here are all the links to all the courses Geshe Michael has taught on this text. In addition, we’ve also made two PDF collections by combining all of the course materials and transcripts. The links to download those are at the bottom of the page. Geshe Michael Began teaching The Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life in 1997 with the following three ACI courses: