An intensive seminar on view and practices of Mahayana Buddhism, based in part on Shantideva's classic work The Bodhicharyavatara. Begins with the transition of hinayana to mahayana: being gentle toward oneself and reducing discursive thoughts in meditation awakens "bodhichitta", "awakened heart." Core teaching of mahayana as the six paramitas -- generosity, discipline, patience, exertion, meditation, and wisdom or prajna. All qualities already inherent in us. Special focus on discipline paramita, controlling one's mind and sense perceptions, not taking a break. Final paramita of prajna, or "discriminating awareness wisdom", described as knowing what to boycott, what to cultivate. According to Shantideva, "bodhisattva ideal" is taking a journey that does not run away from challenges. Involves raising twofold bodhichitta, relative and absolute. Relative is developing sympathy, relaxation within oneself and generating to others. Absolute as experiencing mind beyond discursive thoughts. Bodhisattva vow is expanding vision beyond one's immediate circle to include everyone. Final topic is tonglen, "sending and taking", meditation practice that takes in suffering of others, gives out goodness. Mahayana as putting "this", oneself, together with "that", other, in mutual egolessness. Extensive QandA of concluding talk defines prajna in depth, razor-like clarity that boycotts all unnecessary situations and activities, the latter the definitions of samsara, which prajna destroys.
This seminar was co-taught with the Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin, who gave talks 2, 4, 6, and 8. To listen to the Vajra Regent's talks from this seminar, copy and paste the following link into your browser: https://www.vajraregent.org/?current_event=612