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Buddhist Studies

Fall 2019: The Bodhisattva Path

Taught by Michael and Joen O’Neal

A bodhisattva is a being whose life-energy is directed toward awakening for the benefit of all.

Dainin Katagiri-roshi once said, “All beings, without exception, are bodhisattvas.” Just as a plant naturally turns toward the sun, we naturally turn toward aliveness, with a heart that is concerned for the well-being of others as well as ourselves.

Our bodhisattva nature, however, is often obscured and underdeveloped. Zen practice is fundamentally about how to support our nature as bodhisattvas.

Traditionally, six interlocking practices, called the Paramitas, or Perfections, are seen as the path of a bodhisattva. These six are generosity, ethical discipline, patience, enthusiastic effort, meditative stabilization, and transcendental wisdom.

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This course will explore how the bodhisattva path is cultivated through the six paramitas. We will study just what each of the paramitas refers to, both conceptually and in terms of practice. We will also see how we can integrate paramita practice into our daily lives, helping to bring alive our bodhisattva nature.

The course will include meditation, lecture, and discussion. Our texts will be The World Could Be Otherwise: Imagination and the Bodhisattva Path by Norman Fischer and The Six Perfections: Buddhism and the Cultivation of Character by Dale Wright. 

Course description (PDF)

Registration Information

Wednesdays, September 25 – November 13 (eight sessions) (#B91)

7:00-9:00 P.M.

$185 (members $165) (includes course texts)

Member rates apply to members of all local Buddhist centers. Reduced fees are offered as needed; please contact the Center at (612) 781-7640.

Enrollment for classes is limited, and early registration is encouraged. You may print and mail a registration form or register online.

Printable registration form (PDF) to print and mail.

Register online. The classes are listed in the Program Fees section of the online form.

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