A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night: A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life

Overview

Compassion is the guiding principle of the bodhisattvas, those who vow to attain enlightenment in order to liberate all sentient beings from the suffering and confusion of imperfect existence. To this end, they must renounce all self-centered goals and consider only the well-being of others. The bodhisattvas' enemies are the ego, passion, and hatred; their weapons are generosity, patience, perseverance, and wisdom.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is considered to be a living...

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Overview

Compassion is the guiding principle of the bodhisattvas, those who vow to attain enlightenment in order to liberate all sentient beings from the suffering and confusion of imperfect existence. To this end, they must renounce all self-centered goals and consider only the well-being of others. The bodhisattvas' enemies are the ego, passion, and hatred; their weapons are generosity, patience, perseverance, and wisdom.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is considered to be a living embodiment of this spiritual ideal. His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama presents here a detailed manual of practical philosophy, based on The Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicharyavatara), a well-known text of Mahayana Buddhism written by Shantideva. The Dalai Lama explains and amplifies the text, alluding throughout to the experience of daily life and showing how anyone can develop bodhichitta, the wish for perfect enlightenment for the sake of others. This book will surely become a standard manual for all those who wish to make the bodhisattva ideal a living experience.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Dalai Lama, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, delivered this teaching and commentary on Shantideva's The Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicharyavatara Sutra) for Westerners in a week-long instruction in Dordogne, France. Those who take the bodhisattva path promise to work toward attaining enlightenment and Buddhahood for the liberation of all sentient beings. The path thus involves the renunciation of self-centered goals and demands generosity, purification, attentiveness, patience, and wisdom. On many levels, the book is splendid as both an introduction to Buddhist spirituality and an explication of Shantideva for contemporary Westerners. Recommended for all libraries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877739715
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/1994
  • Series: Dragon Editions Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 141
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is considered the foremost Buddhist leader of our time. The exiled spiritual head of the Tibetan people, he is a Nobel Peace Laureate, a Congressional Gold Medal recipient, and a remarkable teacher and scholar who has authored over one hundred books.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Translators' Note
Introduction: The Way of the Bodhisattva 1
1 The Benefits of Bodhichitta 9
2 Offering and Purification 20
3 Embracing Bodhichitta 30
4 Carefulness 35
5 Attentiveness 40
6 Patience 52
7 Endeavor 75
8 Meditative Concentration 88
9 Wisdom 114
10 Dedication 124
Notes 127
Glossary 131
Bibliography 137
Index 139
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