Bodhisattva Path and Vow Ceremony, Boulder, CO, Nov. 4, 2015

Length: 1 hr 15 min; Format: audio; Recording Quality: Excellent.

Rinpoche speaks on the Path of the Bodhisattva, and confers the Bodhisattva Vow, at Nalandabodhi Boulder.

Version 1 (recorded by Nalandabodhi)

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Version 2 (recorded by Rinpoche; conferral of vows has been removed)

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Bodhisattva is the main teaching of the Mahayana tradition, but it is found in all the teachings of the Buddha. Bodhisattva is one who has made a commitment to work for the benefit of others. A Bodhisattva does not have to be a Buddhist. One needs the Bodhisattva’s aspirations i.e. Bodhicitta ( enlightened heart and mind). In a practical sense Bodhicitta is compassion ( relative Bodhicitta) imbued with wisdom ( ultimate Bodhicitta).

Wanting peace, happiness and joy for myself and others, who are like me in not knowing how to get there. There are 2 ways or paths:

  1. Naturally becoming
  2. Training on the path of the Bodhisattva. This includes practicing all 3 yanas together ( vinaya precept, including taking refuge, Bodhisattva vows and Vajrayana empowerment)

16.30 Story of Buddha Shakyamuni, and how he first became a Bodhisattva, or liberated himself     from helldom ( task of dragging a chariot)

21.00 4 kinds of limitlessnesses

  1. All beings to be free from suffering
  2. To be free from any kind of suffering and the causes of suffering
  3. Highest level of happiness and joy for all
  4. All beings completely free of suffering, and having joy and peace for all the time.

Easy to wish compassion for those who are near and dear, but not so easy for those who are harming us. Think of the person we are most grateful for eg. mother. Thinking of life after life anyone could have been your mother. Point of view is that since everybody is exactly like myself, as I have the right to be happy and free from suffering , so do all.

If I am unkind, if you look deeply, it is me who is going to suffer. There is no other way than to become more kind and compassionate.With this understanding it is easier to be kind to those eg, enemies with whom it has been more difficult. The view that I have been kind but there is a limit, is from a misunderstanding.

45.0 Anger itself is your punishment making you unhappy and disturbed. In the same way compassion itself is your reward. Through training not I but we is a natural feeling. Animals , people who make sacrifices for family, loved ones, country- Why? Because we think it’s ’we’, we are one together.

If the majority understand that to be kind and compassionate is good, then we will become that kind of society. There is no other way. Whatever system or rules you make can be broken or misused.

Vow is that as buddhas and bodhisattvas have trained on this path, so also will I. what we call an enlightened person is nothing but awakening, with wisdom and compassion. Our compassion and wisdom is limited, and we need to develop that. Compassion as the opposite of all negative emotions/kleshas.

5 negative emotions:

  1. Anger, hatred
  2. Greed, attachment, clinging
  3. Jealousy
  4. Arrogance, pride, selfishness
  5. Confusion, ignorance

Wisdom as the opposite of ignorance. The root cause of ignorance is self centeredness/dualistic view. Compassion and wisdom are like the 2 wings of a bird.

1.17 Two systems:

1) Manjushri take one vow with aspiration. There are 2 stages, a)aspiration Bodhicitta- aspire and focus on result/wish ,and b)action Bodhicitta actually act ( eg . helping, giving observing precepts) and focus on cause.

2)  Maitreya Separate aspiration and action vows, more elaborate.

View is of inviting all other beings to enlightenment, I will not stop until that happens.

Summary by DS


Ringu Tulku RinpocheWhen we talk of the bodhisattva vow in Buddhism, we talk about extending our arms and our hearts outward, about reaching out to the whole world and embracing all, without exception. We talk about truly seeing the ones standing before us and loving them deeply, just as they are, even with their many faults. It’s a path of practice and study and right action in our lives.

The Bodhisattva vow is the vow taken by Mahayana Buddhists to attain enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. Shantideva explains that the Bodhisattva vow in the Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra:

Just as all the previous Sugatas, the Buddhas generated the mind of enlightenment
And accomplished all the stages of the Bodhisattva training,
So will I too, for the sake of all beings, generate the mind of enlightenment
And accomplish all the stages of the Bodhisattva training

Date/Time:  Wednesday, November 4, 6 pm register / 6:30 meditation / 7 pm talk

Cost: $25 plus teacher’s gift for those taking the vow.


Seating is limited to 65 people so please register in advance for the evening.

more information and registration …