Discovering Buddhism

How to Develop Bodhicitta

“The most precious mind of all, that which cherishes all beings, can become a genuine part of our life, a real gut feeling that motivates us in everything we do, and not just a vague wish.”

–Geshe Tashi Tsering, The Awakening Mind

After spending some time considering how the spiritual path can bring joy and peace to our lives, we may notice the countless living beings all around us who also want to be happy and free from problems. Steadying our love and compassion, we may ask what we can do to bring joy to others, and to help them with their troubles. According to Mahayana Buddhism, the answer is straightforward, though not easy: attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings. A mind focused on that goal is called bodhicitta.

Delve deeply into the rich topic of bodhicitta with Gus Cutz as he takes you through the step-by-step instructions on how to kindle a vague wish to help others so that it becomes the blazing mind of enlightenment. Gain clarity on often-confused concepts, such as the differences between self-esteem and self-cherishing, equanimity and indifference, compassion and pity, and bodhicitta and compassion. Learn beginner techniques and advanced aspirations, including meditating on exchanging self for others and the 18 bodhisattva vows. Cultivating bodhicitta makes our lives meaningful, and it is at the very heart of the Buddha’s teachings!

This is the tenth of 14 modules in the Discovering Buddhism series. Students may join at any point in the cycle. Discovering Buddhism was designed for students interested in deepening their understanding of fundamental Buddhist concepts, and provides an experiential taste of the Buddha’s teachings and the skills we need to make our lives most meaningful. Each module includes teachings, meditations, readings, discussions, and a short retreat. For more information on the Discovering Buddhism program, please click here.