This is our ongoing long-term curriculum on H. H. Dalai Lama’s world initiatives (secular aspects detailed in Dan Goleman’s milestone Force for Good). Its broad vision can be gleaned from His Holiness’s “secular ethics” theory (Beyond Religion), His teachings of universal compassion and universal responsibility (Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night), His world religions’ collaboration appeals (Toward a True Kinship of Faiths), His call for an ethical revolution (Ethics for the New Millennium), His Nobel Peace Laureate for nonviolent activity in seeking a win-win solution for Tibet and China in the face of China’s ethnicidal policies (My Appeal to the World, and Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story), His dialogues with materialist scientists through American Institute of Buddhist Studies, Tibet House US, Mind and Life Institute, and the Emory Initiative (The Universe in a Single Atom), His “Science for Monks” program, and His opening the study of the esoteric Tantras through his 33 Kalachakra Grand Initiations.
The “root text” for the spring course is Shāntideva’s Way of the Bodhisattva, (WB) trans. Padmakara, along with R. Thurman’s meaning- yoga commentary Infinite Life (IL). Shāntideva is a direct spiritual ancestor of H. H. Dalai Lama, as prime holder of the teaching of universal compassion, universal responsibility, and the transcendent wisdom that is their reality source.
Conceiving the Spirit of Enlightenment (or “the Awakening mind”)
Truly conceiving the spirit of enlightenment requires understanding causality, which leads to understanding emptiness, leading to immersion in relativity, which necessitates the enlightening spiritual conception. Readings: WB 2–3; IL Part 1, Ch.2.
Although Shāntideva deals with the transcendent perfection of wisdom in his 9th chapter, we will consider it in detail before launching into the other five main transcendences, as none of them can be tran- scendences until they are guided by wisdom. That is generosity, justice, tolerant patience, creative effort, and meditation cannot be transcendent perfections until they are infused with wisdom’s intuitive knowledge. Again, please try to read at least part of the text ahead of the class. Readings: IL, Part 2, ch.3.