Holiday Wisdom from Shantideva

It’s become a Sravasti Abbey tradition to read Engaging in the Bodhisattva’s Deeds—also translated as Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of Life—out loud on Christmas Day. We do it in Tibetan style, with everyone reading simultaneously at his or her own pace in a voice that is barely audible.

Written by 8th Century Indian Buddhist sage, Shantideva, this text is a rhapsodic praise to bodhicitta—the heart so moved by the sufferings of living beings that it seeks to become fully awakened in order to free them. It is also a step-by-step guide to abandoning the obstacles and developing the qualities necessary to attain that goal.

In this Christmas Day Bodhisattva’s Breakfast Corner talk, several Abbey monastics share their personal highlights and holiday wisdom from this year’s reading.

By this merit, may the brilliant heart of bodhicitta arise in each and every being. May love and compassion overcome all hatred and fear, and “may people think of benefitting each other.”

“For as long space endures, and as long as living beings remain, may we too abide to dispel the miseries of the world.”

Our wish for you and all beings in 2020.