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Workshop: The Modern Bodhisattva


Cultivate self-compassion, fierce compassion, compassion for others, and compassionate systems.

6 sessions 

Dates: Sept. 12 & 26, Oct. 10 & 24, Nov. 7 & 21, 2020

Where: Online (Zoom)

Instructor: Sabine Grunwald (Ph.D.)

Workshop Program

This workshop will explore becoming and being a bodhisattva. In Theravāda Buddhism the "awakened being" (Sanskrit: bodhi [awake] and sattva [sentient being]) is one who aspires to attain Buddhahood and ultimate liberation. In Mahāyāna Buddhism, the bodhisattva aims for the attainment of liberation for the benefit of all sentient beings, the number of which is infinite as the vastness of space. Compassion and loving-kindness are at the heart of walking on the path of a bodhisattva. 

How is it possible to attain such seemingly unattainable idealistic liberation in the ordinary world full of human struggles, trauma, emotional wounds, oppressive power structures that make us suffer? Living the life of a bodhisattva in a materialistic, individualistic, and technocratic world is full of paradoxes. In this workshop we will learn about idealized, mystified, and personified bodhisattva conceptions from a Buddhist doctrinal perspective. Then we will explore what it means to be a bodhisattva from a contemporary American dharma perspective. Go on a journey of awakening the bodhisattva in you. 


The workshop format entails dharma talks, dialogue, Q&A, and various meditation and compassion practices. 

When registering for this workshop it is recommended you commit to the entire time period as outlined below. The workshop is limited to 15 seats. Participants who like to explore ancient Buddhist understanding in contemporary context of American dharma are welcome.  

Registration (closed)
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Deepen Compassion and Cocreate a New World  

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Schedule (U.S. Eastern time):

Saturday (Sept. 12, 2020):

9:00 am - 11:00 am

Buddhist bodhisattvas (Theravāda and Mahāyāna Buddhism). Personified, idealized, and mystified bodhisattvas. We will explore the pāramitās (perfections) and practice self-compassion meditation.   

Saturday (Sept. 26, 2020):

9:00 am - 11:00 am

Contemporary bodhisattvas in the Western world. The modern integral bodhisattva. What does it mean to become a bodhisattva - here and now,  at this time and in this world? We will practice compassion and loving-kindness meditation. 

Saturday (Oct. 10, 2020):

9:00 am - 11:00 am

Relative and absolute bodhicitta, spirit of awakening. How to develop great compassion for all sentient beings, including the ones who drive us crazy or who we dislike or even hate? We will practice radical, fierce compassion and meditation. 

Saturday (Oct. 24, 2020):

9:00 am - 11:00 am

The Buddhist view is that iberation is found in emptiness: Emptiness is form, form is emptiness. Is a bodhisattva still a person if that person is empty? We will practice the groundless ground, effortless mindfulness, and explore nonduality. 

Saturday (Nov. 7, 2020):

9:00 am - 11:00 am

Buddhist ethics and the bodhisattva paradox. Why would a bodhisattva feel compassion for all sentient beings, including oneself, when ultimately there are no individual selves, only empty selves? We will practice interpersonal mindfulness and loving-kindness.

Saturday (Nov. 21, 2020):

9:00 am - 11:00 am:

Co-dependent origination, the web of life. What's the purpose to cultivate compassion and create a more compassionate world. We will explore compassionate systems.  

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