The Way of the Bodhisattva: Essence

“For I am like a blind man who has found
A precious gem within a mound of filth.
Exactly so, as if by some strange chance,
The enlightened mind has come to birth in me.”

— Shantideva, 3:28


This course trains the mind in awareness, loving-kindness and compassion, and wisdom in order to deepen and expand these qualities. We will use one of the most treasured texts of the Buddhist tradition as our guide: The Way of the Bodhisattva by the 8th-century Indian master Shantideva. This Buddhist classic explains how to cultivate bodhichitta, the heartfelt commitment to help all beings awaken to their true nature. Mingyur Rinpoche will bring this teaching to life, highlighting how these ancient teachings can help us navigate the challenges of everyday life by training and transforming our minds. The course includes a series of teachings and live webinars with Mingyur Rinpoche, as well as a range of other materials.

Watch this short introduction to the Essence course by Mingyur Rinpoche

course dates

This course is available for self-study as part of you Vajrayana Online subscription.

who can take this course?

There are no prerequisites for this course. It is appropriate for practitioners of all levels.


How can we be patient and confident in difficult times? How can we be of service to others without burning out? How do we transform our mind by gaining deep insight and wisdom? In this course, Shantideva’s The Way of the Bodhisattva, along with Mingyur Rinpoche’s practical instructions, presents a toolbox for resiliency, providing practical ways to remain grounded, emotionally balanced, and compassionate in the face of great adversity.


In this course, you will learn:

  • how to develop an altruistic motivation and be of service to others
  • meditation techniques that help open your heart and increase clarity
  • instructions for transforming challenges into opportunities for growth
  • how to find balance in both your spiritual practice and daily life
  • how to see yourself and the world around you more accurately


This course includes:

  • A series of lectures from Mingyur Rinpoche highlighting key points from The Way of the Bodhisattva
  • Live events with Mingyur Rinpoche and Tergar guides
  • An exclusive interview with Pema Chödrön
  • Detailed instruction in both formal meditation and everyday-life practices
  • Inspiring teachings from a range of leading Buddhist teachers
  • Simple instructions on living a life of awareness, compassion, and wisdom


Becoming Bodhisattvas by Pema Chödrön


This course consists of six sections, each clarifying a major theme of the text.

  • Sections

  • Welcome to the course. Mingyur Rinpoche and course guides Tim Olmsted and Kunsang Palmo welcome you to the course and invite you to explore the timeless wisdom of The Way of the Bodhisattva.
  • 1. The Essence of Bodhichitta. Introduces the bodhisattva ideal and explains how you can begin to infuse your life with awareness, compassion, and wisdom.
  • 2. Relating to the Mind. Provides you with a foundation for the cultivation of mindfulness and introspection, which are vital aspects of the path.
  • 3. Engaging as a Bodhisattva. Establishes the practices of patience and joyful effort, which are critical in overcoming challenges and nurturing well-being, as well as ways to create a sustained and lasting practice.
  • 4. Meditating as a Bodhisattva. Presents an overview for engaging in the forms of meditation set forth in The Way of the Bodhisattva designed to liberate the self-cherishing mind and open the heart to others.
  • 5. The View of a Bodhisattva. Offers practices to help you see reality as it is—the discernment at the heart of the bodhisattva’s approach—and make this view central to your experience.
  • 6. The Wisdom of a Bodhisattva. Helps you begin to cultivate wisdom by exploring the principle of emptiness—the true nature of how things are—and applying this insight in both your formal meditation and daily life practice.

course EXCERPT

The Essence of Patience

How can we live in this world of constant change and challenges? Mingyur Rinpoche gives us advice on how to train in resilience and patience in order to keep going.


The Way of the Bodhisattva: Essence course and other courses in Vajrayana Online are included as part of your monthly subscription to Vajrayana Online for as long as you remain subscribed. Visit Vajrayana Online to learn more.

Subscribe to Vajrayana Online

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Do you want to know more about The Way of the Bodhisattva Course Series?

The Way of the Bodhisattva transmission will include a series of courses that provide a unique opportunity to integrate the core elements of the Buddhist path into one's practice and daily life.

Learn more