Becoming a Bodhisattva: The Journey of Awakening (Embodied Philosophy)


This class explores the Path of the Bodhisattva through the eyes of Shantideva, the great 8th-century Indian philosopher, Buddhist monk, poet, and scholar. Shantideva’s classic, A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, one of the great literary classics of Buddhism, is our guidebook as we seek to understand our own relationship to the concept of the Bodhisattva. The Bodhisattva is a being, who, having attained a certain level of realization, determines to dedicate themselves to helping others do the same. This highly experiential class also covers a broad range of Buddhist principles with the focus of learning the skills and engaging in practices that help us become more proficient at relieving suffering for ourselves and others.

Module 1: The Bodhisattva in Training
In this module, we will ask the question, What is Buddhism? We will explore the Theravadin and Mahayana schools of thought and compare and contrast their approach to the spirit of awakening. We will discuss basic Buddhist principles such as the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

Module 2: The Vow
In this module, we will read Shantideva’s Vow of the Bodhisattva together. We will explore the implications of taking such a vow and learn how standing in the intention of the Bodhisattva can become a navigational aid on our spiritual path and in our lives.

Module 3: Patience, Effort, and the Paramitas
In this module, we will explore the Paramitas, with special emphasis on the development of patience and effort. We will work with a form of insight meditation to identify and learn about our own particular challenges in meeting the demands involved in walking the path of the Bodhisattva.

Module 4: The Reconciliation of Samsara and Nirvana
In this module, we will seek to understand how important it is to reconcile the experiences of samsara and nirvana if we are to effectively serve others. We will explore the Two Truths to further develop a robust understanding of the field in which the Bodhisattva must function.

Q&A with Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
Isa is the creator of Depth Hypnosis, a groundbreaking therapeutic model that incorporates shamanic healing practices with hypnotherapy, Buddhist and Transpersonal psychology, and energy medicine. She is also the creator of the shamanic counseling process, Applied Shamanic Counseling and the certificate programs in Applied Shamanic Practice and Plant Medicine Insight Integration. She has trained hundreds of students and practitioners in these models as the primary teacher at the Sacred Stream. Isa teaches and speaks nationally and internationally, and has published numerous articles, podcast episodes, videos, and the books, Coming to Peace and The New Return to the Great Mother.

Participants in this course will learn:
• Gain an intimate understanding of Shantideva’s philosophical approach to the path of the Bodhisattva.
• Understand the Four Noble Truths from a new perspective.
• Have the opportunity to perfect their meditation practice.
• Learn how the Eight Fold Path becomes a navigational aid in walking the path of the Bodhisattva.
• Gain new perspectives on the Paramitas.
• Learn how to apply the Two Truths in ‘real time’.
• Have the opportunity to engage in extensive self-exploration and internal discernment processes.