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Deepening Into the Heart of the Bodhisattva Path

Meditations of Natural Awareness and Compassionate Communion


John Makransky, PhD
Guiding Meditation Teacher, Foundation for Active Compassion
Associate Professor Buddhism & Comparative Theology, Boston College

In these workshops and retreats, guided meditations are adapted from the natural ease tradition of Tibet (dzogchen) to help participants deepen their experience of liberating wisdom and loving compassion—the essence of the spirit of enlightenment (bodhicitta). To receive and extend loving compassion helps the mind relax into its most natural state—the liberating wisdom of simplicity, openness, and presence beyond self-clinging. By resting in its natural state, the mind can further unleash its innate capacity of loving compassion. As this synergy of love and wisdom unfolds, we become more fully present to others—communing with them in the depth of their being instead of reacting to them from habitual judgments. When this unity of love and wisdom is embodied in our daily lives, through our relationships, service and action, it becomes the most powerful force to heal our world and to remake it into a place of mutual reverence, care and joy. The ancient bodhisattva path of enlightenment comes newly alive in the particulars of our lives. In this way, we learn to bless the world as bodhisattvas before us have done.

Included are teachings and guided meditations for deepening the wisdom in the nature of mind that cuts through karmic obscurations, uncovering the spirit of enlightenment in its absolute and relative aspects, taking the six perfections into the particulars of ordinary life, exploring how practices of offering, purification, and communion reveal connections between reverence, liberating wisdom and compassion.

Selected Readings: Awakening through Love by John Makransky, Medicine and Compassion by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Gates to Buddhist Practice by Chagdud Tulku, Openness Mind by Tarthang Tulku, Present Fresh Wakefulness by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Spirit of Tibet by Dilgo Khyense Rinpoche, Natural Great Perfection by Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and Lama Surya Das, Dzogchen Primer ed. by Schmidt and Kunsang.