The Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

The Mahayana Teachings of Chögyam Trungpa

Taught by Judith L. Lief
 - Online Course

Once the essential foundation of the hinayana teachings has been laid, the next step begins with opening the focus of practice to include the world beyond oneself. This personal paradigm shift is the gate to the mahayana teachings, which will be presented systematically in Part Two of the Profound Treasury course. The mahayana begins with the perception of shunyata, the essential emptiness of all phenomena, and with the compassion that naturally arises from that understanding.

Join Judy Lief, Buddhist teacher and editor of The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, for an online course that explores the second volume of this monumental work The Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion. Through video recorded during a nine-day retreat she led on the subject, Lief will guide us through the traditional mahayana teachings as taught by Chögyam Trungpa, the Tibetan Buddhist master who was largely responsible for making these teachings accessible and relevant for a Western audience.

Course Materials

Seven video talks by Judith Lief—ranging from an hour to an hour and a half in length—including Q&A, with transcripts and audio-only versions available

Basic meditation instruction in both mindfulness and awareness practices

Contemplations to help you integrate the material into your daily life

A 50% discount on The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma by Chögyam Trungpa

A list of recommended readings from the book The Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion: The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, Volume 2

Self-assessment quizzes at the end of each lesson to test your own understanding of the material

Unlimited access on your computer, mobile device, or tablet—learn at your own pace wherever and whenever works best for you

This course is also available in a Group Study Version, which includes a facilitator's guide and everything you need to bring this course to your community.


In this course, you will:

  • Review the hinayana teachings—including the four noble truths and the three precious jewels—giving them context as a foundation for the mahayana path.
  • Define bodhichitta—including relative and absolute bodhichitta—and learn how to evoke it in your everyday life.
  • Cultivate the four limitless qualities of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.
  • Explore the concept of twofold egolessness, which reveals the emptiness of reality. 
  • Deepen your practice of the six paramitas: patience, generosity, discipline, exertion, meditation, and prajna, the means by which the bodhisattva learns to dive directly into difficult experiences.
  • Study lojong with The Root Text of the Seven Points of Mind Training and learn to work with the slogans as part of your daily practice.
  • Learn the practice of tonglen, or sending and taking, for transforming difficulties into opportunities to open the heart.
  • Explore the map of the practitioner’s journey through the lens of the ten bhumis and of the five paths of accumulation, unification, seeing, meditation, and no more learning.
What You Will Learn in Each Lesson

Lesson 1
Beginning Genuinely—The Hinayana Foundation

In the first lesson we’ll review the basics of hinayana path—including the four noble truths and the notion of taking refuge. We’ll also learn how the concepts of shila (discipline), samadhi (practice), and prajna (view/insight) apply to this path.

Lesson 2
Lightning Flashing in the Sky—The Discovery of Bodhichitta

In this lesson, we’ll define bodhichitta—both relative and absolute, or ultimate. What inspires bodhichitta in our daily lives? How do we experience glimpses of openness? We’ll start to grapple with the concept of basic goodness. We’ll also contemplate how joy plays a part in the path of the bodhisattva, even though we are relating directly with suffering all the time.

Lesson 3
Opening the Heart—Working with the Four Limitless Ones

In this week’s lesson, we’ll describe the four limitless ones and contemplate offering them to the six realms. We’ll aspire to offer the four limitless ones in everyday life, and gently notice our limitations in doing so. We’ll also explore the difference between the four brahmaviharas and the four limitless ones. 

Lesson 4
Prajnaparamita—The Mother of All the Buddhas

What is emptiness, and what keeps us from experiencing it in our everyday lives? What is Madhyamika, or the Middle Way? This week we’ll explore these questions as we also learn about twofold egolessness, the differences between relative and ultimate truth, and how we trap ourselves in relative reality. 

Lesson 5
Engaging with the World—Paramita Practice

In this lesson we’ll define the paramitas—or “techniques of nongrasping”—and learn to practice deliberate compassion by working with aspiration and intention. You’ll learn the difference between idiot compassion and genuine compassion. Together, we’ll explore the ideal of the bodhisattva as one who dives directly into challenging situations. 

Lesson 6
Fifty-Nine Reminders to Wake Up—Mind Training and the Practice of Lojong

In this week’s lesson, we’ll practice tonglen—or sending and taking. We’ll use the lojong slogans of Atisha as reminders of how to train the mind. We’ll also consider some benchmarks for whether or not our practice is working.

Lesson 7
A Map of the Journey—Paths and Bhumis

In this final lesson, we’ll reflect on the direction the mahayana path is taking us. We’ll also define the five paths of accumulation, unification, seeing, meditation, and no more learning.

What Participants Are Saying

“[The course] brings together in one place the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa. It gives guidance through the videos to the readings. Seeing and hearing Judy's instruction is inspiring; I feel I am part of the group. [It helps to organize] my study at home.”

“Excellent! I am so very thankful to have this course available. I have found it to be very helpful in guiding my study and practice. I do not know if I will ever be able to attend a retreat, and I appreciate being able to attend at least [this] online class. Thank you all for your time and effort in making this possible.”

Praise for Judith L. Lief

“Lief conveys the profound core of the teachings of Buddhism so that anyone can hear and understand. She shows us that in the end, it is kindness, compassion, and mindful attention that matter, and teaches us the simple skill of just being—in all its rawness, love, and pain—with those who are dying.”—Marilyn Webb, author of The Good Death: The New American Search to Reshape the End of Life.

About the Instructor

Judith L. Lief is a Buddhist teacher, writer, and editor. She was a close student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who empowered her as a teacher, and she has edited many of his books including The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma volumes and Milarepa. She has been a teacher and practitioner for over 35 years and continues to teach and lead retreats throughout the world. Lief is also active in the field of death and dying and is the author of Making Friends with Death.

Chögyam Trungpa (1940–1987)—meditation master, teacher, and artist—founded Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, the first Buddhist-inspired university in North America; the Shambhala Training program; and an international association of meditation centers known as Shambhala International. He is the author of numerous books including Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, and The Myth of Freedom.

30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee

If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, please e-mail us within 30 days of registering for the course, and we will promptly refund your purchase price.

Register Now!
Related Courses
Entering the Path
The Hinayana Teachings of Chögyam Trungpa
 - Online Course
Glimpses of Vajrayana
The Tantric Teachings of Chögyam Trungpa
 - Online Course
Glimpses of Mahamudra
The Tantric Teachings of Chögyam Trungpa
 - Online Course
Course Trailer