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Love and Desire

by Padmavajra

This is the last in a great three-part series on 'The Alchemy of Love', Padmavajra's exploration of the transformative magic that is Bodhichitta practice. How do we go about transforming the thorny area of our lives that is desire? Shantideva's Bodhicharyavatara has much to say on the matter - and Padmavajra looks at this in the context of the practice of loving kindness and true, imaginative empathy. A stirring conclusion!

Talk given at Padmaloka Retreat Centre, 2004

This talk is part of the series The Alchemy of Love.

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. The arising of the Bodhichitta - the alchemy of transformation; Shantideva's verses - Bodhichitta planted in practice (5:05) 
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2. The danger of coming to conclusions about attainment; the Great Surprise of Shantideva - the parable of the blind man and the jewel; the Bodhicharyavatara and lineage (3:09) 
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3. The six paramitas and transformation; love and desire - precise meanings of the word love (9:09) 
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4. Celibacy and the importance of supportive conditions; craving in meditation; Shantideva's methods of dealing with desire - inappropriateness of reflecting on loathsomeness (2:37) 
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5. Bodhisattva path as context; relationships within the context of metta; nurturing of ordinary human emotions; hatred and craving (4:17) 
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6. Shantideva's meditations on loving kindness; dangers of the no self doctrine - the importance of cherishing life (3:17) 
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7. Fundamental desire to be happy being common to everyone - using our sense of self preservation to identify with others; becoming part of a whole (2:45) 
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8. Metta Bhavana; empathy or anukampa; transforming the stream of the mind by identifying with others; alleviating suffering through deeds; reading of verses on liberation; Dhardo Rimpoche as example (3:53) 
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9. Paramarivartana or exchange of self and other - reading of verses on the supreme mystery; Indian magic in the mahayana - Shariputra turning into a woman; not identifying with the body (4:58) 
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10. Imagination as magical ability - exercising imagination; identifying ourselves with others in metta bhavana; moving towards egolessness; the need for patience and support in developing love - Sangha as a good basis and example (6:19) 
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11. Imagination and the myth of the bodhisattva - Shantideva's vision of the bodhisattva descending into hell as an expression of the bodhichitta; reading from the last section of the Bodhicharyavatara (4:46) 


Total running time: 50:15

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