Lamrim: the Gradual Path to Enlightenment

About this section:
The Buddha gave teachings in order to share with us the path to enlightenment that he had actualized himself. These teachings are practical, give us the tools to deal with difficulties, and show us how to live a meaningful life.

The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eight-fold Path are one way of formulating these teachings. The Gradual Path to Enlightenment is another. These two are compatible, and knowing both enables us to look at the same thing from different perspectives. In the early eleventh century, the Indian Buddhist master, Atisha condensed essential points from the sutras and ordered them into the text, Lamp of the Path. These were then expanded upon in the fourteenth century by the Tibetan Buddhist master, Lama Tzong Khapa into the text The Great Exposition on the Gradual Path to Enlightenment (Lam Rim Chemmo). Venerable Chodron comments on this text and relates these practical teachings to our daily lives.


Lamrim Outline in:
- html format
- PDF format
- Microsoft Word format

Help with listening to audio recordings

Tapes of teachings given at DFF in Seattle can be ordered from DFF. Pls refer to:


4.B.2.C.2.b.2.a. Commitments of the Aspiring Bodhisattva Vows

[Also called the 8 Precepts of Aspiring Bodhicitta. Click here for the Lamrim outline for this topic.]

Note: parts of the teachings were lost due to change of tape during recording.

*These are from a series of Lamrim teachings that Ven. Chodron gave at Dharma Friendship Foundation, Seattle, fr 1991 to 1994. The audio files were previously available on this website in realplayer format. These have been converted to mp3 format. The contents remain the same. The audio files and transcripts have also been renamed to run in sequence and to match the transcripts with their corresponding audio files. Another round of light editing has been done to most transcripts (revised on 5 Jan 2006).

*Commitments of the Aspiring Bodhisattva Vows. Dharma Friendship Foundation, Seattle. 7 Jun 93 [Transcript in PDF format]

Aspiring Bodhicitta & Engaging Bodhicitta
Similarities & differences between the two ~ 2 types of aspiring bodhicitta: with and without precepts ~ Ceremonies for generating Aspiring & Engaging Bodhicitta. [9 min]: Download

How to prevent the bodhicitta from degenerating this life
(1) Remember the advantages of bodhicitta again and again
(2) Generate the thought to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings: sometimes when we do prayers, we feel they're just words, we're not getting anything out of that -- what do we do?
(3) Do not give up working for sentient beings even when they are harmful: the moment we give up on even one sentient being, we lose the bodhicitta; what if the thought of having to lead ALL sentient beings to Enlightenment sounds daunting & we start to have doubts?
(4) Accumulate both merit and wisdom continuously.

[13 min]: Download

How to prevent losing the bodhicitta in future lives - Part 1
1) To abandon deceiving the Guru, abbot or other holy beings with lies.
2) To abandon causing others to regret virtuous actions that they have done, & to practice assuming the responsibility oneself to lead all sentient beings to enlightenment.

[10 min]: Download

Part 2
3) To abandon abusing or criticizing bodhisattvas or the Mahayana, & to practice generating the recognition of bodhisattvas as one's teacher and praise them: since we don't know who is a bodhisattva, does it mean we should not criticise anybody, even if someone is committing a negative act?
To abandon not acting with a pure selfless wish but with pretention and deceit, & to practice being straightforward, without pretension or deceit.
[18 min]: Download

Review ~ Using these guidelines as preparation for taking the bodhisattva vows. [4 min]: Download



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