Program Details

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Bodhisattva Vow Ceremony

with Melissa Moore
June 14 / 6:00 PM - June 14 / 9:00 PM

The Bodhisattva vow is an acknowledgement of one’s commitment to put others before oneself and to work wholeheartedly for their benefit. The basis of this vow is the aspiration to develop friendliness, compassion, and genuine insight through the practice of the six paramitas: generosity, discipline, patience, exertion, meditation, and prajna.

The vow ceremony will take place on June 14, at 6 PM. (Participants arrive at 5:15 PM.) at the Berkeley Shambhala Center with Acharya Melissa Moore. Guests who have taken the vow themselves are welcome to attend. A celebratory reception will follow the ceremony.

The Bodhisattva Vow  Application Deadline is June 1, 2019

9 Steps to Prepare for the Vow Ceremony

1. Registration
Please begin the process by registering at the bottom of this page. We ask for a contribution of to cover costs and materials associated with the ceremony (generosity policy applies).

2. Application
Please submit your application at this link:

3. Prerequisite
Applicants should have taken Refuge vows at least six months prior to taking Bodhisattva Vow. The application deadline is June 1, 2019.

4. Meditation Instructor Recommendation
Please arrange for an interview with your Meditation Instructor. Such a meeting is an excellent opportunity to discuss the view and motivation for undertaking this vow. Ask your MI to submit a recommendation at this link:

5. Interview
An interview with Acharya Moore is required to take the Bodhisattva vow. The interviews will be offered on Tuesday, June 11th, from 5 to 6:30 PM at the Berkeley Shambhala Center.      

6. Suggested Readings
Bodhisattva Vow Sourcebook. Copies will be available to purchase for at the June 8-14 Summer Meditation Retreat in Berkeley. Please contact Marcia Clayburg (see contact information below) to obtain a copy ahead of time.

7. Online Workshop
A preparatory online workshop and discussion, lead by Shastri Charlotte Linde, will be offered on May 25, 10  AM to 12 PM, for people who plan to take the vow, who would like to know more about the vow before making a decision, or who would simply like to know more about the vow. Please register here in advance in order to receive connection information prior to the workshop.

8. Participation in Meditation Retreat
Teachings about the Bodhisattva path and the six paramitas will be offered during the June 8-14 Summer Meditation Retreat. Participation in the full retreat and especially the final days before the vow is highly recommended. Information and registration for all or part of the retreat can be accessed here.

9. The Bodhisattva Gift
As part of the Bodhisattva vow ceremony, participants offer a gift. This gift represents a form of generosity practice which is intended to help us work with our own attachments. You should understand the importance of offering a bodhisattva gift. This is something you are literally or symbolically attached to, and is necessary for the ceremony as the actual moment of taking the vow. It’s good to talk with your MI about the view, motivation, the vow and the gift.

For questions, please contact Marcia Clayburg, our vow ceremony coordinator: mbclayburg (at) gmail (dot) com.

Planting such a seed as the bodhisattva vow undermines ego and leads to a tremendous expansion of perspective.  Such heroism, or bigness of mind, fills all of space completely, utterly, absolutely.  Within such a vast perspective, nothing is claustrophobic and nothing is intimidating. There is only the vast idea of unceasingly helping all sentient beings, as limitless as space, along the path to enlightenment...
—Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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