At the core of spiritual development in Mahayana Buddhism is the arousal of bodhicitta, "awakened heart." Bodhicitta is the unconditional intention to help all sentient beings become free of suffering. It is the complete abandonment of any sort of personal territory, both in our relationships with others and in our understanding of the world as it is. It begins with the development of love and compassion for others and matures into the full resolution to help them as much as possible.
This theme is the focus of The Seven Points of Mind Training as taught by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje, a twelfth-century master of the Kadampa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. "The Great Path of Awakening" is a new translation of this basic teaching with the illuminating commentary of Jamgon Kongtrul, a great nineteenth-century scholar. Kongtrul provides clear and concise instructions for practicing the techniques of mind training, with an emphasis on meeting the ordinary situations of life, employing intelligence and compassion under all circumstances.
Also included, in an appendix, is a translation of the root text of the Seven Points of Mind Training by the Nalanda Translation Committee under the direction of Chogyam Trungpa.