LIVE ONLINE: Mindfulness, Wisdom, and Compassion: Śāntideva’s Introduction to the Way of Life of a Bodhisattva

About This Event

Live Online

Our compassionate witnessing of an other’s suffering shows that the mind can be free from the constricted life of excessive self-preoccupation and become open and attentive to others. In An Introduction to the Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicaryāvatāra), the eighth century north-Indian Buddhist author, Śāntideva, invites his readers on a path to nourish the liberating attention to others. He presents the text as a guidebook on the path from the darkened perception of self-cherishing to an awakened life. In Śāntideva’s terminology, this is the path of the bodhisattva, the awakened or awakening (bodhi) being (sattva) who, guided by insight and compassion, works to alleviate the sufferings of others, and in doing so, finds freedom from dissatisfaction and anguish.

Way of the Bodhisattva became a primary inspiration for Tibetan writings on the stages of the Buddhist path and mind training.  In recent decades, Western teachers in a variety of Buddhist traditions have drawn on Śāntideva’s presentation of the interconnections between the three components of the Buddhist path: wisdom (prajñā), moral discipline (śīla), and contemplation (samādhi).  In this online program, we will explore Śāntideva’s text, which is at once a poem, a meditation manual, a moral teaching, and a philosophy textbook. In particular, we will focus on the place of faith, offering, and ritual on the path; the importance of mindfulness in our ethical lives; Śāntideva’s understanding of emptiness, the two truths, and dependent origination; and the interdependence of action, meditation, and insight. Throughout, we will attend to the ways the text insists on the interweaving of compassion and wisdom, and how the most fruitful field of practice can be our daily lives and relations with others.

Presentations in this course will refer to The Bodhicaryāvatāra, translated from the Sanskrit by Kate Crosby and Andrew Skilton, published by Oxford University Press, 1995.  If you already have a different translation, there is no need to purchase the Crosby and Skilton.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Please read carefully!  A Zoom link will be emailed to all those registered after registration closes at noon on Sept. 9. If you don't see an email from Natural Dharma Registrar or Wonderwell Mountain Refuge, it may have mistakenly been sent to your spam folder. Please open your spam folder and, if you find an email from us, open it and mark it as "Not spam." Please add the email address you see in the From line to your Contacts to ensure our emails land in your inbox. Please contact us at (contact info blocked) if you do not receive the Zoom link.


Schedule (all times EDT)

Friday, September 11

6:30 – 8:30 pm            Liberating intentions: ritual, faith and the awakening mind

Saturday, September 12

7:30 – 8:00 am           Silent meditation

8:30 – 10:30 am         Liberating actions: mindfulness and ethical relations with others

4:00 – 6:00 pm           Liberating meditations: mindfulness and ethical relations with others

8:00 – 8:30 pm           Silent meditation

Sunday, September 13

7:30 – 8:00 am            Silent meditation

8:30 – 10:30 am          Liberating wisdom: emptiness, the two truths, and dependent origination


Wonderwell Mountain Refuge strives to offer retreats in a manner that is non-cost prohibitive and inclusive to persons of all means. If the full retreat cost would create an undue financial burden, we encourage persons to apply for scholarship and work-study. Whether one needs to request aid to defer a large or small portion of the cost of a retreat so as not to incur a financial burden, we strive to accommodate you. This link will take you to information about our online scholarship possibilities. 

Wonderwell Mountain Refuge Full Calendar

Venue Highlights

Located on twenty-five acres of rolling hills in Springfield, New Hampshire, Wonderwell was originally built as a summer home in 1911. Tranquil and serene, surrounded by woods, meadows, gardens, and century-old stone walls, Wonderwell’s stately main building offers a comfortable and spacious setting in which the transformative potential of meditation—for work, community and daily life—can be explored and realized. Recently, due to its many unique features, the building has been recognized as a New Hampshire state historic site.

The house is situated on a west-facing hillside with sweeping views of sky and mountains. On one end of the building is the Great Room, now the meditation hall, which can accommodate groups of up to 100 people. The hall has an oak balcony encircling the room above and two fieldstone fireplaces. Other features of this historic building include a large covered porch for outdoor practice, a kitchen with industrial appliances, dining facilities, 13 bathrooms, and 15 bedrooms of varying capacities sleeping up to 36 people. We have been working tirelessly, with a successful major capital campaign and continuing renovations, to bring Wonderwell into the 21st century, and complete the work necessary to keep this lovely historic building code-compliant, safe, and sustainable.

The house is partially shielded from a country road by majestic, old oak trees, and is framed by well-established perennials, with multiple garden spaces. Behind the house is an acre of open field that gives way to sloping forested land with excellent trail system potential and sites for several retreat cabins. The back of the house faces west toward jaw-dropping, sky-gazing views of Mount Croyden, behind which the sun sets in the evening.

For the many volunteers and benefactors who support Wonderwell, as well as for the people who work there, caring for Wonderwell has become a practice of sacred stewardship. For all of these people, Wonderwell is not just a building; it is a community.


We offer a variety of accommodations, from dormitories for women and men, to double shared rooms some with private bath, some with shared bath, private rooms with private or shared baths, and a lovely Benefactor Suite at some retreats. We also offer the possibility of camping in warmer months, and all retreats also have a non-residential option, if you are commuting from home or staying at a local B&B or motel.


  • Free Parking
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Ceremony Space

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free


Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in your accommodation fee. Our kitchen is dedicated to providing local fresh and/or organic foods whenever possible and we enjoy relationships with Kearsarge Food Hub, and other farmers in the area.

All meals are vegetarian, with gluten-free and dairy-free options available at every meal. Meals are served buffet style. Snacks such as fresh fruit, toast and crackers, nut butters, jams, nuts, and dried fruit are available 24 hours a day. Coffee is offered, usually until lunchtime, and hot water and all kinds of teas are always available.

The fee for the commuter registration option also includes all meals.


From Boston and points East
By Car: Wonderwell is a 2 hour drive from Boston. Take Highway 93 North to Highway 89 North. Take Exit 12A. At the bottom of the exit ramp, take a right turn. When that road T’s take a left onto Route 114. Take Route 114 past Lake Kolelemook (to your right). After going through the small town of Springfield, turn right on Philbrick Hill Road. Wonderwell is at the top of the hill, on the left.

*By Bus: The Dartmouth Coach runs from Boston (from Logan Airport and South Station) to New London (the Wonderwell stop) many times a day, and is a quick, efficient way to travel here. The Coach has wifi on board. Tickets can be purchased online or at South Station in Boston.

From NYC
*By Bus: The Dartmouth Coach runs from New York City to Lebanon, NH. The coach is a direct and comfortable way to travel between NYC and New Hampshire. For more information, see the Dartmouth Coach website.

From the Upper Valley
By Car: Wonderwell is 30 minutes south of Lebanon, NH on Highway 89. Take Highway 89 South to exit 13 (Grantham). At the bottom of the exit ramp, take a right turn. Continue past the Post Office until you intersect 114, and take a left. Take Route 114 for about 4 miles until Philbrick Hill Road and take a left. Wonderwell is at the top of the hill on the left.

*See our website for information on getting picked up at a bus stop.

Cancellation Policy

100% deposit refund for cancellation 30+ days before event.
50% deposit refund for cancellation 15-29 days before event.
0% deposit refund for cancellation 0-14 days before event.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
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