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Bodhichitta

Skt., lit., “awakened mind”; the mind of enlightenment, one of the central no­tions of Mahāyāna Buddhism. In the Tibetan tradition it is seen as having two aspects, rela­tive and absolute. The relative mind of enlight­enment is divided again into two phases (1) the intention and wish, nurtured by limitless com­passion, to attain liberation (nirvāna) for the sake of the welfare of all beings and (2) actual entry into meditation, the purpose of which is the acquisition of the appropriate means to ac­tualize this wish. The absolute mind of enlightenment is viewed as the vision of the true nature of phenomena. The various methods for arousing the mind of enlightenment stem primarily from Atīsha and entered into all schools of Tibetan Bud­dhism through him.