(2 credits) This course will examine the spirituality and science of motivating and sustaining positive change from both traditional Indo-Tibetan Buddhist and western psychological perspectives. The Buddhist perspective will be examined through a close reading of the first five chapters from the sixth century Indian mater Shantideva’s timeless classic, the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, a beloved text in all the Tibetan Buddhist lineages and often praised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a peerless text on the cultivation of compassion. Shantideva’s text offers techniques and inspiration to avoid major psychological pitfalls on the path to developing a deep altruism for others and oneself. Western clinical and social psychology specializes in the observation, description and development of humans as social beings, while new approaches in research and clinical interventions are emerging in positive psychology towards the optimization of our potential. A combination of philosophical study, discussion, and reflection will be utilized in the exploration of these topics and the interstices and convergences between Buddhist and western psychology.