Spring 2023 - PHIL 451W E100

Advanced Topics in the History of Philosophy (4)

Gyalse Tokme:37 Practices

Class Number: 7175

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    WMC 3255, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Two 300-level PHIL courses.



May be repeated for credit. Writing.


Selected Topics: Gyalsé Tokmé’s 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas

 [Note: this course is to be taught concurrently with PHIL 853 G100.]

This course will be a close reading of Gyalsé Tokmé Zangpo’s classic ethical text The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas. Writing in 14th century Tibet, the text gives an overview of Mahāyāna ethical thought and practice.


PHIL 451W may be applied towards the Writing Requirement (and the upper division Writing Requirement for Philosophy Majors). This course may be repeated for credit if the topic is different.


  • Short weekly response assignments 60%
  • Final reflection assignment 40%


Students will have an option between a paper and a final assignment.



The primary text is available online here: https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/gyalse-thogme-zangpo/37-practices-all-bodhisattvas

Students may do the primary reading in their language of choice. (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Mandarin are available online).

In addition to the primary reading, students must choose at least one of the following commentaries to read:

Geshe Sonam Rinchen and Ruth Sonam, The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas. Snow Lion. ISBN: 1-55939-068-9

Dzatrul Ngawang Tenzin Norbu, A Guide to the Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva. Snow Lion. ISBN: 9781559394918

Dalai Lama, Commentary on the Thirty Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva. Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. ISBN: 81-85102-97-X

Dilgo Khyentse, The Heart of Compassion. Shambhala. 
ISBN: 978-1-59030-457-0


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Thinking of a Philosophy Major or Minor? The Concentration in Law and Philosophy? The Certificate in Ethics? The Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate?
Contact the PHIL Advisor at philcomm@sfu.ca   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

New elective grade policy : P/CR/NC, pilot project in place from Spring 2021 to Summer 2023. List of exclusions for the new policy. Specifically for Philosophy: 

  • Students can use a P or CR to satisfy any requirement for a major, joint major, honours, or minor in Philosophy (with the exception of Honours tutorials).
  • Students can use a P or CR to satisfy any prerequisite requirement for any PHIL course.
  • Students can use a P (but not a CR) to satisfy any requirement for the Ethics Certificate, or the Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate.
  • Philosophy Majors and Honours students can use a P (but not a CR) to satisfy any WQB requirement.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html