Bodhicitta, particularly in the Mahayana tradition, is regarded as absolutely vital. In the Chinese Buddhist tradition, the sutras often describe the virtue and merit of bodhicitta, and this is exactly the same in the Tibetan tradition as well. One difference, though, is that the Tibetan tradition has more concrete practices for cultivating bodhicitta. So, whether it be in Tsongkhapa’s Stages of the Path or Words of My Perfect Teacher, the introduction to the Dzogchen preliminary practices, there is a wealth of concrete practices or methods for cultivating bodhicitta. In a nutshell, the essence of bodhicitta is the aspiration to lead all other beings to buddhahood, or to benefit all other living beings. To do this most effectively, we undertake to achieve liberation or enlightenment for ourselves. It is this resolve, this aspiration, that is bodhicitta.
[~How to Follow the Path of Liberation, June 2015, Australia]