Mind Training (Lojong)

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Atīśa Dīpaṃkara

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An anthology of lojong texts created through the inspiration and guidance of Alak Zenkar Rinpoche.

Texts on so-called ''mind training" (blo sbyong), the system of practical instructions for developing the compassion and wisdom of bodhicitta:

Seven Points of Mind Training

Eight Verses of Training the Mind

Thirty-Seven Practices

Parting from the Four Attachments

This experiential song (nyams dbyangs) based on 'Parting from the Four Attachments' (zhen pa bzhi bral) was composed in the cave of Rangjung Dorje, where Mañjuśrī is said to have delivered the original teaching to the Sakya patriarch Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092–1158).

Drakpa Gyaltsen's famous commentary on the four-line instruction that his father, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, received from Mañjuśrī, is so closely associated with the root text that it is often known by the same title, Parting from the Four Attachments.

Little is known about the author, Nubpa Rigdzin Drak, who may have been a student of Jetsün Drakpa Gyaltsen (1147–1216), but his commentary is among the best known works on Parting from the Four Attachments—partly as a result of its inclusion in the Blo sbyong brgya rtsa compendium. The text explains the antidotes to each of the four attachments and the results that will accrue from applying them.

This famous four-line teaching was spoken by Mañjuśrī, who appeared in a vision to the young Sachen Kunga Nyingpo during a six-month retreat. It is said to encapsulate the entire bodhisattva path of the pāramitās.

A brief commentary on Parting From the Attachments (zhen pa bzhi bral), the famous four-line instruction originally revealed by Mañjuśrī to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), Sakya Paṇḍita's great uncle.

Lojong (general)

This short text—Bodhisattvamaṇyāvalī in Sanskrit—is regarded as a classic work of the Mind Training (blo sbyong) tradition. With its direct and pithy language, it is not so much a poem as a series of maxims on the bodhisattva path.

This prayer of aspiration for training the mind in bodhicitta by exchanging all the world's suffering for genuine happiness is based on Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye's longer text, The Gateway to the Ocean of Bodhicitta.

One of Jigme Tenpe Nyima's best known works—and indeed one the most famous Tibetan texts of recent times—this is a pithy and practical guide to integrating all experiences, good and bad, happy and sad, into the path to enlightenment. As the text itself puts it, this is “indispensable for leading a spiritual life, a most needed tool of the Noble Ones, and quite the most priceless teaching in the world.”

Taken from a collection called Miscellaneous Sayings of the Saintly Masters of the Kadam Tradition (bka' gdams kyi skyes bu dam pa rnams kyi gsung bgros thor bu ba rnams) edited by the 11th/12th century teachers Chegom Sherab Dorje (lce sgom shes rab rdo rje) and Kharak Gomchung Wangchuk Lodrö (kha rag sgom chung dbang phyug blo gros).

This is a classic work on 'bringing difficult circumstances onto the path' (lam khyer), a subgenre of mind training. Tokme Zangpo reveals what it is like to live beyond hopes and fears, and how to face sickness, poverty and death (as well as good health, prosperity and long-life) with joy.

Longchen Rabjam tells us that he composed these thirty verses of heartfelt advice for himself and others like him, out of a sense of renunciation. In what has become one of his most famous and popular teachings, he advocates simplicity, ethical discipline, humility, and, above all, diligent practice.

This prayer of aspiration covers the entire Buddhist path, but places special emphasis on the cultivation of bodhicitta in its various forms. For to have bodhicitta, says Patrul Rinpoche, is to have "all that's needed to attain enlightenment."

One of the great Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa's most famous teachings, this short text highlights the importance of renunciation, the motivation of bodhicitta, and the wisdom that realises the nature of things.

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