Lojong: How to Awaken Your Heart
I first encountered the lojong "mind training" slogans in Pema Chödrön's wonderful book, Start Where You Are
. I find them incredibly powerful and helpful--somehow the short slogans seem to stick even in my racing mind.
Here's one slogan, followed by an explanation from Pema:Be grateful to everyone.
"Others will always show you exactly where you are stuck. They say or do something and you automatically get hooked into a familiar way of reacting—shutting down, speeding up or getting all worked up. When you react in the habitual way, with anger, greed and so forth, it gives you a chance to see your patterns and work with them honestly and compassionately. Without others provoking you, you remain ignorant of your painful habits and cannot train in transforming them into the path of awakening."
Excerpted from the following article in Shambala Sun
:Lojong: How to Awaken Your Heart
By Pema Chödrön
When I first read the lojong ("mind training") teachings in The Great Path of Awakening
by the nineteenth-century Tibetan teacher Jamgön Kongtrül the Great, I was struck by their unusual message that we can use our difficulties and problems to awaken our hearts. Rather than seeing the unwanted aspects of life as obstacles, Jamgön Kongtrül presented them as the raw material necessary for awakening genuine uncontrived compassion. Whereas in Kongtrül's commentary the emphasis is primarily on taking on the suffering of others, it is apparent that in this present age it is necessary to also emphasize that the first step is to develop compassion for our own wounds. It is unconditional compassion for ourselves that leads naturally to unconditional compassion for others. If we are willing to stand fully in our own shoes and never give up on ourselves, then we will be able to put ourselves in the shoes of others and never give up on them. True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings.
The lojong teachings are organized around seven points that contain fifty-nine pithy slogans that remind us how to awaken our hearts. Presented here are nineteen of those slogans.