EIGHT VERSES FOR TRAINING THE MIND
By Geshe Langri tangpa (1054-1123)
With the heartfelt desire and determination to attain enlightenment
For the welfare of all living beings, who are more precious than a
Wish-fulfilling jewel for accomplishing the supreme goal,
May I always cherish them and hold them dear.
Whenever I am with others
May I think of myself as the lowest of all
And from the very depths of my heart
May I respectfully hold others as supreme.
In all actions, may I closely examine my state of mind,
And the moment, a disturbing emotion or negative attitude arises,
Since this may cause harm to myself and others,
May I firmly face and avert it.
Whenever I meet people of unpleasant character
Or those overwhelmed by negativity, pain or suffering,
May I cherish and care for them as if I had found
A rare and precious treasure difficult to find.
Whenever others, because of their jealousy, treat me badly
With abuse, insult, slander, or in other unjust ways,
May I accept this defeat myself
And to offer the victory to others.
When someone whom I have benefited
Or in whom I have placed great trust and hope,
Harms me or treats me in hurtful ways without reason,
May I see that person as my precious teacher.
In brief, may I offer both directly and indirectly all help,
Happiness and benefit to all beings, my mothers,
And may I secretly take upon myself
All of their harmful actions, pain and suffering.
May I keep all of these practices undefiled by stains of the eight worldly
Concerns (gain-loss, pleasure-pain. prasie-blame, fame-dishonor),
And by recognizing the emtiness and illusory nature of all existing things,
May I be liberated from the bondage of attachment and mistaken views of reality.
Composed by the buddhist Master Langri Tangpa (1054-1123), Eight Verses for Training the mind is a highly-revered text form the Mahayana Lojoing (mind training) tradition. These instructions offer essential practices for cultivating the awakening mind of compassion, wisdom, and love. This eight-verse lojong enshrines the very heart of Dharma, revealing the true essence of the Mahayana path to liberation.
As we practice these lojong teachings in daily life, we train the mind to embrace reality in a completely wholesome, wise and compassionate way. These excellent practices help us purify our negativity and awaken the heart by giving us a way to transform adversity and hardship into a direct opportunity for spiritual growth. In this way, rahter than perceiving difficult people and adverse circumstances in our lives as an obstacle, tragedy, or punishment, we now meet these experiences with deep compassion, wisdon, and skill, using them as the actual path to enlightenment.
By way of these treasured practices we eliminate our competitive, selfish, and reactive natuire, as well as our false and exaggerated concepts of self (also called self-grasping and self-chesrishing). It is important to understand that the greed, jealousy, anger, pride, selfishness, and attachment, which cause us so much suffering, are actually misperceptions of realith, not inherent conditions of our mind. Therefore, these precious lojong practices can purify our misperceptions and delusions completely, revealing the natural radiance, clarity, wisdom, and compassion of our true nature.
VERSE 1 - Cherishing and caring for others is the source of all happiness. Cherishing ourselves over others, is the source of all suffering and negative conditions in this world. Therefore, our dertermination to attain enlightenment should always be motivated by our heartfelt desire toserve the welfare of all living beings. The attainment of enlightenment is the supreme goal. Our enlightenment comes from the cultivation of bodhichitta (the awakening mind of love, comnpassion, and wisdom). Bodhichitta arises from our deepest compassion. To develop this compassion and reach the supreme goal, we need others. In this way, all living beings ar ethe principle source for our spiritual development and for accomplishing the supreme goal of enligtenment. In addition, at some time each of us has been, and will be, a source of great kindness and benefit for one another. The immense kindness of all living beings is integral to our own human existance. Considering this, we can understand how living beings are even more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel and that we should always cherish them and hold them dear.
VERSE 2 - This verse calls us to train the mind in proper humilty, eliminating our habitual arrogance and pride by "thinking of ourselves as the lowest of all." This is certainly not suggesting we belittle ourselves; we should have self-esteem and self-confidence. Rather, a practice is being offered for taming our exaggerated sense of self-importance and for cultivating true humility and respect for others. The afflictions of arrogance, superiority, pride, and competitiveness create disharmony among people, and prevent us from learning and evolving. Therefore, by respectfully holding others as supreme, we become more humble, gentle, and open. This naturally brings harminy and compasison into our relationships and helps to achieve great qualities, vurtues and spiritual relaizations.
VERS 3 - This verse calls for the sincer practice of mindfulness, closely examining our state of mind throughout all our actions. Through this practice of mindfulness, the teachings
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