Book Giveaway #46: Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart

Title: Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart: Core Teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, The Path to Enlightenment
Author(s): His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in this book says:

I rejoice at the opportunity to impart this tradition, as I follow its practice myself.

The tradition is rich and very long. The author says:

“The special technique for transforming the mind is contained in a poem called the “Seven Point Mind Training” which is elaborated on here in a work called “The Rays of the Sun” by Hortön Nam-kha Pel.”

Nam-kha Pel had much earlier transmitted this to the 1st Dalai Lama (Gedun Drupa, 1391–1474). Pel’s “The Rays of the Sun” is actually a commentary on “Seven Point Training Method” a.k.a. Lojong mind training practice. This is a poem and also seen as a set of 59 aphorisms grouped under seven points.

These aphorisms were formulated by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje (1102–1176) – historically, the Lojong method is seen as evolving through 300 years after the arrival of Master Atiśa (Bengali Buddhist leader and master, 982–1054) in Tibet. It is said that Master Atiśa had, in his lifetime, learned from 150 teachers! Here is fun story on his travel to Tibet:

“A story is told that Atiśa heard that the inhabitants of Tibet were very pleasant and easy to get along with. Instead of being delighted, he was concerned that he would not have enough negative emotion to work with in his mind training practice. So he brought along his ill-tempered Bengali servant-boy, who would criticize him incessantly and was challenging to spend time with. Tibetan teachers then like to joke that when Atiśa arrived in Tibet, he realized there was no need after all.”

There are a few more layers in this unending chain of tradition. Once, Chekawa Yeshe Dorje, formulator of the Seven Point poem, came across the following phrase:

“Gain and victory to others, loss and defeat to oneself”.

Intrigued, he traced the author of the phrase – Langri Tangpa – but found out that he had already died. He chose to spend the next 12 years with one of the author’s disciplines.

Langri Tangpa’s “genuis” was that he wrote 8 verses – that seems to condense entire teachings of Lojong practice,

Here is a link to the orginal verses.

Quoting 2nd verse:

Whenever I come into anyone’s company,
may I regard myself less than everyone else
and, from the depths of my heart,
value others more highly than I do myself.

Now, Chekawa Yeshe Dorje, after practising these meditations for many years started sharing these with others – including lepers in a colony (leprosy was incurable at that time). Many lepers were able to heal themselves. Dorje decided to make it easy for more people to understand and practice these meditations, leading to the 59 slogans, or aphorisms.

The 4th slogan:

Contemplate that as long as you are too focused on self-importance and too caught up in thinking about how you are good or bad, you will experience suffering. Obsessing about getting what you want and avoiding what you don’t want does not result in happiness; Ego.

The last 59th slogan:

Don’t expect applause.

A good point to end the post! May you arrive at enlightenment soon!

References:

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