In the Lojong Trainings of Tibetan Buddhism, a series of aphorisms is used in training the mind to expand beyond it's usual conditioned patterns. Operating as mental reminders to frame our experience in particular ways -- both on and off the meditation cushion -- these 59 slogans, arranged in 7 main points, can be quite helpful in cultivating an open heart and a clear head.

A Full Disclaimer


Except for a couple of weekend gatherings at Deer Park with Geshe Sopa in Madison, Wisconsin years ago, I have never been in the Presence of a Teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition let alone studied with one.  I am not now, nor have ever been an authorized teacher -- except by the State of Illinois as a high school social studies teacher back in the 1970's.  That certification expired long ago.

My personal work with with the Lojong Teachings began with a reading of Pema Chodron's Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living about ten years ago.  Although I have meditated with a number of teachers in other traditions and maintained a regular meditation practice for quite sometime, Pema's work brought a whole new depth to my Practice. A commitment to a more rigorous focus on the Lojong Slogans didn't emerge until this past year, though, prompted by the pairings of a couple of events:  First, I stumbled across, then poured through a copy of Zen teacher Norman Fischer's Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong at my son's house in Chicago.  Then a couple of days later one of the regulars at Monday Morning Mindfulness back home in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts said "Hey, why don't we get a little more structured and study the Lojong Slogans?".   I immediately began poking my nose into whatever I could find to read and began to explore the slogans -- both on and off the meditation cushion. 

Nine months later,  again prompted by two members of the group (they've been really patient with me), I think I'm ready to get with program and share in this study with others. That being said, I realize fully that I am merely a student, an amateur, a beginner myself.  With any luck at all,  I hope to remain so for the rest of my life.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent! Many will achieve the goal because of their interaction with you.