Due to my “rediscovery” of tonglen I have, upon the advice of fellow practitioners, also taken a closer look at the lojong teachings. To be honest, things like resting in the alaya (store-house consciousness) or in the four dharmas (the dharmakaya, nirmanakaya, sambhogakaya and nirvanakaya) don’t make much sense to me but that may be a result of inadequate instruction as much as it is my own, conditioned preference for Theravadan abhidhamma. However, on the whole, the lojong teachings impress me with their utility and ability to take the problems of relational living and turn them into a path of compassionate heart training.
Now, if I were simply inspired by the slogans it would still be worthwhile, I think, to write about them, but even as I put them imperfectly into practice I find that I reap great benefit almost immediately. This is especially true in regard to the slogan “Drive all blames into one” which, as I understand it, means that you accept responsibility for any blame any one wants to place on you. For a long time I just couldn’t see how this worked, was fair or was even a good thing to practice. However, over time I have come to see how liberating it can be. Really, when it comes down to it, who else are we to blame for samsara? And, furthermore, even if we are conventionally not to blame, what does fighting about it do? Is not the highest of the brahma-viharas equanimity? For these reasons I have become more and more encouraged to explore the lojong teachings ever more deeply to help me become not solely a kinder and compassionate person but a better husband, father, friend and colleague.