- First, train in the preliminaries.
In practicing the slogans and in your daily life, you should maintain an awareness of  the preciousness of human life and the particular good fortune of life in an environment in which you can hear the teachings of Buddhadhamma;  the reality of death, that it comes suddenly and without warning;  the entrapment of karma–that whatever you do, whether virtuous or not, only further entraps you in the chain of cause and effect; and  the intensity and inevitability of suffering for yourself and for all sentient beings. This is called “taking an attitude of the four reminders.” (http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/tib/training.htm)
- Regard All Phenomena as Illusory
- Examine the Empty Nature of Awareness.*
- The Antidote Will Vanish of Itself.
This only goes to show that thoughts are impermanent, and we should therefore bear in mind that any thought or antidote – even the thought of emptiness is itself by nature empty without substantial existence. (http://lojongmindtraining.com/Commentary.aspx?author=35&proverb=4)
- Rest in Sati Sampajañña (Clearly Comprehending Bare Awareness)*
- In Daily Life, Remember the Illusory Nature of the Self
- Practice a Combination of Both Giving and Taking. Place These Two Astride the Breath.
- Three Objects, Three Poisons, Three Roots of Virtue
Agreeable, disagreeable, and neutral objects elicit the poisons of attraction, aversion, and confusion. Turn these poisonous responses into seeds of virtue through tonglen practice.
- In all your actions, train yourself with maxims.
- Begin the sequence of sending and taking with yourself
- When Evil Fills the World and its Inhabitants, Change Adverse Conditions Into the Path of Awakening
- Drive All Blames Into One
I am the owner of my kamma, heir to my kamma, born of my kamma, related to my kamma, abide supported by my kamma. Whatever kamma I shall do, whether good or evil, of that I shall be the heir.
- Be Grateful to Everyone and Appreciate Everything as an Opportunity to Practice Dhamma.
- Anicca is the Unsurpassed Protection from Confusion*
- Apply the Four Practices
1. Accumulate merit – the actions that relate you to what is sacred.
2. Lay down unwholesome deeds.
3. Return to mindfulness when possessed by overwhelming emotions.
4. When unanticipated obstacles arise, turn to this practice.
- Whatever You Encounter, Immediately Apply it to Meditation.
Whatever misfortune, calamity, or suffering arises, whether you are mugged or robbed or thrown in jail, immediately apply it to the Mind Training. Recall that there are countless sentient beings who are experiencing similar misfortune, and practice taking the misfortune of others upon yourself and into your own self-centeredness. Likewise, when you see others in misfortune, imagine in your minds eye taking this upon yourself. Whenever a strong mental affliction such as attachment or anger arises, practice in the same way: think of the innumerable sentient beings who are subject to the same affliction and take it upon yourself.We can see that the transformation of unfavorable circumstances is intimately tied to attenuating and finally ending these mental afflictions. Until we stop these perpetual hopes and anxieties over momentary shifts in fortune, we cannot possibly transform unfavorable circumstances into the path. On the other hand, once we really do transcend these temporal polarities of fear and hope, we will have made a crooked stick into a straight one.
Excerpted from: The Seven-Point Mind Training(first published as A Passage from Solitude : Training the Mind in a Life Embracing the World), by B. Alan Wallace. Copyright 1992 by Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, New York 14851.
- Work With the Five Forces. The Five Forces Are:
- Be Intense, Be Committed.
- Familiarization – Get Used to Doing and Being What You Want to do and to Be.
- Cultivate the White Seeds, Not the Black Ones.
- Turn Totally Away From All Your ego Trips.
- Dedicate All the Merits of What You do for the Benefit of Others.
- The Dhamma has a Single Goal: Liberation*
- Before You Think, Speak or Act Reflect on Your Intention and Die without Regret*
- Always Be Sustained by Cheerfulness
- You are Trained Well if You Can Immediately Return to the Practice when Distracted
Being distracted from mindfulness by thoughts, emotions, or events should serve only as a reminder to return to practice.
- Always Observe These Three Points:
1. Maintain the moral precepts of your spiritual path.
2. Practice compassion.
3. Extend your practice equally to everyone.
- Transform Your Heart without Ostentation
- Do Not Discuss Defects
- Do Not Have Opinions on Other People’s Actions
- Work on Your Strongest Defilements First
Begin to work on your biggest obstructions immediately. Don’t assume that they’re just the junk of spiritual progress that in time will disappear on their own.
- Give Up Hope of Reward – Make Your Practice as an Ornament for the Mind
- Abandon Poisonous Food
When we know that the food we relish is tainted with poison, we reject it immediately. In our practice we must be sure that any wholesome conduct is not tainted by the twin poisons of the self-grasping ignorance and the self-cherishing attitude. If the former infects our practice, we should immediately apply the antidote of meditation on emptiness. Should our practice be stained by the latter, we should cultivate the altruistic mind and compassion.
Copyright Brian Beresford, 1977, 1996. Excerpted from Advice from a Spiritual Friend, with permission of Wisdom Publications, 199 Elm St., Somerville MA 02144 U.S.A, www.wisdompubs.org
- Do Not Be so Predictable.
- Do Not Malign Others. Do Not Be Excited by Cutting Remarks.
- Do Not Take Revenge
- Do Not Strike at Weaknesses
- Do Not Shirk Your Obligations
- Do Not Try to be the Best or the Fastest
- Do Not Be Devious.
- Do Not Bring a God Down to a Devil.
If, while we are supposedly generating the awakening mind, our emotional afflictions increase, the god has been brought down to the level of a demon. If we externally appear to be practicing correctly, it is impossible for this to occur.
- Do Not Seek Another’s Misery as a way to Your own Happiness
- Do Everything With One Intention: Karuna
- Apply One Remedy in All Adversity
When you are in the midst of perverse circumstances such as intense sickness, a bad reputation, court cases, increase of kleshas, or resistance to practice, you should develop compassion for all sentient beings who also suffer like this, and you should aspire to take on their suffering yourself through the practice of lojong.
- Renew Your Commitment When You Get up and Before You go to Sleep.
- Accept Good and Bad Fortune With Equanimity.
- Keep Your Precepts Even at the Risk of Your Life.
- Practice Right Effort*
“And what, monks, is right effort?[i] “There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.[ii] “He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.[iii] “He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.[iv] “He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort.”
- Find a Teacher, Tame the Roving Mind, Choose a Lifestyle That Allows You to Practice.
- Love Your Teacher, Enjoy Your Practice, Keep Your Vows.
- Focus Your Body, Mind, and Heart on the Path.
- Exclude Nothing From Your Acceptance Practice: Train With a Whole Heart.
- Always Meditate on Whatever Provokes Resentment.
- Do Not Be Swayed By External Conditions.
Your practice should not be dependent on ideal conditions.
If your situation is right, breathe it out.
If your situation is wrong, breathe it in.
- Exert Yourself, Especially at This Time.
Let me respectfully remind you. Life and Death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken.
- Do Not Follow Inverted Deeds.
- To show great patience for the difficulties of mundane affairs and not for the practice of cultivating the mind-essence is inverted patience.
- To have great determination to be involved in meaningless worldly diversions but no strong inclination to practice Dharma is inverted will.
- To revel in the enjoyment of pleasures that result from desire, hatred, and other mental negativities but not to savor the flavor that comes from meditation experience is to enjoy the inverted flavor.
- On the one hand, not to feel any pity for a worldly person who externally appears to lack nothing but who does not develop in a spiritual way and yet on the other to feel compassion for those who are materially poor but who sincerely practice Dharma is to have inverted compassion.
- To lure others, especially our family and friends, into mundane involvements that only bind them more securely to the cycle of birth and suffering instead of trying to guide them toward Dharma principles is to have inverted loyalty.
- And to rejoice in the misfortunes that arise for those we dislike yet be indifferent to the actions of those who benefit their fellow beings by their Dharma practice is to rejoice for inverted and wrong reasons.
- Be Consistent in Your Practice
- Train Wholeheartedly and with Zeal
- Free Yourself by Analysis and Testing
Identify your major mental afflictions, learn to recognize situations that cause the afflictions to flare up, and apply your mind training strategies.
- Don’t Feel Sorry for Yourself.
- Do Not Retaliate.
- Don’t Be Temperamental.
Don’t trouble the minds of your companions by showing your pleasure or displeasure on every little matter.
- Don’t Expect Applause.