Blog 53: Don’t Vacillate.

53. Don’t vacillate.
When you first encounter the dharma, you may be intrigued but wary, or quick to be inspired. If you are inspired, you may jump in enthusiastically, and read all sorts of books, take tons of classes, and practice a lot. But such enthusiasm tends to be short-lived, and after a while, your interest and energy begins to peter out. You begin to have second thoughts about the whole thing. [Read more…]

Blog 52: Don’t Misinterpret

52. Don’t misinterpret.
This slogan focuses on six qualities—patience, yearning, excitement, compassion, priorities, and joy—and how they can be misinterpreted. More generally, the point is to see how we can twist things so that our avoidance of the dharma is considered to be a virtue rather than a fault. We are continually tempted to misinterpret teachings designed to soften our ego-fixation in such a way that they instead add more fuel to our self-absorption and distractedness. [Read more…]

Blog 51: This Time Practice the Main Points.

51. This time, practice the main points.

This time…

Every so often, opportunties to practice the dharma come up. How many times have you let those opportunities pass you by? I think of this slogan as the mañana slogan. It is the idea that there will always be time to practice later, but right now there are just too many other things going on. [Read more…]

Blog 50: Don’t Be Swayed by External Circumstances.

50. Don’t be swayed by external circumstances.
The good thing about mind training is that it can be practiced in all kinds of situations. You do not have to wait for the right conditions to arrive or make special arrangements in order to work with mind training. The only rearrangement that needs to be made is to your own attitude. [Read more…]

Blog 49: Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment.

49. Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment.
Cultivating loving-kindness sounds so sweet and wholesome. When you look at the ads in spiritual publications, you see smiling faces and promises about how to achieve happiness and be more loving and kind. But how many times do you see the word resentment? [Read more…]

Blog 48: Train without bias in all areas.

48. Train without bias in all areas.

It is crucial always to do this pervasively and wholeheartedly.

The previous slogan was about including all aspects of yourself in your lojong practice: your body, your speech, and your mind. This slogan expands upon that to include all aspects of your experience altogether. [Read more…]

Blog 47: Keep the three inseparable.

 47. Keep the three inseparable.
It is easy to think of lojong practice as just a mental exercise, after all, lojong is translated as “mind training.” But according to this slogan, lojong practice should engage our whole being: our body, our speech, and our mind. The idea is that we should be so thoroughly and completely permeated with mind training that there is no separation whatsoever. [Read more…]

Blog 46: Pay heed that the three never wane.

46. Pay heed that the three never wane.
Our initial inspiration to study with a teacher or to practice the dharma has a tendency to fizzle away over time. It is one thing to enjoy a burst of enthusiasm, but it is quite another to keep going after the initial excitement wears off. But that is exactly the point when you begin to practice for real. [Read more…]

Blog 45: Take on the three principal causes.

45. Take on the three principal causes.
It is good to be aware of the convergence of circumstances that makes it possible for you to practice the dharma. By attending to the underpinnings that support you on the path, you can create and maintain a strong base for moving forward. You can develop greater appreciation for your good fortune, and not take it for granted. [Read more…]

Blog 44: Train in the Three Difficulties

44. Train in the three difficulties.
Mind training or lojong is a way to uncover and develop confidence in our own inherent goodness and that of all beings. It is a way to cultivate loving-kindness. You might say that is the good news. But the way to go about that is by going directly to the dark side, to what prevents that awakened quality from manifesting, which is not an easy task. You might say that is the bad news. [Read more…]