Blog 8: Three Objects, Three Poisons, and Three Seeds of Virtue

A Year of Atisha Slogans

8. Three objects, three poisons, and three seeds of virtue.

– Three Objects: Labeling our World

One way of looking at this slogan is that it is about the power of labels. It is about the way we categorize our world and what happens as a result. At a crude level and very quickly we are always sizing people up. We put the people we deal with into mental bins such as “friend,” “enemy” or “not worth bothering with.” We do this both individually and collectively. [Read more…]

Blog 9: In All Activities Train with Slogans

A year of Atisha Slogans

9. In all activities train with slogans.
Pretty much anything we do can be joined with slogan practice. If you study and memorize the slogans, you will find that slogans appropriate to the occasion will pop up on their own. You can find ways to remind yourself, as well. You could keep a set of slogan cards on your desk, which you could buy or create in your own style. You could read and study the many commentaries on the practice. [Read more…]

Blog 10: Begin the Sequence of Sending and Taking with Yourself

A year of Atisha slogans

10. Begin the sequence of sending and taking with yourself.
You may want to develop greater compassion and the ability to take on the suffering of others, but what about yourself? What about your own suffering? According to this slogan, that is where you start. You begin by recognizing your own suffering. [Read more…]

Blog 11: When the World is Filled with Evil, Transform all Mishaps into the Path of Bodhi

POINT THREE: TRANSFORMATION OF BAD CIRCUMSTANCES INTO THE PATH OF ENLIGHTENMENT

[6 slogans/ paramita of patience]

11. When the world is filled with evil,
Transform all mishaps into the path of bodhi.

When things go wrong, when we encounter obstacles, the last thing on our minds is the dharma. Instead, what is the first thing on our minds? Ourselves! It is all about how we are being inconvenienced, burdened, put upon, attacked, misunderstood, rejected—you name it. Not only do we lose track of the path, but our concern for others goes into hibernation as we focus front and center on our own particular problem. [Read more…]

Blog 12: Drive All Blames into One

12. Drive all blames into one.
We live in a society and world filled with blames and complaints of all kinds. When something goes wrong—and there is always something going wrong—we look for someone to blame. If we can’t find who is responsible, and our urge to blame is still lingering around, we choose someone willy-nilly. It could be anyone. Fill in the blanks, “It’s the ______! (Jews! Women drivers! Husbands! Kids! Corporations! …) [Read more…]

Blog 13: Be Grateful to Everyone

13. Be grateful to everyone.
This slogan is about gratitude. Gratitude does not seem to be that front and central nowadays. Instead of appreciating what we have, we keep focusing on what we do not have. We are filled with grudges and resentments and have strong opinions about what we deserve and what is our due. We may be taught to say “please” and “thank you,” but what have we been taught about appreciation? [Read more…]

Blog 14: Seeing Confusion as the Four Kayas is Unsurpassable Shunyata Protection

14. Seeing confusion as the four kayas

Is unsurpassable shunyata protection.

With this slogan, once again we are joining what we usually consider as undesirable with practice. In this case it is confusion. At first glimpse, this slogan seems rather obscure and even esoteric. What kind of confusion? What are the four kayas? What is shunyata, anyway, and what form of protection can it provide? Protection from what? [Read more…]

Blog 16: Whatever You Meet Unexpectedly, Join with Meditation

16. Whatever you meet unexpectedly, join with meditation.
When our lives are going relatively smoothly and predictably it is easier to maintain our mindfulness. But when things are happening fast, it is hard to remember to join what we encounter with meditation. It is also easier to think of others if we ourselves are not currently either in the midst of some crisis or caught up in some amazing opportunity. But it seems that no matter how hard we try to stay on an even keel, we keep being blindsided by unexpected events. [Read more…]

Blog 17: Practice the four Strengths, the Condensed Heart Instructions

POINT FOUR Showing the Utilization of Practice in One’s Whole Life

[2 slogans/ paramita of exertion]

17. Practice the five strengths,

The condensed heart instructions.

The two slogans of Point Four are a blanket approach: you are blanketing your entire life with exertion. It takes exertion to live properly and it also takes exertion to die properly. No matter how much we have studied or how many ideas we may have, without exertion, our understanding will be superficial, not transformative. [Read more…]