I have wanted to investigate Tibetan lojong mind training since reading about it earlier this year in Lama Surya Das’ book The Buddha Within. I then read an article that discussed a group of four of the lojong aphorisms, or ‘slogans,’ as they are called in an issue of Shambhala Sun. I began to work with the slogans using an online list of them with discussion by Acharya Judy Lief, a teacher in the Shambhala tradition of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, at tricycle.com.
On a recent trip to Half Priced Books I found a couple of interesting things, including a like-new copy of Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy, which I’ve long wanted, for a mere $10! But more to the point, I also found a copy of Pema Chodron’s book Start Where You Are. I’ve wanted to read some of her work for awhile and have heard of this book before. When I began to leaf through it, I discovered that it addresses meditation (Tonglen meditation in particular) and lojong slogan work! How amazing to find this book right as I am starting to work with the lojong slogans! “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” in action!
I’ve worked with these slogans, usually written on a set of cards, by reading commentaries by Chogyam Trungpa, Judy Lief, and Pema Chodron, and have decided to continue working them throughout the course of a year or more. . Each Sunday I post a random slogan and offer some thoughts on it, then try to work with it throughout that week. I invite anyone who is interested to try these out, and I’d love to hear people’s insights into them as well.
1. First train in the preliminaries
4. Self-liberate even the antidote
5. Rest in the nature of alaya, the essence
6.1. Absolute and Relative Bodhichitta
8. Three objects, three poisons, and three seeds of virtue
9. In all activities train with slogans
10. Begin the sequence of sending and taking with yourself
15. Four practices are the best of methods
18. The ejection of consciousness