The Compassion Book I

The Compassion Book

“For many years, the fifty-nine slogans that are contained in this book have been the primary focus of my personal practice and teaching. These Tibetan Buddhist slogans (called lojong, or “mind-training” teachings) offer pithy, powerful reminders on how to awaken our hearts in the midst of day-to-day life, under any circumstances.”

1.First, train in the preliminaries.

The preliminaries are also known as the four reminders. In your daily life, try to:

1.1. Maintain an awareness of the preciousness of human life.

1.2. Be aware of the reality that life ends; death comes for everyone.

1.3. Recall that whatever you do, whether virtuous or not, has a result; what goes around comes around.

1.4. Contemplate that as long as you are too focused on self-importance and too caught up in thinking about how you are good or bad, you will suffer. Obsessing about getting what you want and avoiding what you don’t want does not result in happiness.

2.Regard all dharmas as dreams.

3.Examine the nature of unborn awareness.

4.Self-liberate even the antidote.

5.Rest in the nature of alaya, the essence.

6.In postmeditation, be a child of illusion.

7.Sending and taking should be practiced alternately. These two should ride the breath. (Tonglen)

8.Three objects (friends, enemies, neutrals), three poisons (craving, aversion, indifference), and three seeds of virtue.

9.In all activities, train with slogans.

10.Begin the sequence of sending and taking with yourself.

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

(Use the tonglen approach and breathe in the pain of the situation, wishing that all beings could be free of it. Then breathe out and send loving-kindness to all suffering beings, including yourself.)

12.Drive all blames into one.

13.Be grateful to everyone.

(Others will always show you exactly where you are stuck. They say or do something and you automatically get hooked into a familiar way of reacting. Without others provoking you, you remain ignorant of your painful habits and cannot train in transforming them into the path of awakening.)

14.Seeing confusion as the four kayas is unsurpassable shunyata (complete openness) protection.

15.Four practices are the best of methods.

The four practices are:

15.1. accumulating merit through any actions or words that lessen self-absorption

and thus create more space in your mind and heart,

15.2. laying down evil deeds through honest and joyful self-reflection,

15.3. offering to the dons* by welcoming mishaps because they wake you up

15.4. offering to the dharmapalas** by expressing your gratitude to those who protect the teachings that help you and your fellow beings to wake up.

*don= a sudden wake up call

**dharmapalas= the protectors; outer situations that bring us back when we stray into unkindness and confusion of all kinds

Source: The Compassion Book – Pema Chodron

 

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