I am using Weeping Buddha and the lojong sayings and commentary from Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness by Chogyam Trungpa as a study, together.
I’ve been practicing tonglen for almost three decades, and it is my main practice.
This is the eleventh weekly installment. To start at the beginning go here.
“9: In all activities, train with slogans.”
Simply, this is a reminder that, like meditation, this is a practice.
As you move through the slogans you must do more than read them and move on to the next good Buddhist book — you must train with the slogan until they become so familiar to you that they arise in all situations, as does the practice of sending and taking.
I bought a packet of training cards, right,
but you could also make them yourself. They sit on our credenza in our studio so I see them every day. Sometimes
I work with one for several days, sometimes I flip them daily.
I keep it in my mind and think about it all day!
“10: Begin the practice of sending and taking with yourself.”*
Trungpa says: “First thought, best thought.”
When you see pain, or there is a painful event, take on the pain immediately.
Breath in, accept that there is pain, no resistance. As you breath out, allow any beauty or well-being that may reside in you to be sent to the suffering. The reason this begins with you is that you need to let go of grasping for the good in your life.
This is a point where the nihilist** may step in.
Some practitioners will say there is no room for any pleasure in one’s life. Not so.
Buddhism is being present for whatever is here now.
If there is pleasure, there is no reason to turn away from it.
And, too often our grasping for pleasure results in many mind-poisons.
So the ice cream tastes good, and there comes a point where we stop eating it or
we will be sick. Ice cream for every meal is not a good diet. Where pleasure is appropriate and id offered, we enjoy it, and where pain is present, we do not turn away but instead, accept it all, breathe it in, and send an offering of comfort to the situation.
*This week I did two slogans; #9 was so easy to understand!
**I remind you to go back and review Lojong Practice: 6 Nihilism and Intention.
In this weekly commentary on the lojong, I am not open to the feed becoming
a debate for people to nitpick Buddhism or my interpretations of Buddhist concepts.
(There are lots of places for debates.) I am more interested in hearing about
YOUR life or how the lojong affected you or your practice awakening in some manner.
For more info about why, go here.