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 nineteenth weekly installment. To start at the beginning go here.
I can only discuss this is the most personal of ways — my own experience.
Otherwise it becomes a Buddhist lesson, and many of my readers are not Buddhists.
- “Accumulating merit”: In this case, I accumulate merit through the lack of a negative reaction to a problematic encounter. Everyone, thanks to the Beatles, has heard of instant karma — meaning negative karma. By practicing, meditating on, and being prepared for “negative” encounters, I can choose not to react with anger. Even if I am angry, I can choose how to express that anger. I don’t have to go over the top; I can find the hurt underneath the anger, and take the whole explosion down a notch. Taking the highest road possible is to accumulate merit or good karma.
- “Laying down evil deeds” has four stages:
1) Regret. Not wallowing in regret, which is useless, but seeing that I got really mad, and I should not have said this or that. . . then,
2) Refrain. Stop whenever you see what you are doing. Drop the storyline and get to what you really want out of the situation and how you are going to NOT take this tack. Say you are sorry. Ask for forgiveness if appropriate.
3) Take refuge. In my world, and especially when I have no way to change the outcome with another person by speaking with them directly, I can at least take my issues to the zafu (meditation pillow), meditate, and hope for a change. Some might turn it over to god/dess in prayer. I can hold the tension when I MUST. I never said I would like it. I am not there yet.
4) I surrender to resolution when it presents itself. Don’t hang onto grudges when the fight is over. Let go.
- “Offering to the hungry ghosts”: This is about being thankful for the devils in your midst, because they allow you the opportunity to grow. Send them the best you have to offer in your heart, even if for some reason you may have to draw boundaries.
- “Offering to the protectors”: I know that in my own life, I have avoided pitfalls that might even have been of my own doing, let alone someone else’s doing who may have a grudge against me. When I am aware of these, I give thanks. When I am not aware of these, I am grateful for the well-being and goodness I have in my life, and wish for that to be so for all beings. Even my “enemies”.
I am interested in hearing about YOUR life or how the lojong
affected you or your practice awakening in some manner.
Some have asked me about my ongoing studies of weeping Buddha.
They are all drawn in an OE or OKINA NOTEBOOKS (my favorite journals, also known as Cadic), and this one was drawing with a Preppie pen and Polar Brown Noodler’s ink. Caran D’ache watercolor pencils.