Lojong Meditation

Lojong Meditation is a Tibetan Buddhist practice. The word “Lojong” means, “training or transforming the mind”. The practice is based on a set of aphorisms. They were compiled by Tibetan Meditation master Geshe Chekhawa in 12th century. He wrote a famous text the “Seven Points of Mind Training”. The text reveals how to transform adverse conditions, difficulties and different ordeals into the path to enlightenment through developing deep compassion. Before this text teachings were secretly given orally to only faithful deserving disciples. The teachings were introduced in Tibet in 11th century by a great Indian scholar and Meditation master Atisha, the originator of the practice. Alisha spent the last 10 years of his life in Tibet. He was the son of an emperorer Kalyana Shri of Zahor, northeastern region of Bengal in India. He studied under accomplished teachers, became very learned and later on travelled to Sumatra receiving instructions in Buddhism for 12 years from the great master Suvarnadvipa. He authored many texts including very popular the Lamp for the Path of Awakening. Lojong refines and purifies one’s attitudes, motivations and mind.

The Practice:
Lojong is mind training or thought transformation. The root text of the mind training practice are 59 or so proverbs. The practitioner meditates on them, one at a time till the meaning is absorbed. The proverbs are designed as antidotes to undesired mental habits. They expand one’s mental horizon and viewpoint, such as "Be grateful to everyone”. They are methods for relating to the world in a more constructive way, such as "When everything goes wrong, treat disaster as a way to wake up." Below are some of the profound verses, full of wisdom and deep meaning:

  • Work with the greatest defilements first.
  • Liberate yourself by examining and analyzing.
  • Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment.
  • Don't bring things to a painful point.
  • Always maintain only a joyful mind.
  • Don't seek others' pain as the limbs of your own happiness.
  • If you can practice even when distracted, you are well trained.

Internalization of these meaningful words eliminate suffering. The instructions eradicate self-grasping. The practice brings freedom from the physical attachments and mental bondage. Lojong purifies mind and thoughts and leads to Awakening and Enlightenment.

Mind training builds self-control. Mind training converts the negativity into meaningful positivity. Mind training increases tolerance. There is an interesting story that when Atisha heard that the people of Tibet were pleasant and peaceful, instead of being relieved, he got concerned that he will not be having enough negative emotion around him to work on his mind training practice. So he brought his ill-tempered servant who would criticize him continuously and was irritating and very challenging to spend any time with. Mind training controls anger and transforms it into kindness and compassion.

Practice of Lojong, keeps check on the ego and pride of practitioner, which can be obstacles in the path to enlightenment. Practice keeps the practitioner humble by having awareness that may be little is known or experienced yet. Every mind is essentially a Buddha mind. It is a natural right of everyone to experience the blissful Buddha state of mind. When one knows one’s own mind, one is freed.

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