Cutting though self-attachment and training the mind are the great challenges of any Buddhist practitioner. But we can’t do it without clear and precise instructions that can help us see what it would be like to be much more enlightened than we are. Such instructions can be found in Illuminating the Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva by Chökyi Dragpa, translated by Heidi I. Koppl. While the root text is much shorter, this commentary contains a literal treasure trove of words from the Kadampa masters of old. The text describes the nature of life and my own suffering in a way that rings true. I have used this text both as a guide to understand how to train my own mind in the way of the lineage masters and also as consolation: comfort in the toughest of times, when applying the dharma, is difficult and takes much effort.

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