Every Friday, Acharya Judy Lief, a senior teacher in the Shambhala tradition of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, comments on one of Atisha’s 59 mind-training (Tib. lojong) slogans, which serve as the basis for a complete practice.

Atisha (980-1052 CE) was an Indian adept who brought to Tibet a systematized approach to bodhicitta (the desire to awaken for the sake of all sentient beings) and loving-kindness, through working with these slogans. Judy edited Chogyam Trungpa’s Training the Mind (Shambhala, 1993), which contains Trungpa Rinpoche’s commentaries on the lojong teachings.

Each entry includes a practice. See the previous slogans and commentaries here.

28. Abandon Any Hope of Fruition.

From Acharya Lief’s commentary on this slogan,

When we do anything, we usually do it for a purpose. We have some aim in mind and we hope to accomplish that aim. We hope to succeed rather than fail. That is fine. But what then happens is that our thoughts of success or failure begin to overpower the task at hand. The fear of failure can make us timid and unwilling to take risk our clinging to a successful outcome can make us more and more tight. We become impatient and grit our teeth trying to force our desired outcome. The hope of fruition and the fear of failure go hand-in-hand.

So much education and so much of the conventional thinking about how to motivate people is based on that model of hope and fear. We learn to expect some kind of reward or confirmation any time we succeed and to expect some form of punishment when we do not.  But according to this slogan, it is better to abandon that whole approach. In that way, when we act, there are no hidden agendas or ulterior motives.

Read her complete commentary here, as well as the accompanying practice.

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