The Mind-Training Slogans, Slogan #9
Each Friday, Acharya Judy Lief, 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 (“mind-training”) teachings.
Each entry includes a practice.
9. In all activities train with slogans.
Pretty much anything we do can be joined with slogan practice. If you study and memorize the slogans, you will find that slogans appropriate to the occasion will pop up on their own. You can find ways to remind yourself, as well. You could keep a set of slogan cards on your desk, which you could buy or create in your own style. You could read and study the many commentaries on the practice.
Once you understand the underlying point—to increase loving-kindness and concern for others and to decrease self-absorption and ego fixation—you can make up our own slogan. One suited to where you feel most stuck.
Slogan practice is practical. It applies to everything that we do. There is guidance for meditation practice as well as for all the hassles of daily life. Slogan practice applies to the times when we drop our guard, and we see where we are really coming from. It applies to how we are, as opposed to how we think we should be. The point of mind training is not to smooth everything out, but to work with what is not smooth. It is to work with what is challenging, embarrassing, intense, and confusing. Slogan practice is an uncovering process. It includes everything! In whatever we do, it is possible to flip our perspective from self to other.
Where do you place the boundaries of your practice? Where do you shut it down? Choose one situation outside that boundary to include in your slogan practice.
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