"Buddha teaches us that it is here and now, in this present moment, that we can heal, transform, and transcend dualistic mind."
--HEAL, Prajna Sparks Podcast, Episode 19
A GIFT IN THANKS
Lately we have been reinvigorating our understanding of a threefold approach to working with dualistic mind presented in our Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. We call the three dimensions of this living practice "healing, transforming, and transcending" dualistic mind. This combination of on and off the meditation cushion practice is, often working with the kleshas, a Sanskrit term defined in our lineage as "any mental or emotional state that disturbs mind's innate peace."
Every tradition of Buddhism has rich storehouses of techniques for identifying these disturbances and bringing them onto the path of liberation from samsara--another Sanskrit term referring to the cycle of birth, aging, illness, and death. Liberation from samsara is what the Buddha identifies as the impetus for his own spiritual quest, teaching, and practice path.
Indeed, the myriad approaches to cultivating familiarity with our mind, experience, and reality itself magnetized each of us from the start of our individual encounters with Buddhism, and eventual settling in Tibetan practice.
Among these, Yeshe has cultivated a deep personal connection to the Tibetan lo jong body of teachings, from which she has gained immense personal benefit. As a litigator in Silicon Valley at the height of the tech bubble, Yeshe incorporated a regular practice of the maxims in her busy life, allowing her to enrich her practice despite precious little time for formal meditation practice and considerable challenges.
In this, she was inspired by the advice of Ani Pema Chodron (which she gained from her guru, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche) to focus on one maxim per day as a way of learning the significance of each, developing a personal understanding of their meaning and how they manifest in life through our own experience. Throughout the years, Yeshe continued with this day-by-day discovery of the sage advice of the maxims.
During our traditional three-year meditation cloister, Ani Pema kindly visited our group and provided teachings, reinvigorating this wonderful opportunity for all of us to dive deep into the lo jong maxims amidst the unique challenges of long retreat.
The term lo jong itself means training, transforming, purifying, or refining (jong) the conceptual mind (lo). The practice is one squarely focused on a multidimensional cultivation of bodhicitta, the intent to awaken, in both its immanent, or relative expression, and its transcendent, or ultimate sense.
Earlier this month, on the full moon day, our Prajna Sparks podcast episode Heal began an exploration of healing through the lens of lo jong practice. The episode operates in conjunction with an ongoing series of Instagram posts of Yeshe's everyday English rendering of the brilliant lo jong text Seven Points for Healing Dualistic Mind by Kadampa Geshe Chekawa Yeshe Dorje. Future podcasts episodes will explore the transforming and transcending features of Buddhism and lo jong in particular.
Beginning today and continuing through the holiday season, Prajna Fire is offering freely Heal Transform Transcend: Notes on Kadampa Geshe Chekawa Yeshe Dorje's Seven Points for Healing Dualistic Mind, a small e-book and huge labor of love collecting Yeshe's fresh rendering of the maxims and her brief notes on each as a gift for Thanksgiving (the day before yesterday) and in honor of our spiritual and familial lineages--for the birthday of the Fourth Jamgon Rinpoche (yesterday), and our beloved mother/ mother-in-love, Nelly (today!).
Our wish is that this will make the maxims and notes accessible to those who do not frequent Instagram, and in particular, that it will serve as a companion piece for those following the our ongoing Prajna Sparks series about Buddhist healing, transforming, and transcending, and how it expresses through this brilliant text on the lo jong practice.
Thanks to all of you, for your dedication to flourishing here and now and in every possible way, through healing, transforming, and transcending in your own lives for the good of all that lives. We appreciate your continued support of Prajna Fire and our Dharma work.
May all beings benefit!
With deep gratitude,
Yeshe and Zopa
Note: We have not created e-books before, and are confident that we have goofed somewhere. Do let us know if you encounter glitches so we can update the files.
Selected Commentaries on the source text, Seven Points for Healing Dualistic Mind
The Great Path of Awakening, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, Ken McLeod, translator
The Practice of Lojong: Cultivating Compassion through Training the Mind, Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche
The Intelligent Heart: A Guide to the Compassionate Life, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Start Where You Are, Pema Chodron