less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings."
---The 16th Mind Training Slogan of Atisha
Although the 59 slogans of this Tibetan Buddhist system of training the Heart/Mind were passed on as secret teachings in Tibet by the ninth century emigre Indian teacher, Atisha, they were codified and then opened to a wider audience in the 12th century by Tibetan teacher Geshe Chekawa.
Now, in the 21st century, that audience has become worldwide. Here, in the melting pot of American Buddhism, there are numerous translations and commentaries on these Teachings in English -- and not only by teachers in the Tibetan tradition like Pema Chödrön and her teacher Chögyam Trungpa. In fact, these days my favorite book on Lojong is that of Zen teacher, Sensei Norman Fisher. His book, Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong, rocks!
In print, in digital media, and on the web, viewing the vast array of material on Lojong available today is like peering at the rainbow facets of a diamond while slowly spinning it around in the sunlight. It's dazzling.
How cool is that?
The Theory and the Practice
Of course, studying is one thing. Unlearning a habits of a lifetime is another. We've all been immersed in a pool of conditioning that often serves to disconnect us from our Heart of Hearts. The effort to uncover our natural compassion and wisdom takes commitment, energy, and patience. It takes Practice.
At one point years and years ago, after having been struck by a suggestion by Ram Dass's in Be Here Now,