Thursday, January 27, 2005

A New "Seven Points" Resource

Marilyn Bedford has sent me the link to a marvelous site on the "Seven Points of Mind Training". I believe she got it off of Tom Vinson's blog. The site is The Tonglen and Mind Training Site and it offers commentaries by Osho, Chogyam Trungpa, Pema Chodron, Jamgon Kongtrul (the traditional commentary we are using in ongoing class) and Alan Wallace.

Here's an excerpt from the home page:
Mind Training is a practice in the Buddhist tradition based on a set of proverbs formulated in Tibet in the 12th century by Chekawa. Through the practice we undertake to connect with our world in an unconditionally positive way, and also to take full responsibility for our experience of it.

Unlike many practices it does not require that you sign on to a particular system of beliefs, nor is it something that you can only do on your meditation cushion. In fact, the best practice is often done out in the world, with exactly those people and situations that upset and irritate you the most.

The twin foundations of the practice are Ultimate Bodhicitta, which could be very roughly be translated as 'Open-Mindedness', and Relative Bodhicitta, which could be translated, again very roughly, as 'Compassion'.

The fifty-seven or so proverbs form a very skilful set of antidotes to the bad mental habits, paranoia, and fixed ideas that cause us so much suffering. If you are new to the practice and want to decide whether the practice is for you, you might want to take a look at commentaries on:

Sending and Taking (tonglen)
Drive all Blames into One
Be Grateful to Everyone.
Abandon any Hope of Fruition

I highly recommend this site as a way of continuing to reflect on the material we go over in class and as a motivational strategy. I certainly plan to check into it often!

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