The Buddhist Roots of Compassion 2017

Lectures from the Buddhist Rooms of Compassion Retreat, August 2017

In August 2017, Mindfulness Northwest director and leader teacher Tim Burnett co-led a 5-day silent mindfulness retreat with assistant teacher Beth Glosten and gave daily talks exploring the Tibetan Buddhist compassion training system of "lojong" or mind-training slogans.

The primary text for the lectures was:
  • Norman Fischer, Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong
Tim also referred to the following texts:
  • Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  • Chogyam Trungpa, Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness
  • Thubten Jinpa, Essential Mind Training
An outline of the mind training slogans Tim focussed on in his talks is as follows. There are 7 points and 59 slogans in total. What follows are the wording from Norman Fischer's book which in some cases is a bit different from the traditional phrasing.

These mind training slogans when practiced with, remembered, turned over in our minds, and breathed with can really change our orientation and approach to life helping us to become more aware, open, and compassionate.

Slogans Covered

Point 1: Resolve to Begin

Slogan 1: Train in the Preliminaries

Point 2: Train in Empathy & Compassion

Slogan 2: See Everything as a Dream

Slogan 3: Examine the Nature of Awareness

Slogan 5: Rest in the openness the mind.

Slogan 7: Practice sending and receiving alternately on the breath (tonglen practice)

Point 3: Transform Bad Circumstances into the Path

Slogan 11: Turn all mishaps into the path.

Slogan 12: Drive all blames into one.

Slogan 13: Be grateful to everyone.

Point 4: Make Practice Your Whole Life

Slogan 17: Cultivate a serious attitude (practice the five strengths)

Slogan 18: Practice for death as well as for life.

Point 5: Assess and Extend

Slogan 19: There's only one point.

Slogan 20: Trust your own eyes.

Slogan 21: Maintain joy (and don't lose your sense of humor).

Slogan 22: Practice even when you're distracted.

Point 6: The Discipline of Relationship.

Slogan 24: Don't be a phony.

Slogan 25: Don't talk about faults.

Slogan 26: Don't figure others out.

Slogan 27: Work with your biggest problems first.

Slogan 28: Abandon hope.

Slogan 30: Don't be so predictable.

Point 7: Living with Ease in a Crazy World

Slogan 41: Begin at the beginning, end at the end.

Slogan 46: Don't lose track.

Slogan 47: Keep the three inseparable.

Slogan 48: Train Wholeheartedly, openly, and constantly.

Slogan 54: Be wholehearted.

Slogan 56: Don't wallow.

Slogan 57: Don't be jealous.

Slogan 58. Don't be frivolous.

Slogan 59. Don't expect applause.

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