Lojong: I tried Mind Training to Awaken My Heart for 30 days and Here’s what happened

published 8 months ago by Dr. Melissa West - Yoga Teacher - Namaste Yoga

Lojong for 30 Days There are lots of videos on YouTube out there under the umbrella of, “I tried ____ for 30 days and this is what happened” I tried meditation for 30 days and this is what happened. I tried yoga for 30 days and this is what happened. Since I already practice yoga and meditation these are not going to work for an I tried video for me. But there are also I tried cold showers for 30 days, I went to the gym for 30 days, I quit social media for 30 days, waste free or plastic free for the 30 days of water challenge, pushups for 30 days, pull ups for 30 days. You get the picture. While there are merits to these practices, I thought what if I could come up with an I tried ___ for 30 days that was deeply aligned with my own values. In the lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Tibetan Buddhism there is a practice called lojong. It is a bodhicitta mind training for those of us who aspire to awaken for the benefit of all beings. There are 59 slogans which are designed to reverse our ego-clinging and cultivate tenderness and compassion. Here are the slogans: Click Here This is not about progress, about doing it right, about succeeding, but about noticing how I open and close to the slogan that I choose. My idea is that I will take this deck shuffle through the cards and whatever slogan jumps out at me I will have to stick with for 30 days. The thing about these slogans is that they are not all clear from the get go: A slogan like: don’t expect applause or be grateful to everyone are pretty straight forward, but a slogan like: examine the nature of unborn awareness would probably take me way more than 30 days to find understanding in. I honestly don’t know what I am hoping. I know whatever I choose it is going to kick my but in some way and it will also bring some illumination and awakening. I will set an alarm on my phone so that I will remember to check in each day and let you know how I am doing. I plan to share the frustrations as well as the insights. Hopefully this video will not be too long! My lojong for 30 days May 18-June 18 is “Don’t turn Gods into demons” There are three books I am drawing from for this challenge. Chogyam Trungpa’s Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving Kindness, Pema Chodron’s Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living and Norman Fischers’ Teaching in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong. I also love Judy Leif’s teachings on Lojong in Tricycle magazine. She was a student of Chogyam Trungpa’s and she has written on each of the 59 slogans in Tricycle. I like to start with Chogyam Trungpa because he came first and seems closest to the source. With don’t turn gods into demons, he talks about our negativity bias and our tendency to complain. He says this slogan asks us to not make things that are joyful, painful. The other thing that I love about what Chogyam Trungpa says is that dharma can become adharma. In other words, we can start using the teachings against ourselves. Oh my gosh, can I relate to that one. The number of times I have done that over the years, let’s be honest, in a single practice. This is something I can observe from minute to minute in my life. He also talks about bringing awareness to the way we use the dharma to build up our ego. That is another aspect of this “don’t turn gods into demons” lojong slogan that I will notice throughout the month. How do I use what is good in my life to solidify my sense of self. Oh my gosh, that list is probably endless. Day 1 I was reflecting on how the previous day my seventeen year old daughter had come into my bedroom and kissed me goodnight. I was quite touched by this tender act of affection. The next day, I said to my husband, did you ask her to do that? He said he did and then asked, did that make it any less special? Don’t turn gods into demons.

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