A while back we slowly worked our way through Lama Atisha’s The Bodhisattva’s Garland of Jewels with our Facebook Community. Each week we posted a few stanzas, as a way to encourage all of us, ourselves included, to take it slow and really spend some time with the text. We finished that text last week and wondered what might be nice to follow it with. With excellent timing one of the members of the Practical Guide to Tibetan Buddhism course, John, posted a link in the course Facebook group to His Holiness’ commentary on the Eight Verses for Training the Mind. And Voila! here is a perfect new text to walk through. Thank you, John!
The Eight Verses for Training the Mind is a classic Tibetan Buddhist text in the lojong – mind training — tradition composed by the Kadampa Geshe Langri Tangpa, who lived from 1054 to 1123 CE. Below the eight verses, you will find links to commentary from His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings on this text, both from his teachings in Washington DC in November 1998 and from his book, Transforming the Mind.
With a determination to achieve the highest aim For the benefit of all sentient beings Which surpasses even the wish-fulfilling gem, May I hold them dear at all times.
Whenever I interact with someone, May I view myself as the lowest amongst all, And, from the very depths of my heart, Respectfully hold others as superior.
In all my deeds may I probe into my mind, And as soon as mental and emotional afflictions arise- As they endanger myself and others- May I strongly confront them and avert them.
When I see beings of unpleasant character
Oppressed by strong negativity and suffering,
May I hold them dear-for they are rare to find-
As if I have discovered a jewel treasure!
When others, out of jealousy
Treat me wrongly with abuse, slander, and scorn,
May I take upon myself the defeat
And offer to others the victory.
When someone whom I have helped, Or in whom I have placed great hopes, Mistreats me in extremely hurtful ways, May I regard him still as my precious teacher.
In brief, may I offer benefit and joy To all my mothers, both directly and indirectly, May I quietly take upon myself All hurts and pains of my mothers.
May all this remain undefiled By the stains of the eight mundane concerns; And may I, recognizing all things as illusion, Devoid of clinging, be released from bondage.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Suggested Prayer for Generating the Mind of Enlightenment
With a wish to free all beings I shall always go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha until I reach full enlightenment.
Enthused by wisdom and compassion,
today in the Buddha’s presence
I generate the Mind for Full Awakening
for the benefit of all sentient beings.
As long as space endures,
as long as sentient being remain,
until then, may I too remain
and dispel the miseries of the world.
His Holiness’ Commentary
Further Resources on the Eight Verses for Training the Mind
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