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Mind Training Texts for Sunday Workshops

02 Jul 2014 2:48 PM | Lama Christopher Coriat (Administrator)

Each Sunday afternoon from 2 pm to 4 pm the group gathers in Dana Point at the beautiful Pacific Ashtanga Yoga Shala (by kind invitation of their Director, Diana Christinson) to focus on the renowned Mind-Training meditation tradition from India and Tibet ("Lojong"), with the guidance of teachers Daniela and Christopher.  

These practices, which have been handed down in an unbroken lineage for more than 1,000 years, provide a skillful way to work with the difficulties of life, opening our hearts and revealing the innate wisdom and goodness within us all. This is the path of awakening in everyday life, every step of the way.

A three-stage approach to development is taken: 

1. reading or listening to a teaching; 
2. discussion; and 
3. practice

There are many good texts available that deal with these practices. Feel free to choose whichever one (or more) appeal to you; that way we can discuss a variety of interpretations of each of the 59 maxims that form the heart of the mind-training tradition.

Suggested texts include:
Awakening the Buddha Within, by Lama Surya Das (Step Two: Right Intentions, pp 151-160 Lo-Jong)
Start Where You Are, by Pema Chodron
Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on Lojong, by Norman Fischer
Training the Mind, by Chogyam Trungpa
The Practice of Lojong, by Traleg Kyabgon
The Great Path of Awakening, by Jamgon Kongtrul (trans. Ken McLeod)
Buddhism with an Attitude, by Alan Wallace

Whichever book you choose to work with, it will be helpful (but not essential) to read the relevant part dealing with the next maxim or pith instruction, before each Sunday's discussion. Come as often as you can, but if you need to miss one or more sessions, you can simply keep your study and practice of Lojong going with the book until the next time you come.

Don't be afraid to join in mid-series: the teachings can be helpful no matter where you start on the path.

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