Cultivating Compassion through Training the Mind
The focus for Open Circle Mindfulness beginning in August 2021 will be the 7 Points of Mind Training and the associated 59 Lojong Slogans, the Tibetan Buddhist practice for cultivating the Heart of Compassion. Although it has been utilized for centuries, Lojong is very practical, quite applicable to our world today. People are people, whenever they live. If you were in the group the last time we practiced this together, I hope you will join in again. It gets better each time.
Here are some thoughts on the practice of Lojong from the teachers who will be guiding us with their commentaries:
Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron: the practice “is about awakening the heart…when we find that we are closing down to ourselves and others, here is instruction on how to open. When we find we are holding back, here is instruction on how to give. That which is unwanted and rejected in ourselves and in others can be seen and felt with honesty and compassion.”
The Great Path of Awakening by Jamgon Kongtrul: “…we become more tolerant, less arrogant, more open and responsive…feel genuinely at peace with ourselves, naturally happy and cheerful even in difficult situations…”
Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong by Norman Fischer
“…Living a human life, in a human world, on a limited planet, has always been a daunting proposition. Circling the wagons, assuming a self-centered defensive stance, has never been a successful coping mechanism, natural though the impulse may be. We are programmed by evolution in the opposite way: we are cooperating animals, deeply conditioned to be concerned for one another. Our hearts are made for loving.
“… Compassion and resilience are not, as we might imagine, rarefied human qualities available only to the saintly. Nor are they adventitious experiences that arise in us only in extraordinary circumstances. In fact, these essential and universally prized human qualities can be solidly cultivated by anyone willing to take the time to do it. They can become the way we are and live on a daily basis. We can train our minds. We are not stuck with our fearful, habitual, self-centered ways of seeing and feeling.”
I hope you’ll join us. If you have questions, please contact Ken at email@example.com or call/text 828-768-1143