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Atisha’s Seven Points of Mind Training (Lo Jong) July 16-18, 2010 Pema Karpo Meditation Center Memphis, Tennessee.

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Presentation on theme: "Atisha’s Seven Points of Mind Training (Lo Jong) July 16-18, 2010 Pema Karpo Meditation Center Memphis, Tennessee."— Presentation transcript:

1 Atisha’s Seven Points of Mind Training (Lo Jong) July 16-18, 2010 Pema Karpo Meditation Center Memphis, Tennessee

2 Disclaimer This is a rough outline of the talks given by Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche with translation by Christoph Klonk as understood by the imperfect ears of one listener done without referring back to any sound recordings These are not literal transcripts These are one student’s notes -- use them to compare to your own notes or memories of the teaching, but do not assume they are a perfect reproduction of what was said

3 Outline of the Training Atisha's Seven Points of Mind Training (Lojong) 1. The Preliminaries to Mind Training 2. The Main Practice of Training the Mind in Bodhichitta 3. Transforming Adversity into the Path of Awakening 4. Applying the Practice Throughout One's Whole Life 5. The Measure or Signs of Proficiency in Mind Training 6. The Commitments of Mind Training 7. The Precepts of Mind Training

4 3 activities related to mind training Begin with Bodhichitta of intention (for the benefit of all beings) 1.Listen to topics with the intention above 2.Reflect on the topics 3. Abide with intention on the topics (put them into practice)

5 What is the main content of the teaching? Bodhichitta – the awakened heart This attitude in relation to the whole phenomenal world and to ultimate reality is explained in detail in this teaching

6 Also called mind training in 7 points So what is mind? Listening/understanding/knowing/clear lucid awareness “Training” the mind is obviously NOT training the mind to be ‘bad’ Further, it is also NOT training to get rid of the ‘bad’ mind RATHER, it is understanding that mind is inherently good and trying to stay with those positive qualities

7 Directed toward Supreme Awakening The training toward Supreme Awakening comes from great protector Atisha who had three major gurus Third one was Serlingpa, notes unclear on other 2 -- Mostly from Serlingpa that lo jong is derived (lo = conceptual mind; jong = training or discipline) Aside not in the teaching, from ref book: (Serling is Tibetan for Gold Island now called Sumatra – so Serlingpa meant man or guru from Gold Island or Sumatra) There are many presentations of Serlingpa’s teachings, but lo jong slogans which are the basis of this teaching were coined/summarized by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje later Aside from ref books: Atisha’s life dates approx, ; Chekawa approx

8 What is it all about? Looking for a better state of happiness Many ways people look – health, wealth, longevity Dharma helps us understand these approaches will fade Dharma helps explain how we can go beyond those to something lasting

9 What is the major condition for ultimate wellness? The major condition is Supreme Enlightenment The major condition that will produce Supreme Enlightenment is BODHICHITTA CANNOT attain Supreme Enlightenment without this attitude Trainings on the Awakened Heart (Bodhichitta) focus on both The awakened heart in the conventional world (how things appear) AND in relation to absolute reality (how things really are) Atisha and the 3 gurus of Atisha did not just teach but really focused on realizing the awakened heart in relation to the world and in relation to resting in shunyata (emptiness) PRACTICED WHAT THEY TAUGHT

10 The how/what/why of mind training This training runs contrary to usual concerns Usual concerns are about nourishing ourselves Usually cherish ourselves as more valuable than others BUT happiness is NOT from ourselves Happiness comes from taking care of others. Clinging to self/ego actually is the cause of UNHAPPINESS

11 Why are there 7 points MUST COVER: 1.Whose mind is to be trained ? – the conventional individual’s mind is the basis for training 2.How can one achieve bodhichitta? 3.How can seeming obstacles to bodhichitta actually be used to nourish it? 4.How can we use the practice for the rest of our whole life? 5.How far can these trainings take us? 6.How can we make an inner promise to stay with the training? 7.Last – some concluding practical advices THE ITEMS ABOVE ARE THE 7 GATEWAYS TO ACCESSING/UNFOLDING THE BODHICHITTA HEART

12 I. Preparatory Conditions Overview of preparatory conditions to start training at all: 1.Recognize/become aware of the rare opportunity of this human life 2.Become aware of the impermanence of this life 3.See the problems resulting from our habitual pattern of self-grasping

13 1) Appreciate this life The sutras say this occasion (our life) is endowed with so much fortune and leisure (opportunity) but is so difficult to attain This life did not come out of no where but from causes and conditions Traditional explanation is that it required a lot of positive mind habits just to attain a human birth as there are limitless other types of existences/sentient beings including as examples Bugs, microbes, invisible beings in this and other worlds THEREFORE, since human existence is a very precious chance Do not take it for granted Do not let it pass meaninglessly Make this life useful !

14 2) Fact of impermanence This human body is not durable And … the expiration date is unknown This fact is in contrast to our usual attitude of thinking that life and objects are permanent Even our ‘self’ changes from second to second Mind training gets our mind more used to the reality that all is change/change/change Cannot even promise we will not die today THEREFORE, we must not put off training the mind, Must do it today!

15 3) Facts of samsara Must learn to accept the fact of repetitive trouble Troubles keep going round and round, over and over We are all trapped in trouble Classical teachings would explain six types of trouble We will focus on just troubles of humans 4 troubles common to all humans 1)Birth 2)Aging which is unavoidable 3)Various kinds of sickness – physical, mental etc 4)Death Details of the above vary for each of us, but basic four points are a given for every human.

16 What causes troubles? If we are to eradicate the troubles, must first see what causes them Our problem seems to be we hold on to trouble causing habits that we thought would bring us happiness, but really don’t This error of mind causes us to be “TROUBLE ADDICTS” Once we see what our habits are doing to us, we can look for a solution or medicine

17 Analogy of medicine When a person has a sickness, must first diagnose what kind Once it is known what the sickness is, the proper medicine can be found Need to rely on someone with experience for the diagnosis Buddha gave 84,000 advices on what brings trouble vs. happiness and how to be free from our misconceptions Boils down to appropriate vs. inappropriate behaviors

18 10 inappropriate behaviors MISCONDUCT OF THE BODY 1)Killing, 2) Stealing 3) Sexual Misconduct MISCONDUCT OF SPEECH 1)Lying 2)Words that cause disharmony 3)Harsh words 4)Meaningless chatter MISCONDUCT OF THE MIND 1)Greed, 2) Ill-wishing, 3) Ignorance WHY DISCUSS THESE – must go beyond NOT doing the above, but also replace with opposite – Don’t kill, promote life; don’t steal, give etc etc

19 Summary about appropriate vs. inappropriate behavior More examples of replacements for inappropriate bahavior: 1)Setting free those to be killed vs. killing, 2)Giving to charity vs. stealing, 3)Setting a positive example in terms of sexual behavior, 4)Truth vs. lying, 5)Creating harmony/reconciling instead of ill wishing, 6)Friendliness instead of greed In summary: Be aware of CAUSE AND EFFECT at all times -- Doing as we please causes more confusion and difficulties to follow

20 Summary of preliminary conditions How does the explanation of ‘preliminaries’ above fit into overall training? We must reverse our habitual misunderstandings/not wanting to face facts of life We must stop deceiving ourselves We must stop wasting time on blame or regrets of the past and get to work THIS FOUNDATION IS NECESSARY TO GET USED TO THE FACTS OF LIFE. MUST GET RID OF MISCONCEPTIONS IN ORDER TO WORK TOWARD THE AWAKENED HEART.

21 END OF PART I – THE PRELIMINARIES

22 II. Actual Training of the Awakened Heart As we have heard before, there are two types of Awakened Heart or Bodhichitta 1.Bodhichitta in relation to seeming truth/phenomenal world/habitual tendencies 2.Finding absolute truth Most teachings start with Bodhichitta in conventional world and work up to Bodhichitta in ultimate truth This teaching begins with ultimate truth Why is the order reversed? Because it makes sense in practice. 1.In meditation practice we try to understand how things really are – with no substantiality or ‘empty’ 2.Then we get up and go about our activities in the conventional world between meditation practices

23 2 facets of the Awakened Heart 1.One facet which is in contact with the actual truth 2.One facet which is in contact with the phenomenal world

24 2 sets of three Three fold structure of the practice: 1.A way into the practice 2.The practice 3.Fade out/conclusion Three reliable sources of support: 1.Buddha – someone free of samsara to relate to 2.Dharma – the genuine path 3.Sangha – good companions who do not lead us astray These three sources of support are needed until we reach enlightenment.

25 Intentions (way into the practice) Remember the trainings are important not just for our self, but for ALL beings The teachings/process is important for all sentient beings Direct the heart with appreciation to all great teachers and try to tune into their positive mind stream Put oneself in the right state of mind

26 A word to beginners The teaching may seem horribly complex at first impression But when the day comes that we want to undertake the JOURNEY or PATH to tame our problem mind, we will need some basic provisions These detailed teachings are the ‘provisions’ or practical advice for the path or journey Taking a detailed approach makes us aware of the full picture 1.We are fully informed of the foundation 2.We know what to do in the middle 3.And, we know what we can expect as a result of the training – know where we are trying to go

27 Continued word to beginners Ultimately, not just some exotic ideas, but practical steps aimed at taming our unskillful mind If we can tame unhelpful emotions, then we will be happier– thus these trainings are intended to be very helpful to us This is not just some random elaborate practice aimed at increasing arrogance or adding to our habitual self clinging.

28 Summary of getting into the practice Get into the right state of mind by Recalling the support or resources of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha AND the motivation to practice for the benefit of all beings This motivation then leads to 7 detailed preparatory steps

29 7 step prayer/approach (1) 1.Greeting or Appreciation (Homage) Start with greeting or appreciation of all those past enlightened or awakened hearts such as the Buddhas & bodhisattvas. Literal and/or figurative prostrations to recognize the good qualities of these beings. 2.Contributions (Offerings) Make literal and/or imagined offerings of good things in appreciation of the beings honored in step one. This will increase our feelings of well being, decrease our poverty mentality. 3.Confession Admit our past shortcomings and make resolution to do better in presence of the imagined superior beings. Inner resolution helps as antidote to faults – best antidote is wish to do something good for all beings (bodhichitta).

30 7 step prayer/approach (2) 4.Rejoicing Rejoice in the good qualities of the visualized beings. If we can simply train ourselves to AVOID jealousy toward others, BUT RATHER to rejoice in their good qualities – in some way we actually share in the benefits of their positive qualities. 5.Request teachings Actually ‘request’ not because teachers are stingy or lazy, but to develop a form of appreciation. Also assures teachers are not imposing rules on the students – teachings actually wanted.

31 7 step prayer/approach (3) 6.Urge the Buddhas and other beings to stay longer This makes us appreciate the immeasurable benefits of their activities. If someone appreciates these beings it will help clear obstacles. If there is some appreciated it helps extends their life. Develops a skillful interconnection of beings. Similar to longevity prayers for the Dalai Lama. 7.Dedication Dedicate whatever merit or good we get from the teachings to others, toward enlightenment of all beings. Clears the way for the benefits, prevents losing the benefits, prevents self clinging to the result.

32 Summary of points above Summarizing the teachings thus far: All has been related to preparing the mind for the actual practice Now we actually turned to the central practice

33 ACTUAL PRACTICE Sit straight but relaxed Count breaths without distraction to 21 Then stay in the natural, undistracted, unmanipulated state of mind

34 Explaining Bodhichitta in relation to ultimate truth In root verse Think of all the phenomenal world as occurrences in a dream Absolute bodhichitta has to do with how the world really is, rather than how it ordinarily appears Habitually we think outer appearances and our inner mind are separate In dream all looks real – which is an analogy to our everyday life – seems more real than it is If the way things appears is not how they really are, we may ask why do they appear that way? Because of stored habits of perception from our base memory storehouse

35 Habitual seeing We think outer appearances are ‘real’ BUT point is that what appears is just ‘our perception’ – all happens in our mind. So, what is mind? Cannot pinpoint where it started, Or, where it is now Or, where it will go Beyond description in its arising, ceasing and abiding These indescribable characteristics are called ‘emptiness’ which is the true nature of our mind

36 Emptiness In looking for mind we have to admit No color or particular shape and don’t know exactly where it resides - inside, outside, or in between? Having gained clarity that mind is not solid and identifiable Only meaningful conclusion is to just RELAX and let it be without alteration Usual error is to perceive outside world as separate from inner mind -- so we get stuck in samsara Extremely important to let go of trying to put characteristics on the mind Even giving it the nice label of ‘emptiness’ can be an error Usual error is to grasp and take things too seriously JUST RELAX ! !

37 Levels of consciousness First five levels of consciousness are the 5 senses – eye, ear, smell, taste, touch or body consciousness 6 th puts a label on prior 5 – I see red, taste sweet etc.. 1 st five levels of mind should be left as they are 7 th consciousness is where the problems begin – nyon yi – emotional, judgmental, adding a concept to basic perceptions – I love red, I don’t like sweet … Try to stay with first six levels … Rest in the fresh awareness of what you see or hear – this resting or letting be is called vipasshana or clear seeing Seeing these perceptions of color etc is not a problem as long as left dreamlike Don’t try to impose some extra attachment, aversion etc on them through judgmental labels

38 Summary on ultimate reality Discussion above on consciousness is layout of how we can work toward seeing ultimate reality This is a process of training Can’t expect it all to come in short time (though it has been known to happen in rare cases it normally takes training) Above discussion is about how Bodhichitta or Awakened Heart works in relation to absolute truth. Portion below this is how Bodhichitta or the Awakened Heart works in relation to the phenomenal world.

39 Bodhichitta in phenomenal world vs. absolute level Generally speaking an Awakened Mind does not see the appearances of this life as ‘true’ BUT we have to prepare ourselves to get to that kind of perception Because normally as humans, we do still have a habit of taking phenomenal objects, events and emotions seriously

40 Training the mind in the Awakened Heart We let friendliness and compassion grow BUT do not have to create them newly from scratch We all inherently have the capacity for an Awakened Heart But when we grasp at an “I” and have negative emotions our positive natural qualities are covered If we will nurture our inherent positive qualities they will have a chance to manifest

41 Training in Bodhichitta relative to the phenomenal world Idea of ‘for the sake of all beings, I want to reach the state of Buddhahood’ Two approaches This main training is in 7 steps Also, an alternative training is Shantideva’s approach of two steps 1.Training in equality of self and others 2.Exchanging self and others

42 7 step approach per Atisha (1) Gradual development in 7 steps: 1.Think all beings in the past have been our Mother Mother stands for unspeakable kindness. Would not be here if her body had not nurtured us for duration of pregnancy. Classical explanation is that our Mother is kindest person. Every Mother also had a Mother so it extends back in an infinite stream, so since there is no clear starting point it is possible that all current beings could have been our Mother at some point in the past. 2.Remember the kindness of our past Mothers who got us to this point 3.Feel an urge to repay that kindness Helps put the focus on others, not ourselves. How can we enjoy a meal in front of any starving person if all might have been our Mother in the past.?

43 7 step approach per Atisha (2) 4.Develop increasingly close feelings for all beings Develop thoughts of great friendliness like “Why can’t every one be happy and stay that way?” “I wish everyone could be happy at all times.” 5.Remember the kindness of our past Mothers who got us to this point Develop thoughts of great compassion like “why can’t every one be free of suffering” with the emphasis on EVERY SINGLE ONE rather than just friends and others who are close to us. 6.Develop an extraordinary motivation for good Develop a deep resolution that something great must be done to help beings, AND I MUST DO IT. 7.Bodhichitta in relation to the phenomenal world arises Giving that our current mind capacities can not provide adequate help to beings, we resolve to get a ‘mind upgrade’ by doing whatever is necessary to reach the state of an enlightened Buddha.

44 Reaching Bodhichitta in relation to phenomenal world To reach stage seven it takes 6 gradual causal steps or stages. Text goes on to explain how to get to this mind set Meditating on ALL beings is too wishy washy – therefore consider particular people Start with Mother, replace with some other kind person if your relationship with your current Mother was problematic Remember feelings of kindness, go on to friendliness, see their suffering, develop urge to benefit Extend this training to others beyond persons of known great kindness

45 Shantideva’s approach Step one: Consider how much we are all in the same boat – same troubles, mental makeup, equal in wanting happiness If we did not first accept the equality of others it would be difficult to try to wear the other person’s shoes Step two: Exchange oneself for others – also called tong len or giving and taking Sit and watch breath going in and out and join to it a heartfelt wish Using the out breath as a focus, think “May all my good qualities go out to make others happy” Using the in breath as a focus, think “May all their pain come to me to relieve the burden from their shoulders”

46 Shantideva vs. habitual approach Usually we are more interested in our self than in others Grasping at our self though is really the source of our troubles If there is any blame it is the error of grasping at self If there is any benefit it is from caring for others From beginningless time our problems arise from grasping at self protection

47 Giving and taking Give: All that is good in ourselves, things, feelings, anything going well, even further good we might have coming in the future Take: All negatives, problems/pain, wicked states of mind, obstacles, future problems of the other person as well Join these to the Out and In breaths. Don’t really get the problems and sickness of others – just training the mind However if you should be such a rare practitioner as to really take them on – rejoice rather than regret

48 Variation on giving and taking Use imagination to see ourselves in a pure state, an embodiment of pure compassion and train to have the same attitude as some pure being such as Avalokiteshvara Think may all the Karma that made me Avalokiteshvara go out to other beings Blackness taken from other beings, white light sent to them Can be joined to mantra of Om Mani Padme Hung

49 Bottom line on Bodhichitta or Wakened Mind of Compassion If we cannot manage to exchange ourselves in this way: Better forget about enlightenment … Enlightenment arises from the benefits of positive acts Cannot come from grasping to protect one’s self Grasping at the self does not given enlightenment but a harvest of pain and frustration for ourselves and others Exchanging self and others is only cause for enlightenment

50 Questions Q: How is this training related to ground, path, and fruition? Is 7 th step the fruition? A: No, developing awakened heart is where path starts. But still great benefit in achieving even that level of maturity. Getting to this level, one is not an ordinary mortal anymore but a bodhisattva – enlightenment hero. No longer trapped by past negative actions and will bring good after this point. Will not be stopped by obstacles but appreciate the obstacles so this attitude has immeasurable value. Friendly hearted person is loved by all, not so uptight so others are also more at ease. If our only concern were personal benefit, still train in bodhicitta because this is the only way to lasting happiness. More than this was said … this is only a part …

51 Other issues in question period Seed of enlightenment is awakened heart of bodhichitta Need challenges to awaken the enlightened heart Past is gone – no need to have anger or hold on to it If something can be changed, do it; If can’t be changed, why worry? Easy to say, hard in practice What does it mean to rest in the alaya per some translations? Alaya can mean 8 th consciousness or the all ground. Used in 2 different contexts 1) storage conscious – memory imprints in context of Mind Only description of mind 2) Or – way of all reality – leave perceptions/mental occurrences like they arise without grasping More like the second way, don’t make the mistake of just trying to dull-ly not think.

52 More question issues Q: How is 7 point mind training related to guru yoga? A: Not directly involved though could be linked as an appreciation of teacher’s qualities. Teacher can be used as an embodiment of love and compassion. Difficult to hear all questions.. apologies if your question & answer is not outlined here

53 END OF PART II – Main Practice of Training the Mind in Bodhichitta … This was the end of the Evening Teaching on Friday July 16 th … recap will appear at beginning of Part III notes

54 III. Transforming Adversity into the Path of Awakening Recap from prior day: Whether learning Dharma newly, reflecting on the meaning, or putting it into practice --- it should be embedded in an attitude of bodhichitta/awakened heart Beings and their sufferings are unlimited Think – Why couldn’t I free them all? This is the reason we undertake teachings Considering the above, this training is one of 7 points of mind training – the Awakened Heart in relation to absolute truth and in relation to the phenomenal world Must consider the teachings in meditation and apply to the phenomenal world between meditation – apply to every day life

55 Starting point – awareness of how we usually act 1.If it looks nice -- we want it 2.If it is not nice -- we avoid it 3.Otherwise – dully indifferent These 3 items above are called the 3 mental poisons – attachment, aversion, ignorance This is the basic problem of all beings that needs changed to achieve real happiness -- need change for our self and to share it with all sentient beings

56 Working with speech It may be helpful to work not just mentally but also through our speech Saying things like May all sentient beings be freed of their various troubles May I take those troubles on me May their negative consequences arise on me and all my positive qualities on them Saying such words out loud helps the mind begin to take this in and slowly become accustomed to this new way of thinking

57 Working with problems On the other hand when we have troubles or problems then we could Think things like Other people have similar problems How can I make these problems useful Maybe there is some way I could take other people’s similar problems on through this problem I am already experiencing There is a story about one of the Buddha’s former lives in which he and a companion were being forced to drag a heavy object in a hell realm As the thought arose – since the heavy load must be carried anyway, wouldn’t it be wonderful if I alone could bear this burden and my companion could be free … This event was said to be the origin of the idea of bodhichitta or the Awakened Heart

58 III. Taking Obstacles on the Path We now turn from part II on Bodhichitta/The Awakened Heart to part III of the seven points We must face the fact that all the discomfort we face is in itself a ripening of something unskillful in the past – this is true for everyone This section will teach us to take disadvantages and obstacles onto the path This section will tell us Why we must change our attitude And how to apply this in our life

59 2 ways to understand the Awakened Heart 1.In relation to conventional truth 2.In relation to ultimate truth Why do we suffer? Boils down to our idea that there is a personal “I” to defend which is the real source of our problems Real problem is our idea of a self – Don’t blame others -- blame this mistaken idea of real self Our real obstacle or enemy is not other people – but our own EGO CLINGING When other people seem like a pain or obstacle -- they are really helping us stop ego clinging

60 Mechanism of our suffering The self is not really findable yet we are trapped in confusion 1.Those with more than us – we are jealous of them 2.Those with less than us – we look down on them 3.Those at the same level – we look on them as competitors We are always trapped as long as we think there is a self to defend Defending this false self always leads to unskillful behavior Rather than thinking badly of or fighting with others – Should be trying to fight off the real enemy which is SELF CHERISHING If we can recognize our grasping, we can free ourselves of it The degree to which we can rid our selves of Self Clinging is the degree to which we will have real happiness

61 Our relationship with others To reach the state of supreme enlightenment one MUST have good relationships with sentient beings Generosity is not possible without others to give to Patience is not possible without people who challenge and train us What really has to take place is the shift of mind that lets friendliness and compassion grow

62 From Obstacle to Benefit May all their burden come on me … may all my positives be shared with everyone MOREOVER, when someone seems to be against us or to be creating an obstacle We should not be angry with them but analyze why they are attacking us Maybe they are basically angry or troubled By attacking us, they are really causing themselves more problems We should then feel compassion for these extra problems they are causing themselves We should then think – May they be free of suffering and reach enlightenment through contact with us This scenario above illustrates taking an obstacle and turning it into a positive

63 Letting go of the body We can connect the quality of generosity with the idea of letting go of the body We spend much worry on this body We kill other beings for food, clothes, or beauty We can dedicate this body to be well-eaten by many (such as demons or bad forces?) We are training our attitude Being willing to give our body as something useful May the body be most delicious and give lasting pleasure With this attitude we developing an awakened heart

64 Summary of bodhichitta and phenomenal world It is all about letting go of mental notion that there is some “I” to defend All suffering comes from trying to defend a personal “I” All happiness from helping others This concludes the explanation of working with obstacles in the phenomenal world Now we turn to the absolute truth approach

65 Absolute truth approach Here we try to understand all unfavorable events and emotional reactions as just happening under mental confusion Only the delusion/misperception is the problem Things appear to be disturbed but they are not really Analogy of a dream Huge fire, flood, other catastrophes in the dream seem quite real – but we awaken to find they were not This is how confusion works – we take for true what never was

66 Absolute truth approach cont. In this approach we analyze how this confusion works We have an impression of suffering, but it never really arose Never truly came into existence Truly unborn is characteristic of the dharmakaya – no real existence No real existing – connected with idea of nirmanakaya No real ceasing – connected with Sambhogakaya Union of these three above are called Svabhavikakaya Four essence bodies are present in all apparent problems The understanding of these four essence bodies is related to more advanced study than the basic instruction today

67 The Awakened Heart in Practice Essentially we need to increase goodness (accumulations) and get rid of obscurations Four practical applications 1.Accumulations – increase goodness 2.Purification – ridding oneself of negativity 3.Offerings to evil forces 4.Offerings to Dharma protectors to bring favorable conditions

68 Accumulations – increasing goodness To increase goodness Appreciate those with superior qualities Making offerings or giving appreciation creates a good mental imprint Also support those with lesser qualities Train the mind for positivity All dislike suffering and want happiness, therefore Look for causes of happiness to bring more positivity into your life Get rid of the opposite Watch out for the causes of suffering which are unskillful actions toward others

69 Purification or ridding ourselves of negativity To rid ourselves of negativity we must be very skillful and rely on four strengths or powers 1.Admitting our mistake Recognize that what we initially thought was the way to do things, was a mistake Feel sorry for or regret the action 2.Resolution not to do it again 3.Power of support – confess and make resolution in front of visualized Buddha/great beings 4.Power of the antidote

70 Offerings Two more practical applications are 1.Making offerings to evil forces 2.Making offerings to Dharma protectors to bring favorable conditions

71 Summation of Awakened Heart in Practice We have an IDEA of unfavorable conditions In practice we deal with these conditions by turning the seemingly negative situation into fuel for a more Awakened Heart

72 END OF PART III– Transforming Adversity into the Path of Awakening


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