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Book details
  • SubGenre:Mindfulness & Meditation
  • Language:English
  • Pages:110
  • eBook ISBN:9798350928310
  • Paperback ISBN:9798350718867

An Essential Lojong

Mind Training / Attitude Transformation

by Terry Conrad

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The Lojong is like a summary of the entire buddha dharma, the refined, boiled down, encapsulation of the path of awakening. The Lojong begins with the Four Facts of Life, also know as The Four Thoughts to Turn the Mind to Awakening. The fact that life is difficult, the fact that most of our difficulties we cause ourselves; the fact that this precious human life is our best and only opportunity to awaken to who and how we already are; and the fact this life is short and like all things it too will come to an end whether we're ready or not. The promise of awakening accurately reflects the fact that we already have everything we need to do so, everyone, everybody, already has everything we need. Awakening is at hand. The challenge for thousands of years has been, how can this be done? And for thousands of years we've learned a method that offers success. It's not necessary to abandon our family and move into a cave, to live in a foreign country, or even give up a religion; awakening is seeing things as they are, whatever they are. This is the natural wisdom potential in everyone.
Waking up is hard to do, awakening to our true nature is both natural and not. It's natural to desire happiness and wellbeing, to have peace of mind free of anxiety and worry. The desire for freedom is natural, to be free of delusion, confusion, and suffering, to have loving relationships, filled with empathy, and compassion. Life is difficult, all of us suffer loss, illness, and the death of loved ones, we are all of a kind in our life experiences and the expression of this is Kindness. In the face of difficulties it's often the case we feel we're a victim, that life is unfair, the others are unfair. The ancient dharma teachings are offering us the remedy for human suffering in the form of spiritual practice, learning to recognize the wisdom that difficulties and suffering are offering us. The awakened mind is no longer defined by life experiences; free of the conditioned assumptions, expectations, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes that tend to define the sense of a self, and instead an open unconditional view of things just as they are, not what we might otherwise want them to be. This view of reality is not reserved for just a precious few living in some remote place removed from the world, this view is available to each and every one of us regardless of where we live, what we do, how or who we think we are. Happiness cannot be dictated, legislated, or regulated, happiness and wellbeing are our birthright and available to us in this very moment, if we are open and available to it. There are two conditions, first there must be a clear intention to make our wellbeing and the wellbeing of others our top priority. Two, we recognize, have faith, that everything we need to awaken is already fully present within us, a mind of Awareness and a heart of Virtue, what we call Bodhichitta. In the world of spiritual practice the buddha dharma is a bit unique, though we're asked to have faith in the deepest qualities of who and how we are, there are no beliefs in anything or anyone supernatural, reality, just as it is, is already fully complete, wise, and present. Some effort is required, dedicating ourselves to become fully literate in a path that has proven to be one hundred percent effective for nearly three thousand years through study, contemplation, and meditation. Teachers, teachings, books, podcasts, YouTube videos, retreats all make the dharma more available to more of us than at any time in history. Cultivating a dailyish time and place to study, to reflect, and to meditate is the tried and true skillful means of awakening to who and how we already are whether we're in a prison or a palace. Sincere and honest spiritual practice is the cause of happiness and wellbeing. The beauty of the Lojong is the brevity and pithiness of the Seven Parts and Sixty Slogans that invite us, allow us, to realign our conceptual view of the world and ourselves with greater integrity and wholeness. Like the facts of life the Slogans dissolve the bias, prejudice, negativity, and preferential judgments that have obscured the wisdom of everything we experience.
About the author
For over fifty years TERRY CONRAD has been a student of the Buddha Dharma, he's a dharma teacher in the Vajrayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Terry is the founding Director of Project Clear Light, a 501c3 NGO sponsoring dharma groups in the Texas prison system and offering a Lojong (mind training) Correspondence Course to incarcerates nation-wide. He's a Certified Volunteer Chaplain currently teaching classes on meditation, Contemplative Practices, and Ethics in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Terry has had a life-long interest in the role that art, science, spiritual practice, and technology have in realizing the fullest potential for human growth and spiritual realization. He lives and works in Galveston, TX.