8 Verses on Training the Mind

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Eight Verses for Training the Mind 

by Langri Thangpa

With a determination to accomplish 
The highest welfare for all sentient beings
Who surpass even a wish-granting jewel
I will learn to hold them supremely dear.

Whenever I associate with others I will learn 
To think of myself as the lowest among all
And respectfully hold others to be supreme
From the very depths of my heart.

In all actions I will learn to search into my mind
And as soon as an afflictive emotion arises
Endangering myself and others
Will firmly face and avert it.

I will learn to cherish beings of bad nature
And those oppressed by strong sins and suffering
As if I had found a precious 
Treasure very difficult to find.

When others out of jealousy treat me badly
With abuse, slander, and so on,
I will learn to take on all loss,
And offer victory to them.

When one whom I have benefited with great hope
Unreasonably hurts me very badly,
I will learn to view that person
As an excellent spiritual guide.

In short, I will learn to offer to everyone without exception
All help and happiness directly and indirectly
And respectfully take upon myself
All harm and suffering of my mothers.

I will learn to keep all these practices
Undefiled by the stains of the eight worldly conceptions
And by understanding all phenomena as like illusions
Be released from the bondage of attachment.

Mind-training is, in Tibetan, Lojong Shijepa.  It is a practice that descends directly from Buddha Shakyamuni through Nagarjuna, Atisha, and Dromten to Langri Thangpa and others, including Chekawa.

According to Kensur Rinpoche, geshe Thangpa was known as the "Dark Faced," since he rarely smiled due to his contemplation of the suffering of sentient beings.

It is said that one night near his home village evil spirits gathered to discuss doing harm to a local person and Geshe Langri Tangpa was suggested as he lived alone and unprotected. However the spirits decided against it as they recognized that he had spent his life concerned for the well-being of all sentient beings including themselves.  . . .  even evil spirits cannot harm those who are truly dedicated to Bodhicitta.

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