His Holiness the Dalai Lama has stated that the highest respect one can show the teacher is to practice the teachings. To that end, and in honor of his birthday on July 6th, we offer the Eight Stanzas for Training the Mind from the Tibetan lojong, or mindtraining tradition. Tibetan Buddhism suggests that reciting these verses, meditating on their meaning, and ultimately merging them with one’s mind will greatly assist one on the path to enlightenment. His Holiness has recited these verses every day for most of his life. They provide a tool for transformation and a pathway to the radiant mind of enlightenment.
Eight Stanzas for Training the Mind
- 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 ill 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 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.
And from Callista: Such simple words and yet such a huge challenge to actually live such a life every day. Imagine if more people just tried…