I’ve studied through the slogans a dozen times in my life;
these are my musings on the slogan currently, what comes up on the day that
I am posting the slogan, not a formal interpretation.
For that reason they are less about straight Buddhist teachings,
and I think able to be shared with most practitioners of other faiths or no faith
(unless yours doesn’t allow you to read any other tradition.)
If you have time and the inclination, I published the WHOLE thang here!
The slogan itself was harder for me to understand,
but Pema Chodron’s commentary helped,
and I see the intention and it moved me far along the path.
See the bias in your own mind when you are in a situation.
Acknowledge the bias you have — so for instance, I don’t want to hear what a Trump supporter has to say. I have to drop bias in order to be present for it if it naturally arises in front of me (and I have relatives who are on that side of the fence.)
Dropping bias in this sense means to stay open so you can BE PRESENT.
While I might never agree with their views, if i don’t drop bias enough to listen, there will never ever even be a chance for a discussion wiht anyone of the “opposite” side and without that option to understand, there will never be any change.
It is exactly what is going on in the USA right now — polarizing, demonizing.
It didn’t used to be this way.
If you can see the bias, then you can train in any situation,
with any sentient being in front of you.
Ani Pema also goes further to discuss how to begin, which is good:
Start with yourself… it is
harder than it seems to breathe in your own suffering, especially after years of being told to think positive and push away
the suffering. It can be horrifying at first, but the process shifts as you move into it. Send out to others your wins and joys and good feelings. When I cannot think of a positive to send to someone, I send an image of sunflowers, which embody sunshine and joy and blue skies and happiness.
Then practice with those your love, taking in their pain and sending your best to them.
Then as you get adept at this, move to people who are neutral —
people who do not arose a particular hatred or negative feeling, but are also not your friends and loved ones. This is usually not to difficult.
Finally, send and take with your most hated enemy…
Don’t say you haven’t got them, they can be the one you are yelling at in traffic,
a political crazy person, your parent. When it arises, when they are pissing you off,
take in the anger and hatred, and send them peace and consciousness.
Take in their vile statements, and send them loving kindness.
Do this without wanting an outcome, do it as practice.
In this weekly commentary on the lojong, I am interested in hearing about
YOUR life or how the lojong affected you or your practice awakening in some manner.
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