MIND TRAINING: 8 VERSES
Composed by the Buddhist
Master Langri Tangpa (1054-1123 A.D.), Eight Verses for Training the
Mind is a highly-revered text from the Mahayana Lojong (mind training) tradition. These instructions offer
essential practices for cultivating the awakening mind of compassion,
wisdom, and love.
This eight-verse lojong enshrines the
very heart of Dharma, revealing the true essence of the Mahayana path to liberation. Even a single line of this
practice can be seen as encapsulating the entire teaching of the Buddha. For even a single statement of this
mind training practice has the incredible power to help us subdue our self-oriented behavior and mental
The fundamental theme of mind training
practice is the profound reorientation of our basic attitude, both
toward our own self and toward our fellow human beings, as well as toward the events around us.
The goal of mind training practice is
the radical transformation of our thoughts, attitudes, and habits.
Presently, we tend to cherish the welfare of our own self at the expense of all others. However, the mind
training teaching challenges us to reverse this process. This involves a deep understanding of others as true
friends, and the recognition that our true enemy lies inside of ourselves, not outside.
As we practice these lojong teachings
in daily life, we train the mind to embrace reality in a completely wholesome, wise, and compassionate way.
These excellent practices help us purify our negativity and awaken the heart by giving us a way to transform
adversity, conflict, and hardship into a direct opportunity for spiritual growth.
In this way, rather than perceiving
difficult people or adverse circumstances in our lives as an obstacle, tragedy, or punishment, we now meet these
experiences with deep compassion, wisdom, and skill—using them as our actual practice on the path to
By way of these treasured practices we eliminate our competitive, selfish, and emotionally reactive nature, as well
as our false and exaggerated concepts of self (also called self-grasping and self-cherishing).
It is important to understand that the greed, jealousy, anger, pride, selfishness, and attachment, which cause us
so much suffering, are actually misperceptions of reality, not inherent
conditions of our mind.
Therefore, these precious lojong practices can purify our misperceptions and delusions completely, revealing the
natural radiance, clarity, wisdom, and compassion of our true nature.
The eight verses are described in detail as follows:
In summary, Eight Verses for Training the Mind is a highly-revered practice from the Mahayana Lojong (mind
training) tradition. These instructions offer essential practices for cultivating the awakening mind of compassion,
wisdom, and love. In just eight simple verses, this remarkable lojong teaching enshrines the very heart of dharma,
revealing the essence of the Mahayana path to liberation. This excellent practice helps us purify our negativity
and awaken the heart by giving us a way to transform adversity and hardship into a direct opportunity for spiritual
growth. Through this practice, we transform our mind from its present confused, self-centered condition into the
compassion and wisdom of a Buddha.
For a PDF copy of this information, click on Eight Verses for Training the Mind.
Source: Used with permission from Neil Cohen at Naljor Prison
Dharma Service, PO Box 1177, Mount Shasta CA 96067. (
Photo Credit: Intellimon Ltd.