Completion of Mind Training Cycle

June 15, 2023

The mind training group finished its latest cycle on Thursday, June 8. Beginning in September of 2021 we launched into exploring the Seven-Point Mind Training as illustrated by Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche in his treasure chest of a book, The Practice of Lojong. We spent a total of 20 months exploring each one of the 59 aphorisms. We mostly stuck to Rinpoche’s commentary, though we occasionally brought in different perspectives like Alan Wallace’s Buddhism With an Attitude, Pema Chodron’s Start Where You Are, and Norman Fischer’s Training in Compassion. All excellent mind training guides.

Lama Eric attended most of the classes, which was a first in the 11-year history of the class. It was deeply rewarding to have Lama Eric there, and to benefit from his perspective, knowledge and wisdom. We also benefited from his ability to look at the original Tibetan and offer an interpretation of Tibetan terms. Thank you Lama Eric.

In that same vein, I also appreciate each and every person who attended classes, whether it was one class, or all 40 classes, or most. Each of you added to the whole. I’m bowing to each and every one of you, for your effort, your curiosity, your commitment to the dharma, your determination to wake up for the benefit of all beings. It’s an honor, a privilege, and a joy to be a part of this group.

The effort to prepare for this class every two weeks has been a great support and encouragement to my own practice of mind training. I’m grateful to KCC and all participants for this opportunity. Also a special thank you to Brad Upton, Gwen Wolfenbarger and Patricia Delich for Zoom hosting for most of the 20 months.

For those who have not attended, one thing you might not know is that this group is fun. The teachings we cover are formal, but we are not formal. All questions are encouraged. If there’s any place at all for questions to be encouraged, it has to be in mind training practice, right? In our own small way I feel we are carrying on the work/practice/teaching/aspirations of Atisha, Langri Tangpa, Geshe Potawa, Geshe Sharawa, Geshe Chekawa, Se Chilbu, and all the mind training masters past and present.

Early on in my lojong studies at KCC, I remember Lama Michael saying mind training is a complete path to enlightenment. The aim of our group is to unfold this truth.

Finally, after 11 years, the mind training group is taking a fairly long break – 7 to 8 months – before we start back up, which we surely will do.

Those who desire shelter quickly
For themselves and for all others
Should use this sacred mystery,
The exchanging of oneself for others.

– Śāntideva