Lojong #8

#8 Three objects, three poisons, and three seeds of virtue.

Alan Wallace:
The next verse refers to the three objects: agreeable, disagreeable, and neutral objects. As we relate to these three types of objects, the three mental poisons arise: attachment, hostility, and confusion. The point is to use these poisons as opportunities to nurture the roots of virtue.

As we engage in the affairs of daily life, as soon as we become aware that attachment, craving, or clinging has arisen, right then is the time to recognize that there are an immeasurable number of sentient beings who are subject to the same mental afflictions. Expand your awareness of this right on the spot, and let the aspiration arise: "May those countless sentient beings be endowed with the root of virtue that is freedom from attachment. May they be free of this attachment that I am now experiencing." The aspiration itself is a root of virtue.

Geshe Rabten and Geshe Dhargyey:
Worldly beings regard objects in three ways. Agreeable objects are looked upon with the poison of attachment, or desire, disagreeable objects with the poison of aversion, or hatred, and indifferent objects with the poison of ignorance of their true mode of existence, emptiness. In our meditation we should imagine accepting these three poisons, the source of all misery, from every being in cyclic existence, and replacing them with the three sources of virtue and happiness: nonattachment, non-aggression, and non-ignorance. This is the abbreviated final instruction. If we seriously practice giving and taking, little harm or suffering comes to us. When it does, we accept it and, by realizing that its deep cause lies in a past unwholesome action, we transform it into the path to liberation. Just as a bird flaps its wings to fly higher and is further assisted by the wind blowing from beneath, in the same way we too are assisted by two vital forces as we develop the awakening mind: these are accepting all the trouble and suffering of others upon ourselves, and giving them all our merit, virtues, and excellent qualities such as wisdom and compassion. We should practice this not only in our imagination, but when circumstances arise and there is a chance to help others; in fact, we must spontaneously do whatever we can to assist them. If we do not apply our practice to our everyday actions, we are being hypocritical and deceiving ourselves.

Linus Furious:
This teaching cuts to the roots of what it means to "practice" a religion. It speaks to a radical shift in the practitioner's perception of the world, a turning away from old patterns and a dedication to a new way of seeing. When Alan Wallace says above, "right then" he is referring to a time that is also right now - every moment is an opportunity to practice.

If you missed the explanation of the lojong sayings and tonglen meditation, click here.


Clayton said...

look at each object, state it's name, and move on...

Benny said...

It was very delightful to go back and forth between your blog and Mark's, and note the simillarities.

Clayton said...

Kit's blog is similar right now too.

Dr. Smith said...

Hey there, Mr. dark pontif. I know I'm technically outsourced and all but could you by chance afford me a place of title within the congregation?

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