Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Root Text of the Seven Points of Mind Training

The Root Text of the
Seven Points of Mind Training

The Seven Points of Mind
Training in the Mahayana


I. Preliminaries: A Basis for Dharma Practice

1. First, train in the preliminaries

II. The Main Practice, Training in Bodhichitta

A. Ultimate Bodhichitta

2. Regard all phenomena as dreams.
3. Investigate the nature of unborn awareness.
4. Even the antidote is released in its ground.
5. Rest within the all-basis, the essential nature.
6. In post-meditation, regard all beings as illusions.

B. Relative Bodhichitta

7. Alternately practice sending and taking; these two should ride the breath.

8. Three objects, three poisons, and three roots of virtue.

9. In all your activities, train with these words.

10. Begin the sequence of sending and taking with yourself.

III. Transforming Adverse Conditions into the
Path of Awakening

11. When the world is filled with negativity, transform adverse conditions into the path of awakening.

A. Relative Bodhichitta

12. Drive all blame into one.

13. Be grateful to everyone and everything.

B. Ultimate Bodhichitta

14. Seeing delusive appearances as the four kayas is the unexcelled protection emptiness gives.

C. Special Practices

15. The best method entails four practices.

16. Whatever you meet, instantly join it with meditation.

IV. Blending Mind with the Practice throughout Your Life

A. What to Do during Your Daily Life

17. Practice the five powers, the condensed heart instructions.

B. What To Do at Death

18. The Mahayana instructions for transferring consciousness at death are the five powers; the way you behave matters.

V. How to Evaluate Your Mind Training

19. All the Buddha’s dharma converges on a single point.

20. Of the two witnesses, attend to the principal one.

21. At all times, rely only on a joyful mind.

22. If you can practice even when distracted, you are well trained.

VI. The Commitments of Mind Training

23. Always train in the three basic principles.

24. Change your attitude and be natural.

25. Don’t speak ill of others’ shortcomings.

26. Don’t ponder the affairs of others.

27. Work with the stronger afflictions first.

28. Send away any hope for results.

29. Avoid poisonous food.

30. Don’t be so constant.

31. Don’t get riled by critical remarks.

32. Don’t lie in ambush.

33. Don’t strike at weak points.

34. Don’t transfer a dzo’s burden onto an ox.

35. Don’t aim to be the fastest.

36. Don’t act with a twist.

37. Don’t turn gods into demons.

38. Don’t seek others’ pain as the limbs of your happiness.

VII. Guidelines for Mind Training

39. All practices should be done with one intention.

40. One practice corrects everything.

41. At the start and finish, an activity to be done.

42. Whichever of the two occurs, be patient.

43. Maintain these two, even at the risk of your life.

44. Train in the three difficult points.

45. Take up the three main causes.

46. Pay attention that these three things do not diminish.

47. Keep the three inseparable.

48. Train impartially in all areas; deep, pervasive, and constant training is crucial.

49. Always meditate on what aggravates you.

50. Don’t be swayed by outer circumstances.

51. This time practice is central.

52. Don’t make mistakes.

53. Don’t fluctuate.

54. Train with your whole heart.

55. Free yourself through examination and analysis.

56. Don’t make a big deal about it.

57. Don’t let being irritated tie you up.

58. Don’t overreact.

59. Don’t expect a standing ovation.

This essential elixir of instruction,
Transforming the five kinds of degeneration
Into the path of awakening,
Is a transmission from Serlingpa.
Having awakened the karmic energy of previous training
I was moved by deep devotion;
Therefore, ignoring suffering and criticism,
I sought out instruction on how to subdue ego-fixation.
Now when I die, I’ll have no regret.

These concluding verses are from Geshe Chekawa Yeshe Dorje, who wrote this text.

Translated by Michele Martin