The Seven-Point Mind Training

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2012-05-16
  • Publisher: Snow Lion
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In this society, with its hurly-burly pace demanding of our time, it is ever so easy to let life slip by. Looking back after ten, twenty, thirty, years—we wonder what we have really accomplished. The process of simply existing is not necessarily meaningful. And yet there is an unlimited potential for meaning and value in this human existence. The Seven-Point Mind Training is one eminently practical way of tapping into that meaning. At the heart of the Seven-Point Mind Training lies the transformation of the circumstances that life brings us, however hard as the raw material from which we create our own spiritual path. The central theme of the Seven-Point Mind Training is to make the liberating passage from the constricting solitude of self-centeredness to the warm kinship with others which occurs with the cultivation of cherishing others. This Mind Training is especially well-suited for an active life. It helps us to reexamine our relationships—to family, friends, enemies, and strangers—and gradually transform our responses to whatever life throws our way.

Author Biography

B. Alan Wallace has taught Buddhist meditation and philosophy worldwide since including the Dalai Lama. Wallace is the founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to more than forty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and religion, including Buddhism with an Attitude and Minding Closely.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
The First Point: The Preliminaries, Which Are Fundamental Dharmap. 9
First of all, train in the preliminariesp. 19
The Second Point: The Main Practice: Training in the Bodhichittasp. 19
The Cultivation of Ultimate Bodhichittap. 19
Having attained stability, let the mystery be revealedp. 19
Consider the world as dreamlikep. 23
Investigate the nature of unborn awarenessp. 26
Even the antidote itself is liberated in its own placep. 29
Establish the nature of the path in the sphere of the foundation of allp. 32
Between meditation sessions act as an illusory beingp. 37
The Cultivation of Relative Bodhichittap. 41
Alternately practice sending and takingp. 41
Apply those two to the breathp. 52
Three objects, three poisons, three roots of virtuep. 53
In all activities train with wordsp. 54
The Third Point: Using Unfavorable Circumstances as Aids to Awakeningp. 55
When the environment and its inhabitants are enslaved by evil, transform unfavorable circumstances into the path of awakeningp. 55
Blame everything on one thingp. 59
Meditate on great kindness toward everyonep. 67
Meditation on the deceptive appearances of the Four Bodies is unsurpassed in guarding emptinessp. 72
The supreme method entails four practicesp. 74
Whatever you encounter, immediately apply it to meditationp. 78
The Fourth Point: A Synthesis of Practice for One Lifep. 81
To synthesize the essence of this practical guidance, apply yourself to the five powersp. 81
The Mahayana teaching on transferring consciousness is just these precious five powersp. 84
The Fifth Point: The Measure of Having Trained the Mindp. 89
All Dharma is included in one purposep. 89
Maintain the chief of the two witnessesp. 91
Rely continually on mental happiness alonep. 92
The Sixth Point: The Pledges of Mind Trainingp. 95
Always practice the three principlesp. 96
Transform your desires, but remain as you arep. 98
Speak not of degenerate qualitiesp. 99
Think nothing about the other sidep. 100
Abandon all hope for resultsp. 106
Abandon poisonous foodp. 108
Do not devote yourself kindly to the central objectp. 109
Do not laugh at malicious jokesp. 109
Do not wait at the narrow passagewayp. 110
Do not load the burden of a dzo on an oxp. 111
Do not direct yourself to the summit of the ascentp. 111
Do not be deviousp. 112
Do not let the gods descend to the devilp. 112
Do not seek another's misery as a way to your own happinessp. 114
The Seventh Point: The Practices of Mind Trainingp. 117
Practice all yogas by means of onep. 118
Counteract all withdrawal by means of onep. 121
There are two actions on two occasions, at the beginning and endp. 122
Whichever of the opposites occurs, be patientp. 125
Guard the two at the cost of your lifep. 126
Practice the three austeritiesp. 126
Acquire the three principal causesp. 128
Cultivate the absence of three degenerationsp. 131
Be endowed with the three inseparablesp. 133
Always meditate on those who make you boilp. 134
Do not rely on other conditionsp. 135
Now practice what is most importantp. 135
Do not be contraryp. 137
Do not be erraticp. 139
Practice decisivelyp. 140
Free yourself by means of investigation and analysisp. 140
Do not be boastfulp. 141
Do not bind yourself with hatredp. 141
Do not be ficklep. 142
Do not desire gratitudep. 142
Glossaryp. 149
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