Lojong (Mind Training) course, 2016

In March 2016 a new course on Lojong (Mind Training) will be commencing.

The course is restricted to 15 people and will cost $140. With this you will receive an original commentary of the text entitled “The Practice of Lojong” by Traleg Kyabgon. Audio recordings of Pema Chodron from her teachings on Lojong entitled “Be Grateful to Everyone” will be used to supplement the study program.

The group will meet once a month on a Saturday from 2-5 pm at the home of Dave and Pam Sheehan in Helensvale. It is envisaged that the course will last between 10-12 months. It is appreciated that it will not be possible for folk to attend every session.

What is Lojong? Lojong is all about utilizing the modus operandi of consciousness to create positive imprints in the mind. Instead of launching a frontal attack on our habits, we approach them indirectly by putting our energy into activities that act as an antidote. By gradually introducing these activities and increasing their frequency over time, we will, by extension, begin to erode our negative mental tendencies. Because old habits are formed from repetition, repeatedly countering them in this manner will eventually overpower them.

What is the key strategy of Lojong? If we merely follow our old habitual patterns whenever unfavorable circumstances arise, we will inevitably make things more difficult for ourselves. The Lojong masters say that when we are egoistic, selfish, arrogant, domineering, and manipulative, we may think we are in charge of our lives, but we are really fighting a losing battle. It is only by adopting a meditative response, by not allowing whatever has arisen on a particular occasion to distract or overwhelm us, that we can really empower ourselves and maintain presence of mind. It is so important to develop the qualities of fortitude , courage, and vigor to rise above whatever situation is at hand, even those situations that seem to be going our way and thus seem to negate any need to train our minds. We have to start seeing everything that arises in our lives as an opportunity to improve ourselves, rather than something that has robbed or seduced us away from that opportunity.

Who should attend this course? We would like to reach out to those people who have recognised the value of regular Mindfulness practice in their life and would like to build on that foundation.

Is the course restricted to Buddhists? The benefits of the Buddhist practice of Lojong does not need to be limited to Buddhists alone as it is relevant across all faiths.

What are the benefits of Lojong? The practice of Lojong will assist us in taking responsibility for where we are at and give us the tools to free ourselves from the tyranny of our egocentric pre-occupation, which can lead us to act unskillfully and cause harm to ourselves and others. Through the practice of the four key contemplations – precious human birth, karma cause and effect, death and impermanence, and the truth of suffering, together with the 59 maxims, we will begin to see shifts in our way of being.

We expect this course will be very popular so should you wish to avoid disappointment please contact Pam and Dave Sheehan on zimsheehans [at] gmail.com asap. Once the 15 slots have been filled you will be supplied with the relevant payment details.

All proceeds from this course will go to the Mindfulness Foundation of Zimbabwe.

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