Thursday, 14 July 2016

Tibetan Philosophers on Compassion and Altruism

Geshe Langri Thangpa
Probably one of the more successful adaptations of Asian wisdom to western culture has been the Tibetan Mind Training teachings known as Lojong
Presented here are some basic sayings taken from Montreal’s own Thupten Jinpa: Essential Mind Training. transl. Boston: Wisdom Publications. 2011.

He who sees as spiritual teachers/the objects that engender afflictions/be they enemy or friend/will remain content wherever he is.
(Sangye Gompa 1179-1250 Public Explanation of Mind Training) (Jinpa 12)

When happy I will dedicate my virtues to all;/may benefit and happiness pervade all of space!/When suffering I will take on the pains of all beings;/may the ocean of suffering become dry!
Sakyasri (1127-1295) (Jinpa 17)

As for suffering, I do not wish even the slightest;/as for happiness I am never satisfied;/in this sphere there is no difference between others and me./May I be blessed to take joy in others' happiness. Panchen Losang Chogyen (1569-1662), Guru Puja (Jinpa 19)

Reveal your own shortcomings,/but do not seek out others' errors./ Conceal your own good qualities,/but proclaim those of others.
Atisa (982-1054) Bodhisattva's Jewel Garland 3, (Jinpa 25)

Abide as if you were a servant of all beings. Condensed Perfection of Wisdom, 19a6 (Jinpa 114)

Without sentient beings, how would you obtain even the immediate benefits-these would cease immediately; even ultimate happiness arises in relation to sentient beings. It is on the basis of sentient beings that you attain the unsurpassable state of buddhahood.
Chekawa (1102–1176), "A Commentary on 'Eight Verses on Mind Training'"Essential (Jinpa 112)

When we think we are exceptional, we are unable to live in harmony with others even in this present life.
Chekawa (1102–1176), "A Commentary on 'Eight Verses on Mind Training'" (Jinpa.114)

Even if others return kindness with harm,/I will practice responding with great compassion;/the most excellent beings of this world/answer injury with benevolence.
Unknown line from Chekawa (1102–1176), "A Commentary on 'Eight Verses on Mind Training'" (Jinpa 122)

In any case, if you have correctly distinguished between enemy and friend, you understand everyone to be a friend. Then even when you work for others' welfare, the jaundice of self-centeredness does not arise. Instead you recognize all such tasks as obligations, so boastfulness toward others simply does not occur. When that happens, your mind has become trained.
Se Chilbu Chokyi Gyaltsen (1121-89), "A Commentary on the 'Seven-Point Mind Training'" (Jinpa. 97)

If you lapse and find yourself noticing another’s shortcomings, think ,’This is my own deluded perception; no such flaw exists in them. All sentient beings are endowed with the essence that shares the Buddha’s own nature.’ Reflect in this manner and judge this perception to be your own flaw.
Se Chilbu Chokyi Gyaltsen (1121-89), "A Commentary on the 'Seven-Point Mind Training'"(6.3) (Jinpa 97 )

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