The Mind Training in Eight Verses

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With a determination to achieve the highest aim
For the benefit of all sentient beings
Which surpasses even the wish-fulfilling gem,
May I hold them dear at all times.

Whenever I interact with someone,
May I view myself as the lowest amongst all,
And, from the very depths of my heart,
Respectfully hold others as superior.

In all my deeds may I probe into my mind,
And as soon as mental and emotional afflictions arise-
As they endanger myself and others-
May I strongly confront them and avert them.

When I see beings of unpleasant character
Oppressed by strong negativity and suffering,
May I hold them dear-for they are rare to find-
As if I have discovered a jewel treasure!

When others, out of jealousy
Treat me wrongly with abuse, slander, and scorn,
May I take upon myself the defeat
And offer to others the victory.

When someone whom I have helped,
Or in whom I have placed great hopes,
Mistreats me in extremely hurtful ways,
May I regard him still as my precious teacher.

In brief, may I offer benefit and joy
To all my mothers, both directly and indirectly,
May I quietly take upon myself
All hurts and pains of my mothers.

May all this remain undefiled
By the stains of the eight mundane concerns;
And may I, recognizing all things as illusion,
Devoid of clinging, be released from bondage.

This April was the first month of my life that I meditated everyday.

My sitting habits have always been sporadic, the longest I’ve ever meditated consistently for an extended period was about three months, but even then there would be a missed day here and there.

At some point in March, after our trip to Daeheung Temple, I became determined to start sitting constantly again. This time, unlike before, I didn’t keep track of the days, they just started going by, and here we are, nearly two months later, and I accomplished a small goal of mine to sit everyday for a month straight without even realizing it until a couple of days ago.

The interesting thing I’ve found is that I’ve been less inclined to write about practice when I’m actually doing it. Maybe because there’s nothing I’ve felt I’ve had to prove or maybe it’s when I sit that I remember how little I know in the first place!

With Buddha’s birthday celebrations coming up, as well as the anniversary of my precepts ceremony, I’m going to try to balance practice with study a bit more than I have recently. Sometimes I feel a bit phony after posting things I don’t fully understand or practice myself, but in the end, I don’t think there can be much fault found in sharing Dharma!

I found this small booklet with the Mind Training in Eight Versus, written by Geshe Langri Thangpa during the 11th Century, that Joe once left at my house. I’d never actually read it, or the commentary, but thought now is always the best time to start. I’m going to try to read these every morning and see if they influence my thoughts and mind throughout the day. Even while sitting daily over the past few weeks, there have still been many other moments when I’ve spoken or acted regrettably (though it’s safe to say I may have behaved worse if I hadn’t been sitting). Reading these daily couldn’t possibly do any harm! If anyone else would care to join me, that would be wonderful. After all, it was written for the benefit of all!

If you’d rather listen to it read, I found this Youtube clip of Robert Thurman (yes, Uma Thurman’s father) reciting it:

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