The Intelligent Heart: A Guide to the Compassionate Life

The Intelligent Heart: A Guide to the Compassionate Life


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Practical instruction in a Tibetan Buddhist method for developing radical compassion--from a contemporary master with a gift for making the ancient teachings speak to modern hearts.

Dzigar Kongtrül's lively and accessible presentation of the Tibetan training method known as lojong (mind training) focuses on what he considers the heart of that practice: tonglen, the practice of exchanging self for other, for taking in others' pain and suffering and sending out kindness, ease, and consolation. It's a powerful method for developing compassion of the most tranformative kind, and its supreme expression is found in the classic text The Great Path of Awakening by Jamgon Kongtrül. This book is Dzigar Kongtrül's commentary on that beloved text, based on a series of talks he gave on it. It includes his fresh translation of the Great Path, and it is full of his characteristic humor as well as his skill in translating esoteric concepts into terms that not only are easily understood but that speak directly to the heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611801781
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 05/10/2016
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

DZIGAR KONGTRÜL grew up in a monastic environment and received extensive training in all aspects of Buddhist doctrine. In 1989 he moved to the United States with his family, and in 1990 he began a five-year tenure as a professor of Buddhist philosophy at Naropa University. He also founded Mangala Shri Bhuti, his own teaching organization, during this period. He has established a mountain retreat center, Longchen Jigme Samten Ling, in southern Colorado. When not guiding students in long-term retreats and not in retreat himself, Kongtrül travels widely throughout the world, teaching and furthering his own education.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Editor's Introduction xvii

Introduction It All Started with Tonglen 1

Point 1 The Preliminaries Teach the Foundation of Dharma Practice 11

1 First, train in the preliminaries 11

Point 2 The Main Practice: Training in Bodhicitta 23

2 Consider all phenomena as a dream 24

3 Examine the nature of unborn awareness 27

4 The antidote in itself is liberated 28

5 Rest in the nature of the alaya 28

6 In post-meditation, be a child of illusion 29

7 Practice giving and taking alternately. Mount both upon the breath 30

8 Three objects, three poisons, and three roots of virtue 50

9 In all conduct train with maxims 55

10 Begin the sequence of taking with oneself 57

Point 3 Transforming Adversity Into the Path of Enlightenment 59

11 When the world is full of evil, transform misfortune into the path of awakening 59

12 Realize all faults spring from one source 60

13 Meditate upon gratitude toward all 64

14 Meditate upon illusory appearance as the four kayas. This is the unsurpassable protection of emptiness 72

15 The four practices are the best of means 75

16 Use whatever you face as a practice immediately 80

Point 4 An Explanation of the Practices as a Way of Life 85

17 The pith instructions briefly summarized: apply the five strengths 85

18 The Mahayana instructions for the transference of consciousness are the five strengths. Conduct is vital 93

Point 5 Measures of Proficiency in Mind Training 105

19 All dharma agrees at a single point 105

20 Of the two witnesses, rely on the main one 109

21 Always maintain a joyful attitude 110

22 You have reached proficiency if you can practice even while distracted 113

Point 6 Commitments of Mind Training 117

23 Always train in the three basic principles 119

24 Transform your attitude and remain natural 121

25 Do not speak about the downfalls of others 123

26 Do not ponder others' business 124

27 Train with the strongest emotions first 126

28 Abandon any expectation of fruition 130

29 Abstain from toxic food 131

30 Do not be a loyalist 132

31 Do not be contentious 133

32 Do not wait in ambush 134

33 Do not pounce upon vulnerability 135

34 Do not transfer the dzo's load onto the ox 136

35 Do not be competitive 138

36 Do not twist the practice 139

37 Do not bring a god down to the level of a demon 140

38 Do not seek out others' suffering as the limbs of your delight 141

Point 7 Guidelines For Mind Training 145

39 Use one practice for everything 145

40 Use a single corrective for everything 146

41 Two things to do: one at the beginning, one at the end 148

42 Whichever of the two arises, be patient 149

43 Protect the two as dearly as your life 152

44 Train in the three difficulties 153

45 Take up the three principal causes 155

46 Practice to not let the three degenerate 156

47 Remain inseparable from the three 157

48 Practice impartially toward everything. Deep and comprehensive mastery overall is essential 158

49 Always meditate on whatever is most challenging 159

50 Do not rely on other factors 159

51 Practice what is essential now 160

52 Do not dwell in misunderstanding 161

53 Do not be sporadic 164

54 Train wholeheartedly 165

55 Find liberation through both reflection and analysis 165

56 Do not feel the world owes you 166

57 Do not be reactive 166

58 Do not be temperamental 167

59 Do not self-aggrandize 168

Conclusion 169

Appendix: The Seven Points of Mahayana Mind Training 171

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