The Seven Points of Training the Mind

The Seven Points of Training the Mind, as translated Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
1 November 1993
Lojong Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche Shambhala Sun Buddhism Lion's Roar Mahayana
Photo by McKay Savage.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche translates The Seven Points of Training the Mind, a crystalline presentation of Atisha’s mind-training teachings.

Point One: The Preliminaries

First, train in the preliminaries

Point Two: Absolute & Relative Bodhicitta

Regard dharmas as dreams.
Examine the nature of unborn awareness.
Self-liberate even the antidotes.
Rest in the nature of alaya, the essence.
In the postmeditation experience one should become a child of illusion.
relative bodhicitta
Sending and taking should be practiced alternately. These two should ride the breath.
Three objects, three poisons, and three seeds of virtue.
In all activities, train with slogans.
Begin the sequence of sending and taking with oneself.

Point Three: Carrying Out The Practices as Path

When the world Is filled with evil, transform all mishaps into the path of bodhi.
Drive all blames into oneself.
Contemplate the great kindness of everyone.
Regarding confusion as the four kayas Is unsurpassable shunyata protection.
Four practices are the best of methods.
In order to bring unexpected circumstances to the path, whatever you suddenly meet should be joined with meditation.

Point Four: Completing Mind Training in Life and Death

The condensed heart instructions are the five strengths: practice them.
The mahayana instruction for ejection of consciousness at death is the five strengths: how you conduct yourself is important.

Point Five: Evaluation of Mind Training

All dharma agrees at one point.
Of the two witnesses, hold the principal one.
Always apply only a joyful mind.
If you can practice even when distracted, you are well trained.

Point Six: Ethics of Mind Training

Always abide by the three basic principles.
Having changed your attitude, remain that way.
Don’t talk about injured limbs.
Don’t ponder others.
Work with the greatest defilements first.
Abandon any hope of fruition.
Abandon poisonous food.
Don’t be so trustworthy.
Don’t malign others.
Don’t wait in ambush.
Don’t bring things to a painful point.
Don’t transfer the ox’s load to the cow.
Don’t try to be the fastest.
Don’t act with a twist.
Don’t make gods into demons.
Don’t seek others’ pain as the limbs of your own happiness.

Point Seven: Guidelines of Mind Training

All activities should be done with one intention.
Correct all wrongs with one intention.
Two activities: one at the beginning, one at the end.
Whichever of the two occurs, be patient.
Observe these two, even at the risk of your life.
Train in the three difficulties.
Take on the three principal causes.
Pay heed that the three never wane.
You should maintain the three inseparabilities.
Train without bias in all areas. It is crucial to extend this pervasively and meticulously to everyone.
Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment.
You should not be swayed by external circumstances.
At this crucial time, practice the main point.
Don’t misinterpret.
Don’t vacillate.
Train wholeheartedly.
You should liberate yourself by examining and analyzing.
Don’t wallow in self-pity.
Don’t be jealous.
Don’t be frivolous.
Don’t expect plaudits.

Translation © 1981, 1986 by Chogyam Trungpa. Revised translation © 1993 by Diana J. Mukpo and the Nalanda Translation Committee. Published by permission of Diana J. Mukpo & the Nalanda Translation Committee.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1940-1987) is recognized for playing a pivotal role in the transmission of genuine Buddhadharma to the West. One of the first Tibetan Buddhist teachers to come to America, he established Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and an organization of some 200 meditation centers worldwide known as Shambhala International. In addition to his best selling books on the Buddhist teachings, including Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and The Myth of Freedom, he is the author of two books on the Shambhala warrior tradition: Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, and Great Eastern Sun: The Wisdom of Shambhala.