Kagyu Changchub Chuling

A center for the practice and study of Vajrayana Buddhism founded by His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche

2009 Seven Point Mind Training Retreat

Led by Lama Michael Conklin at KCC, June 26-27, 2009.

The Seven Points of Mind Training (lojong in Tibetan) constitute a system for transforming our ordinary relationships with others and with ourselves into the ground for the cultivation of loving-kindness and insight. This Buddhist practice was initially brought to Tibet in the 11th century by the great Indian Dharma master, Atisha. Since then all the Tibetan schools have come to treasure it.

This system of training includes instruction on both ultimate and relative bodhicitta practices. Lojong practice is easy to approach, even for the novice, and is well-suited for application in the ordinary circumstances of contemporary life.

These sessions are intended as both a brief introduction for those who are unfamiliar with the Seven Points of Mind Training as well as a refresher and encouragement for those who actively apply these teachings. Independent study and practice will enhance participation.

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Track Notes

June 26, 2009—Track 1: 00:00—The Buddhist Context: Our commitment and clinging to self-cherishing as the root cause of suffering; 12:00—Overview of the Seven Points; 30:25—Enjoyment and Integration as critical pieces of the path

June 26, 2009—Track 2: 00:00—Point One:  The Preliminaries-- the 4 obstacles and their antidotes (the 4 thoughts); 39:00—The 8 worldly dharmas; 42:05—Developing a practice

June 26, 2009—Track 3: 00:00—4 thoughts, Refuge & Bodhichitta; 16:50—Point Two:  The Main Practice, which is Training in Bodhichitta.  Ultimate Bodhichitta—“Contemplate all phenomena as dreamlike;” 33:48—Relative Bodhichitta--Tonglen (Sending & Taking)  

June 26, 2009—Track 4: Q & A  00:00—“What is the suffering of cyclic existence?”; 13:40—“How should I practice with limited time?”; 24:00—“When do you know the mind is stable?”; 43:10—“How do I visualize?”; 52:05—“How do you actually contemplate the 4 thoughts?”

June 26, 2009—Track 5: 00:00—Point Two aphorisms; 02:25—Be a Child of Illusion; 05:28—Giving & Taking; 06:21—In Everything You Do, Practice With Words; 10:00—3 Objects, 3 Poisons, 3 Roots of Virtue; 14:10—Alternately practice giving and taking. Mount them upon your breath; 23:30—Compassion and non-referential compassion (path vs. fruit); 28:35—The nature of the ground of our being

June 26, 2009—Track 6: 00:00—Guided Meditation; 49:13—Q & A  “How does one balance good & bad karma?”  “How or why does karma only ripen once?”

June 27, 2009—Track 1: 00:00—Guided Meditation

June 27, 2009—Track 2: 00:00—Point Three: The Transformation of Bad Circumstances; 01:21—When the whole world is enslaved by vices, transform adversities into the path of spiritual awakening; 10:41—Blame everything on one culprit; 11:40—Reflect on the kindness of all those around you; 12:50—By meditating on delusive appearances as the 4 embodiments, emptiness becomes the best protection; 13:25—The best strategy is to have 4 practices; 13:50—Whatever you encounter immediately apply it to meditation; 16:40—Point Four: A Synthesis of Practice for One Life; 17:23—The 5 Strengths

June 27, 2009—Track 3: 00:00—The Mahayana instruction for ejection of consciousness at death is the 5 strengths: how you conduct yourself  is important (Point Four); 30:10—Point Five: Criterion of Proficiency; 41:27—Point Six: Pledges of Mind Training

June 27, 2009—Track 4: 00:00—Point Seven: The Precepts of Mind Training; 05:00—Make No Mistake

June 27, 2009—Track 5: Q & A 00:00—“What’s the actual order of the meditation practice and when do you practice the slogans?”  15:04—“Is there such a thing as ‘cosmic balance’ in relation to karma?”  30:00—“How do I actually relate to my waking experience ‘like a dream’?”  40:50—“In sudden death or dementia, are there any special instructions?”  55:29—“How do I practice shamatha without an object?”  1:04:14—“What does ‘Change Your Attitude But Remain Natural’ mean?”

June 27, 2009—Track 6: 00:00—Guided Meditation; 32:03—Dharma talk on “Aspirations for Mahamudra” prayer; 41:19—Recitation of “Aspirations for Mahamudra”