Thursday, August 4, 2011

Eight Verses of Mind Training

Here is the Tibetan text, plus an English translation of it, of the "Eight Verses of Mind Training," one of the most beloved texts of the blo-sbyong (lojong) or "mind training" tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness the Dalai Lama recites these verses every day and suggests that others who want to cultivate compassion do the same. He also says that if he's stuck waiting for a flight or something like that, he contemplates these verses rather than getting upset, thereby making valuable use of the time. It would be great if more people followed his example!



bdag ni sems can thams cad la
yid bzhin nor bu las lhag pa’i
don mchog sgrub pa’i sems pa yis
rtag tu gces par ‘dzin par shog

May I, with the thought
of accomplishing for all sentient beings
the supreme welfare that surpasses a wish-fulfilling jewel
always cherish them.

gang du su dang ‘grogs pa’i tse
bdag nyid kun las dman blta zhing
gzhan la bsam pa thag pa yis
mchog tu gces par ‘dzin par shog

Whenever I associate with others
May I view myself as inferior to all,
And may I with a sincere mind
Cherish others as supreme.

spyod lam kun tu rang rgyud la
rtog cing nyon mongs skyes ma thag
bdag gzhan ma rungs byed pas na
btsan thabs gdong nas bzlog par shog

In all spheres of activities, may I examine my own mind
And as soon as afflictive emotions arise
Since they are not beneficial to myself and others
May I forcefully reverse them.

rang bzhin ngan pa’i sems can dang
sdig sdug drag pos non mthong tshe
rin chen gter dang ‘phrad pa bzhin
rnyed par dka’ bas gces ‘dzin shog

When I see a sentient being of bad nature
Extremely afflicted by non-virtue and suffering,
May I cherish them, because they are so hard to find,
Like meeting with a precious jewel.

gdag la gzhan gyi phrag dog gis
bshe skur la sogs mi rigs pa’i
gyong kha rang gis len pa dang
gyal kha gzhan la ‘bul bar shog

When others become very jealous of me
And do unreasonable things like deprecating me,
May I take the defeat [on myself],
And offer them the victory.

gang la bdag gis phan btags pa’i
re ba che ba gang zhig gis
shin tu mi rigs gnod byed na’ng
bshes gnyen dam par blta bar shog

When someone whom I have helped
And of whom I have great expectations [in return],
Unfairly causes me great harm
May I see them as a holy spiritual teacher.

mdor na dgnos sam brgyud pa yis
phan bde ma lus kun la ‘bul
ma yi gnod dang sdug bsngal kun
gsang bas bdag la len par shog

In brief, directly or indirectly,
May I offer help and happiness without exception to all,
And secretly take upon myself
All the harms and suffering of my mothers.

de dag kun kyang chos brgyad kyi
rtog pa’i dri mas ma sbags shing
chos kun sgyu mar shes pa’i blos
zhen med ‘ching ba las drol shog

And may all of these [practices] be unstained
By conceptual distortions of the eight worldly concerns
And by knowing all phenomena to be like illusions
May I be freed from bondage, without attachment.

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