Thought Training

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Access here various commentaries by Venerable Thubten Chodron on lojong or “thought-training” texts. This particular Tibetan Buddhist genre focuses on how to train the mind to see people and events from a Dharma perspective, and generate a loving and compassionate attitude toward them.

Who it’s for

This series contains many commentaries give in the style of BBCorner talks—short (5-15 minute) informal talks that relate the Buddha’s teachings in a way you can quickly and easily put them into action. Moreover, many of the series contain transcripts for each talk. These commentaries will appeal to those eager to transform their mind, and who wish for short digestible bursts of Dharma to enrich their day.

Content and Resources

Wisdom of the Kadam Masters

Here, Venerable Thubten Chodron gives a commentary to Lama Atisha’s text of pithy says in how to transform the mind. Topics include:

  • The six causes of afflictions
  • Working with habitual emotional patterns
  • Antidotes to attachment, jealousy, arrogance, the self-centred mind, and the judgmental mind
  • Seven-point cause and effect method for generating bodhicitta
  • Equalizing and exchanging self of others
  • The six perfections

Access audio and video recordings, as well as transcripts below. This series is also available as a playlist on the Sravasti Abbey Youtube channel.

108 Verses on Compassion

Access here Venerable Chodron’s commentary to One Hundred and Eight Verses Praising Great Compassion called A Precious Crystal Rosary, a text whose virtues and profundity His Holiness the Dalai lama has extolled many times.

In the format of 108 verses, this text covers topics such as:

  • Praise of compassion in terms of metaphors and allegories
  • Praise of compassion in terms of the role it played in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha and other Great Masters
  • Instruction on how to generate compassion and bodhicitta according to the seven-point cause and effect method and the technique of exchanging self with others

Access audio and video recordings here:

Parting from the Four Clingings

Access here Chodron’s commentary to Parting from the Four Clingings, by Drakpa Gyaltsen (1147–1216), the third of the Five Sakya Patriarchs of Tibet and the guru of the famous Sakya Pandita.

This pithy text of 29 verses offerings ‘instruction on parting from the four clingings’ to enable practitioners to live according to the teachings of the buddha. The instruction covers how to part from clinging to the pleasures of this life, to the pleasures of future lives in samsara, to self-centered thought and actions, and to ignorance that grasps at inherent existence.

If you cling to this life, you are not a practitioner;
If you cling to the three realms, that is not renunciation;
If you cling to self-interest, you are not a bodhisattva;
If grasping arises, it is not the view.
–Verse 3

Find audio and video recordings of this 11-part series below. This series is also available as a playlist on Sravasti Abbey Youtube channel.

Gems of Wisdom

Access here Venerable Chodron’s commentary to Gems of Wisdom, a pithy thought-training text by the Seventh Dalai Lama Kelsang Gyatso written in the form of 108 verses.

The text provides an often humorous perspective on the mental afflictions that are the source of our misery, with Venerable Chodron’s commentary providing instruction on how to apply Dharma antidotes in order to achieve our own and others happiness.

What is like a smelly fart that, although invisible, is obvious?

Our own faults that are precisely as obvious as the effort made to hide them.
–Verse 48

This series is in the form of short (5-15 minute) talks given before lunch at Sravasti Abbey. Access audio, video and transcripts for each talk below. This set of teachings is also available as a playlist on the Sravasti Abbey Youtube channel.

41 Prayers to Cultivate Bodhicitta

Access here a Venerable Thubten Chodron’s commentary to the 41 Prayers to Cultivate Bodhicitta from the Avatamsaka Sutra (the Flower Ornament Sutra). These prayers, or gathas, are short sayings to say during various activities throughout the day, reminding ourselves to repeatedly remember, refresh and deepen our bodhicitta motivation—the wish to attain awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings.

“May all beings reach the seat of enlightenment.”
This is the prayer of the bodhisattva when sitting down.
–Prayer 8

“May all beings escape from the prison of cyclic life.”

This is the prayer of the bodhisattva when going outside.
–Prayer 14

This series is in the form of short (5-15 minute) talks given before lunch at Sravasti Abbey. Access audio and video recording, as well as transcripts for each talk below. The talks are also available as a series on the Sravasti Abbey Youtube channel.