Lojong as " stealing " ?

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Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:02 pm

I have no personal experience of formal Lojong...On another forum I have just read a startling debate where one of the participants describes Lojong as " stealing the karma of others " and " thwarting their negative desires "..

Any comments ?
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby MattyNottwo » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:19 pm

One of the first things my teacher told me about lojong and tonglen was to do it with threefold purity:
no one giving, no one receiving, and no gift. So I guess it's to be done with a view of emptiness. One of
the slogans is also "Regard all dharmas as dreams." So, it's all a passing memory anyway. The stealing peoples
karma part would be under the "be a child of illusion" slogan which is under relative bodhicitta. This is my
understanding anyway. Also, my teacher told me about threefold purity when I said I was worried about
taking on some of the really bad karma. I also think that the practice is basically that, if it's bad, take it in,
if it's good, give it away. So take in bad karma, give back good karma. If you think that doing that is bad, take
that in, if you think that is good give it away. If you do the practice wrong take it in, if you do it right give it away.
Anyway, I like to do it for people on TV because I know it's just a movie and reminds me that life is a movie, and
sometimes I can't figure out if I should take the good guys pain away or the bad guys bad karma, if you know what I
mean? Anyway :smile:
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby Ayu » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:18 pm

This reminds me of the saying: "Dharma is something you can not hold. You just can receive it or giv it away."
Seems to be like electricity - it has to flow or it is not.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:45 pm

I can see the possible benefits in loosening our own hold on our self sense...but can we really take someones karma in any objective way ?
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby ngodrup » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:53 pm

If one actually is a high level Bodhisattva, it would work like that.

All my teachers have said that tong-len etc. only work on oneself until that time.
The love helps others, but the taking of karma is only a skilful means for oneself.
In a way, others benefit because you use them as an means to enhance your own
realizations... but ... for practitioners...
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:06 pm

ngodrup wrote:If one actually is a high level Bodhisattva, it would work like that.

All my teachers have said that tong-len etc. only work on oneself until that time.
The love helps others, but the taking of karma is only a skilful means for oneself.
In a way, others benefit because you use them as an means to enhance your own
realizations... but ... for practitioners...

That makes sense to me...
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby Caz » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:26 pm

Simon E. wrote:I have no personal experience of formal Lojong...On another forum I have just read a startling debate where one of the participants describes Lojong as " stealing the karma of others " and " thwarting their negative desires "..

Any comments ?


Take Lobster with a dash of salt Simon. :namaste:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:25 pm

Well spotted... :smile:

As I said I have little first hand knowledge of Lojong but it seemed pretty unlikely to be an accurate summation of any of its practices.
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:44 pm

There is an transcript of HH Dalai Lama's commentary on the 8 Verses Lojong here: http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=381

Various texts on this genre, many of them very accessible, from the Gelug perspective can be found on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive site Lojong section: http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&cid=50
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A wise man keeps them secret within.
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But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:15 pm

JKhedrup wrote:There is an transcript of HH Dalai Lama's commentary on the 8 Verses Lojong here: http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=381

Various texts on this genre, many of them very accessible, from the Gelug perspective can be found on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive site Lojong section: http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&cid=50

Thank you for that..

:namaste:
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby duckfiasco » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:32 pm

You can't take someone else's karma, otherwise the countless Buddhas and bodhisattvas would've already saved our sorry asses eons ago. :rolleye:

I've read in many places that the point of tonglen isn't to materially help someone as if you really are taking their negativity. Some people even worry "What if I DO take on their sickness or anger? I'm worried now!" The point from what I've read is to reverse the usual samsaric tendency to cling to pleasure and reject pain, basically to try to make things as comfortable as possible for ourselves. That's kind of antithetical to the work of a bodhisattva! So we turn the habitual tendencies on their head, and instead of filling the space with an epic storyline, maybe a little dharma sneaks in :spy:

I've found tonglen most useful not as a structured meditation tool, but in everyday situations. Anger flares up. Tonglen to the rescue, and space is created for compassion and wisdom to grow out of the small, angry view. An obsessive desire flares up for the 1,000th time. The space of tonglen allows for just a moment the possibility of another choice: not the thing, nor rejection of the thing.

So many skillful means point to emptiness, even if it's so far away at the moment that we think, "what? I don't see it." Calling it "stealing" or thinking it really is taking someone's bad day and giving them a bouquet of flowers is missing the point, in my opinion!

Pema Chödrön and Trungpa Rinpoche have several wonderful and accessible commentaries on tonglen.

I think that's what you meant since lojong is an entire set of practices not specifically related to "stealing" :P
Last edited by duckfiasco on Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

I thought there were only a few lojong slogans even directly related to tonglen, am I confused about Lojong meaning something else..I thought it was the 59 slogans.

Anyway, to me Tonglen just seems like a more direct, intuition-led version of something like Metta, being attached directly to the breath it feels like it require less reflection and more..action for lack of a better word. No idea if it does something "real" outside of me...and more and more i'm beginning to think that is a false question to ask in terms of Buddhist practice.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:58 pm

Lojong is a whole genre of literature. "Lo" mind and "jong" to train. Certainly, the Tonglen practice is one of the key points elucidated in many of the Lojong texts.

Regarding Taking and Giving, some comment from HHDL, from the link I posted above:

Of course, it is most unlikely that we shall actually be able to take on the sufferings of others and give them our happiness. When such transference between beings does occur, it is the result of some very strong unbroken karmic connection from the past. However, this meditation is a very powerful means of building up courage in our minds and is, therefore, a highly beneficial practice.

In the Seven Point Thought Transformation it says that we should alternate the practices of taking and giving and mount them on the breath.8 And here, Langri Tangpa says these should be done secretly. As it is explained in the Bodhicaryavatara, this practice does not suit the minds of beginner bodhisattvas—it is something for a select few practitioners. Therefore, it is called secret.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:02 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Lojong is a whole genre of literature. "Lo" mind and "jong" to train. Certainly, the Tonglen practice is one of the key points elucidated in many of the Lojong texts.



Ah thanks, I didn't understand it was that broad., and was thinking of the list of Lojong slogans.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:05 pm

http://www.wisdompubs.org/Pages/display ... 90&-Token..

Check out the above volume, a compilation of 44 different Lojong texts translated expertly by Thupten Jinpa, the main translator of HH Dalai Lama in North America. It is elegantly translated and the scope of the Lojong literature is amazing.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby duckfiasco » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:07 pm

The slogans are just wonderful :)

I recommend the original poster take a look at the full list sometime. They can be like adding gunpowder to the fire of your practice.
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby ngodrup » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:05 am

One of my teachers answers the question

"How is is possible to liberate all beings?"

Whatever you perceive is your phenomena. When you have
purified your karmic vision and become a Buddha, then from
your point of view, where are the other sentient beings?
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby Simon E. » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:55 am

duckfiasco wrote:The slogans are just wonderful :)

I recommend the original poster take a look at the full list sometime. They can be like adding gunpowder to the fire of your practice.

Since posting I have indeed seen the slogans..much food for thought.
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby greentara » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:15 am

ngodrup, "How is is possible to liberate all beings?"

Whatever you perceive is your phenomena. When you have
purified your karmic vision and become a Buddha, then from
your point of view, where are the other sentient beings?"

Thankyou, perfect!
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Re: Lojong as " stealing " ?

Postby lobster » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:33 am

Take Lobster with a dash of salt


and a squeeze of lemon . . .

I will also be providing postings on retroactive karma - why praying for your present state from your future Enlightened Buddha state is not kicking in . . .

. . . and now back to the Long John practice . . .
http://web.archive.org/web/20070210031327/http://pages.britishlibrary.net/edjason/eight/
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