Sunday, March 16, 2014

Seven Point Mind Training

The Path To Awakening: How Buddhism's Seven Points of Mind Training Can Lead You to a Life of Enlightenment and Happiness arrived in the mail today. This is by Shamar Rinpoche. The Shamar Rinpoche version is translated and edited by Lara Braitstein.

I've read Becoming a Child of the Buddhas: A Simple Clarification of the Root Verses of Seven Point Mind Training a number of times and have studied it in study groups. This is by Gomo Tulku, translated by Joan Nicell. When you google Gomo Tulku, you get the rapping lama, which I think might be another incarnation. It's hard to untangle the thicket of lineages and teachers. But the one thing to know is that the Seven Point Mind Training might not be a standardized text, and might have different version in different traditions. The whole point of it is to have pithy short verses that pack big punches, so they are changed over time, and each lineage will see various versions as the best one. And then someone translates them into English.

The Seven Point Mind Training goes back to teachings of Atisa, through Checkawa Yeshe Dorje. So the various versions will be based on these. So we're reaching back to Atisa through a number of teachers and a translators.

This one by Shamar Rinpoche, is from the Kadampa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, though the teachings reach out into the modern movements, and other traditions. If you were in that tradition, you'd probably read this version first. I read the Gomo Tulku version as recommended by the TBC. I have no idea why or how that came to be the one to read at that time.

I've listened to talks from FBA on it. I don't know what's going on with their search engine, but I can't find the specific talks.

What strikes me in my memory is that all this stuff has to be critically evaluated, and made sense of. But if you spend time on them, they can come to have great meaning. And that is why I'm excited to read this new version of the teachings. I will check back with you when I get into the book.

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