Eight Verses for Training the Mind
Composed by the Buddhist Master Langri Tangpa (1054-1123), “Eight Verses for Training the Mind” is a highly-revered practice from the Mahayana Lojong (mind training) tradition.
These instructions offer essential practices for cultivating the awakening mind of compassion, wisdom, and love.
In just eight simple verses, this remarkable lojong teaching enshrines the very heart of dharma, revealing the essence of the Mahayana path to liberation.
This excellent practice helps us purify our negativity and awaken the heart by giving us a way to transform adversity and hardship into a direct opportunity for spiritual growth.
Through this practice, we transform our mind from its present confused, self-centered condition into the compassion and wisdom of a Buddha.
For even a single statement of this mind training practice has the incredible power to help us subdue our self-oriented behavior and mental afflictions.
The fundamental theme of mind training practice is the profound reorientation of our basic attitude, both toward our own self and toward our fellow human beings, as well as toward the events around us.
The goal of mind training practice is the radical transformation of our thoughts, attitudes, and habits. Presently, we tend to cherish the welfare of our own self at the expense of all others. However, the mind training teaching challenges us to reverse this process. This involves a deep understanding of others as true friends, and the recognition that our true enemy lies inside of ourselves, not outside.
As we practice these lojong teachings in daily life, we train the mind to embrace reality in a completely wholesome, wise, and compassionate way. These excellent practices help us purify our negativity and awaken the heart by giving us a way to transform adversity, conflict, and hardship into a direct opportunity for spiritual growth.
In this way, rather than perceiving difficult people or adverse circumstances in our lives as an obstacle, tragedy, or punishment, we now meet these experiences with deep compassion, wisdom, and skill—using them as our actual practice on the path to enlightenment.
By way of these treasured practices we eliminate our competitive, selfish, and emotionally reactive nature, as well as our false and exaggerated concepts of self (also called self-grasping and self-cherishing).
It is important to understand that the greed, jealousy, anger, pride, selfishness, and attachment, which cause us so much suffering, are actually misperceptions of reality, not inherent conditions of our mind.
Therefore, these precious lojong practices can purify our misperceptions and delusions completely, revealing the natural radiance, clarity, wisdom, and compassion of our true nature.
The eight verses are described in detail in the following pages: