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Eight Steps to Happiness

And a solution to end suffering

Master, what is the secret to happiness?"
"Not to argue with idiots"
"Master. I disagree that this can be the secret"
"Yes, you are right"

There are many benefits to putting the instructions of Langri Tangpa’s “Eight Verses of Training the Mind” into practice. The practice helps us to eliminate the ignorant mind of self-cherishing and self-grasping, the root of all suffering and problems.

It shows us how to transform adverse conditions into the spiritual path, giving us the opportunity to use our daily problems and issues that would normally be obstacles as our actual daily practice so we can make progress in our spiritual practice.

We live in spiritually degenerate times. Fewer people are able to attain advanced spiritual realizations, and we generally find it more difficult to attain tranquil abiding and other spiritual realizations, or even to meditate at all.

We have so many more distractions now, both outer and inner, than our ancestors could even imagine, and as a result our minds are more uncontrolled and conventional spiritual practice doesn’t work as well for modern people. However, by practicing the instructions in the “Eight Verses,” we can learn how to use these obstacles and transform them into the path to enlightenment instead.

Geshe Chekhawa compared the instructions of training the mind in this way to a diamond, to the sun, and to a medicinal tree. Just like even a small fragment of a larger diamond is still valuable, so even putting just a small part of the instructions into practice is worthwhile. Just like the first few rays of the rising sun begin to dispel the darkness of night, so even just a superficial experience of the teachings reduces the darkness of ignorance, and just as full sunlight dispels all darkness, so a deep experience of the teachings completely dispels our ignorance. Just as every part of a medicinal plant has curative properties, so every part of the teachings has the power to cure the mental poisons of delusions.

The Eight Verses of Training the Mind

by Geshe Langri Thangpa

1.
By thinking of all sentient beings as more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel
For accomplishing the highest aim, I will always hold them dear.

2.
Whenever I'm in the company of others, I will regard myself as the lowest among all,
And from the depths of my heart Cherish others as supreme.

3.
In my every action, I will watch my mind, and the moment destructive emotions arise,
I will confront them strongly and avert them, Since they will hurt both me and others.

4
Whenever I see ill-natured beings, or those overwhelmed by heavy misdeeds or suffering,
I will cherish them as something rare, as though I’d found a priceless treasure.

5
Whenever someone out of envy does me wrong by attacking or belittling me,
I will take defeat upon myself, and give the victory to others.

6
Even when someone I have helped, or in whom I have placed great hopes
Mistreats me very unjustly, I will view that person as a true spiritual teacher.

7
In brief, directly or indirectly, I will offer help and happiness to all my mothers,
And secretly take upon myself all their hurt and suffering.

8
I will learn to keep all these practices untainted by thoughts of the eight worldly concerns.
May I recognize all things as like illusions, and, without attachment, gain freedom from bondage.

Namaste

Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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