"Change Your Attitude, Change your Life"
A Mind Training Retreat with Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo from
(Training the Mind in Seven Points)
Lojong (Tib. བློ་སྦྱོང་,Wylie: blo sbyong) is a mind training practice in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition based on a set of aphorisms formulated in Tibet in the 12th century by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje. The practice involves refining and purifying one's motivations and attitudes.
The fifty-nine or so slogans that form the root text of the mind training practice are designed as a set of antidotes to undesired mental habits that cause suffering. They contain both methods to expand one's viewpoint towards absolute bodhicitta, such as "Find the consciousness you had before you were born" and "Treat everything you perceive as a dream", and methods for relating to the world in a more constructive way with relative bodhicitta, such as "Be grateful to everyone" and "When everything goes wrong, treat disaster as a way to wake up."
Lojong mind training practice was developed over a 300-year period between 900 and 1200 CE, as part of the Mahāyāna school of Buddhism. Atiśa (982–1054 CE), a Bengali meditation master, is generally regarded as the originator of the practice. It is described in his book Lamp on the Path to Enlightenment(Bodhipathapradīpaṃ). The practice is based upon his studies with the Sumatran teacher, Dharmarakṣita, author of a text called the Wheel of Sharp Weapons. Both these texts are well known in Tibetan translation.
Geshe Chekhawa (or Chekawa Yeshe Dorje) (1102–1176) was a prolific Kadampa Buddhist meditation master who was the author of the celebrated root text, Training the Mind in Seven Points which is an explanation of Buddha's instructions on training the mind or Lojong in Tibetan. These teachings reveal how sincere Buddhist practitioners can transform adverse conditions into the path to enlightenment, principally, by developing their own compassion. Before Chekhawa Yeshe Dorje's root text, this special set of teachings given by Buddha were secret teachings only given to faithful disciples
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s commentary “Enlightened Courage”
Highly respected by thousands of students throughout the world, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was one of the foremost poets, scholars, philosophers, and meditation masters of our time. Here he speaks frankly, drawing on his own life experience. Condensing the compassionate path to Buddhahood into practical instructions that use the circumstances of everyday life, Rinpoche presents the Seven-Point Mind Training—the very core of the entire Tibetan Buddhist practice.
There are other notable commentaries that one can use for the study of "Lojong", such as by Alan Wallace, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, Geshe Sonam Rinchen.
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo was raised in London and whilst in her teens she became a Buddhist. In 1964, at the age of twenty, she decided to go to India to pursue her spiritual path.
There she met her Guru, His Eminence the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche, a great Drukpa Kagyu lama, and became one of the first Westerners to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. She remained with Khamtrul Rinpoche and his community in Himachal Pradesh, northern India, for six years and then he directed her to the Himalayan valley of Lahaul in order to undertake more intensive practice. Tenzin Palmo stayed in a small monastery there for several years, remaining in retreat during the long winter months. Then, seeking more seclusion and better conditions for practice, she found a nearby cave where she remained for another 12 years, the last 3 years in strict retreat. She left India in 1988 and went to stay in Italy where she taught at various Dharma centres.
Before H.E. Khamtrul Rinpoche passed away in 1980, he had on several occasions requested Tenzin Palmo to start a nunnery. She understood the importance of this and remembers when in 1993, the Lamas of the Khampagar monastery in Himachal Pradesh India again made the request. This time Tenzin Palmo was ready to take on the formidable task and she began slowly raising interest worldwide.
In January 2000 the first nuns arrived and in 2001 the construction of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery began and is now, with the ongoing construction of the traditional Temple, nearing completion.
In February 2008 Tenzin Palmo was given the rare title of Jetsunma, which means Venerable Master, by His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, Head of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage in recognition of her spiritual achievements as a nun and her efforts in promoting the status of female practitioners in Tibetan Buddhism.
Tenzin Palmo spends most of the year at Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery and occasionaly tours to give teachings and raise funds for the ongoing needs of the DGL nuns and Nunnery.