The Seven-Point Mind-Training, widely taught in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, stems from the teachings of the 11th-century Indian Buddhist scholar and contemplative Atisha and was first written down by the 12th-century Tibetan monk Chekawa. This training summarizes the Bodhisattva way of life by integrating theories and practices for the cultivation of ultimate and relative bodhichitta, or the mind of awakening. Beginning with a careful investigation of the nature of the mind and its relation to nature as a whole – resulting in a realization of emptiness and dependent origination – this training leads one to the experience of profound compassion and the transformation of all experiences into means of furthering one's spiritual growth.
A central theme of the Seven-Point Mind Training is to make the liberating passage from the constricting solitude of self-centeredness to the warm kinship with others. It’s us of aphorisms or slogans make the teachings easy to remember and to put into practical use immediately.
Suited for an active life this Mind Training does not require that we withdraw into seclusion, but that we re-examine all our relationships – to family, friends, enemies and strangers – and gradually transform our responses to whatever life throws our way.
This is one of many mind trainings or Lojong. A literal translation of lo is mind, attitude, way of thinking, of mind state. But the Tibetan makes no distinction between the mind and heart, so the word applies equally to the feelings of the heart. Thus, the Seven-Point Heart/Mind Training entails a change of heart as much as a transformation of the mind.
This nine-disc DVD set chronicles the seven-day Meditation held at Santa Barbara's historical Old Mission. Recorded in March 21-28,2010.