This is part 23 of my series on Lojong– a Buddhist mind training technique
In an effort to remind ourselves of the spiritual path on which we travel, it is sometimes necessary to come back to the three basic principles time and again: honoring your commitments, refraining from outrageous actions, and developing patience.
Honoring commitments at it’s most basic level means that if you have decided to train your mind, you stick with it. More formally it is a two parted commitment – the refuge vow and the bodhisattva vow. The refuge vow asks that we work with ourselves to develop mindfulness and awareness. The bodhisattva vow is about developing wisdom and compassion. While these are inspired vows, they can feel overwhelming. Try recommitting to them each day.
To not be outrageous is to not draw attention to ourselves. When we recognize the need to be seen as a mere stumbling block on our path and come back to our modest and steady character, we refrain from being outrageous. This does not mean that we are not seen as divine creatures, but that we refrain from showing off like a peacock.
Patience is a lifelong practice. We need patience not only for those around us, but for ourselves. Mind training is a process that we will go through over our lifetime. We will stumble for sure, and then we will come back to it, perhaps humbled, perhaps with gratitude for the learning experiences. The most important thing is that we continue to come back on the path.