Lojong Online uses the Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche translation as revised by Diana J. Mukpo and the Nālandā Translation Committee. However it is in no way affiliated with any Chögyam Trungpa group. All definitions of terms are my own, condensed from a number of sources. Chögyam Trungpa's excellent commentary, Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness can be found as a paperback or e-book (Kindle, Apple or Nook formats) on Shambhala. Amazon carries the paperback, audio book or e-book (Kindle only). As of this writing, Amazon still stocks my favorite, the Shambhala Library edition — a 4 1/2 X 7 inch hardback with a sewn-in ribbon bookmark.
The Tibetan word Lojong consist of lo (mind, attitude, perspective, intelligence) and jong (train, purify, remedy, clear away). Thus it can be translated as attitudinal training, or more commonly mind training. There have been many Lojong systems devised by various Tibetan lamas over the last thousand years, but the best known, and the one this set of virtual Lojong cards is based on, comes from the oral teachings of the Indian Buddhist sage Atisha Dipankara Shrijnana (pictured above) who reestablished Buddhism in Tibet and lived between 982 and 1054 CE. These teachings were later written down as The Root Text of the Seven Points of Training the Mind by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje (1101-1175); the Lojong presented here is a translation of Chekawa's book.
This virtual Lojong card set consist of 59 proverbs or "slogans", accompanied by short explanations (they are often referred to as "slogans" because, like political or commercial slogans, they are condensed, easy to remember sayings that encapsulate an important idea.) Memorizing and studying the slogans and putting their wisdom into action, helps the practitioner become less neurotic, more compassionate and ultimately reach enlightenment. As we read, contemplate, and meditate upon each card its meaning becomes — through repetition — an automatic part of our thinking and how we react to events in our lives. As a friend of mine put it "It's like having your own personal Buddha who will pop up in the back of your head to remind you of a slogan that applies to the situation you are in and help you make the right decision."
More specifically, the slogans train the mind in absolute and relative bodhichitta. Literally translated, bodhichitta means "mind of enlightenment" or "mind of the Buddha". Absolute bodhichitta refers to the direct perception of the Buddha nature within all sentient beings and the compassion that inevitably flows from that experience. Relative bodhichitta refers to specific thoughts, words, and actions that express compassion.
The primary practice to accompany the slogans is called Tonglen or "giving and taking" — a technique of visualizing taking on the suffering of sentient beings (including yourself) as you breathe in and giving away your positive qualities (happiness, virtuous states of mind, positive energy, wisdom, compassion, etc.) to others as you breathe out. This is a great aid for developing compassion and can be done during meditation or on the spot when you encounter someone in need or feel negative emotions.
A list of all fifty-nine slogans organized according to topic, with a link to the corresponding card, can be found here.
To practice Lojong you need a set of the slogan cards and some good volumes of commentary. The Lojong Online set of virtual cards are based on the Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche translation as found in his book Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness (first edition) which also contains his excellent comments. Another good resource is Pema Chödrön's Start Where You Are which is her take on the same translation of the slogans. The comments at the bottom of the Lojong Online cards are meant to be very concise, bare-bone expanations — more like reminders that primary sources. You really need to study the commentaries to understand the slogans.
The more you read about, think and meditate on the sayings the better. My idea with Lojong Online was to allow the practitioner easy access to the cards throughout her or his day. Whenever you have a minute you can look at a card on your computer, tablet, smart phone or other device. Also having some set times to view the cards each day is good. I make a habit of reading the day's card right before my morning meditation, at lunch and right before my evening meditation. It is particularly important to find time to read them when you can really think about the meaning and study the commentaries. We all have habitual ways we react to situations that bring suffering to us and those around us. Open your mind and heart and you will find slogans that talk directly to you and can help you develop new habits that will allow you to lead a happier life. Continue in the practice and you will always find new challenges. It's a lifelong adventure!
Click on a slogan below to see its card. Click Close at the bottom of the card to return to this listing. To facilitate reading the cards in order, you will be returned to the point in the listings where the last slogan you clicked will be at the top of your screen. Exceptions are number 22 which is at the bottom of the left hand column and 59 at the bottom of the right hand column, both of which take you back to the top. Clicking saffron colored words on cards will pop-over a little window with a definition of the word.
Training in Absolute Bodhichitta
Training in Relative Bodhichitta
Transforming Negative Circumstances into the Path of Enlightenment
Utilizing the Practice in One's Life
Evaluating Progress in Mind Training
The Disciplines of Mind Training
Guidelines for Training the Mind
Lojong Online's Daily Card page presents the Lojong cards one at a time, in order, a new one each day. Once it cycles through all 59 it starts over at card 1. The card of the day is shown from midnight to midnight, local time for each viewer. It does this by reading each viewer's computer's clock, so if you find it changing at a different time check that your computer is set to the correct time and time zone. Although each card has different text and graphics, they are all part of the same file and thus appear on the same web page. This means if you bookmark the page and return to it the next day, you will not see the same card but the next one in the sequence. To view a card other than the card of the day, click the More link at the bottom of the card. That will take you to this page where you can click the "Cards" link at the top then pick the one you want.
I would like to thank Jelle and Dale from the Gulf Breeze, Florida branch of Palyul Changchub Choling for introducing me to Lojong and e-mailing me the Word files that allowed me to print my first set of cards. I thank my friends at the Pensacola branch of Kadampa Buddhist Meditation Center who have so helped me grow in my practice. I thank Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche for his excellent translation and encourage anyone who is serious about Lojong to read his book Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness. I also thank my good friend Joe Kirkwood, with whom I co-create www.flamingrose.org, for his unfailing encouragement and many useful suggestions.
All images are either not copyrighted or are used in accordance with their license.
Most of all, I am deeply indebted to the sage Atisha Dipankara Shrijnana for creating this set of Lojong cards that have so greatly enriched my life.
May all beings be happy!
M. Lee DuBose
Pensacola, Florida USA
July 25, 2013
revised May 5, 2014. Major revision June 6, 2016