Scientific Brains Letting It Go

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche translated today’s  Lojong slogan as “Abandon Any Hope of Fruition.”[1]   Most other Lojong commentaries translate this slogan with simpler language such as “Give Up Hoping for Results”.[2]   I don’t know if Trunga Rinpoche meant to recall the Divine Comedy, but this translation seems to allude to the inscription at the entrance to Hell:  “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here”. Perhaps he was intending to give the slogan a greater resonance for his Western audience.

The Lojong slogan itself comes in the sixth (of seven) section of the slogans.  These specify a variety of commitments on how generally to comport oneself in the world with self-control and moderation.

The sense of this slogan is first, don’t hope for results/fruition from one’s Lojong practice, but also from one’s efforts in general.  Lojong is a set of mind training techniques to develop one’s’ understanding of, and living of, Emptiness.   It is in fact a technology, but one that short circuits instrumentality.

As  discussed in my previous post, Heidegger points out that the move from craft based technology to modern technology involves a move from Revealing to Enframing.  The mental technology of Lojong preserves the Revealing function, but adds what we might call a Deframing function.  Modern technology Enframes even its makers, Humans, into its Standing Reserve. Lojong however is a technology that deconstructs, Deframes instrumentality itself freeing us from the hope and fear of results/fruition.

Lojong is a piece of Tibetan Buddhism.  Robert Thurman has called the synthesis that is Tibetan Buddhism an “Inner Modernity” that created a rationalized “technology of life, death and reincarnation”.[3]

That is to say, the science of letting it go.

[1] Trungpa, Chogyam Training the Mind, Shambhala Publications

[2] Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche Enlightened Courage Snow Lion Publications (translated by Padmakara Tranlation Group)

[3] Thurman, Robert Essential Tibetan Buddhism Castle Books (p.37-40),

 ←    Scientific Brains Binging It Forth

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Be Grateful to Everyone

Emptiness in Mahayana Buddhism provides the context for (many) (most) (all) other meditations, teachings and discussions.  Expressed as an idea, Emptiness asserts a complete contingency as the mode of existence of anything we can think of, conceptualize, perceive in any fashion or experience.  If there is anything not covered by this, it too is Empty.

But this is not the basic assumption of how we go about our lives, interpreting raw stimulus or categorizing our experience.  The axiom of our experience is that we really exist, there is something that exists in and of itself.

Expressed as the axiom of experience, Emptiness is Compassion.  If our lived experience starts from a reflexive understanding of Emptiness, there is no my or mine containing our actions.  Instead, guiding our actions is what is best for the situation.

Lojong mind training is a method used in Tibetan Buddhism to encourage a change from “I really exist” starting point for our actions, to one that sees the illusionary character of this perspective.  Compassion then naturally becomes the basis for all one’s actions. It is the result and proof of this training, of this change in perspective.

Lojong training is a series of meditations based on a set of slogans.  One of these is sometimes translated as “Be Grateful to Everyone”.

Happy Thanksgiving!