In today’s episode of Practicing Buddhism, Geshe Tashi continues his commentary on A Harvest of Powerful Attainment by Lama Tsongkhapa.
In this “how to” manual from the fourteenth century, Geshe la explains that each verse is a stage in our training. Verse 4 tells us how we should relate to a spiritual teacher; verse 5 how we should cultivate our mind to be like a fertile field, fit for purpose; verse 6 tells us to turn away from samsaric things; and now in verse 7 we are advised to turn away from self-cherishing. In this next step, Geshe la says, if we are ever to cultivate a long-lasting compassion, it is important for us to first develop a deep sense of dearness, of closeness with all other beings. If we then train very hard compassion will arise effortlessly, just as, without training, the self-centred mind arises effortlessly.
A Harvest of Powerful Attainment (verse 7)
Prayer for Blessings of the Close Lineage
Seeing all living beings to be my mothers most kind,
bless me that I, recalling the sufferings of the weak,
turn from practice born of self-interest
toward an effortless love and compassion.
p.111 The Splendour of an Autumn Moon, Lama Tsongkhapa, trans. Gavin Kilty.
Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering taught in London for over 25 years and is currently Abbot of Sera Mey Monastery in Karnataka State, India.