Project Tibet: Tibetan Children's Villages

Tibetan educational system continues mind training

By Dr. Carolyn Hale

The Tibetan Children's Villages have at their core the Tibetan Buddhist teachings.

Each child in the educational system is trained to recite these verses every day.

I provide the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation from the Tibetan logong, or mind training tradition.

Tibetan Buddhists believe that reciting these verses and mediating on their meaning will assist a person on the path to enlightenment.

They provide a tool for the transformation of selfishness to an attitude of altruism.

To have a good heart is the essence of the Buddhist teaching. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has recited these verses everyday for most of his life. The Dalai Lama states:

"I recite these verses every day and, when I meet with difficult circumstances, reflect on their meaning. It helps me.... If this helps your mind, practice it. If it does not help, there is no debate; just leave it.

The dharma, or doctrine, is not for the sake of debate. These teachings were spoken by the great master in order to help, not for people to quarrel with each other."

Such words were written by the Ga-dam-ba Ge-shay Lang-ri-tang-ba (1054-1123). They are powerful if practiced.

I share them with you. They are from the heart of the Dalai Lama.

1. With a determination to accomplish
The highest welfare for all sentient beings
Who surpass even a wish-granting jewel
I will learn to hold them supremely dear

2. Whenever I associate with others I will learn
To think of myself as the lowest among all
And respectfully hold others to be supreme
From the very depths of my heart

3. In all actions I will learn to search into my mind
And as soon as an afflictive emotion arises
Endangering myself and others
Will firmly face and avert it

4. I will learn to cherish beings of ill nature
And those pressed by strong sins and sufferings
As if I had found a precious
Treasure very difficult to find

5. When others out of jealousy treat me badly
With abuse, slander, and so on,
I will learn to take all loss
And offer the victory to them

6. When one whom I have benefited with great hope
Unreasonably hurts me very badly
I will learn to view that person
As an excellent spiritual guide

7. In short, I will learn to offer to everyone
Without exception
All help and happiness directly and indirectly
And respectfully take upon myself
All harm and sufferings of my mothers

8. I will learn to keep all these practices
Undefiled by the stains of the eight worldly conceptions
And by understanding all phenomena as like illusions
Be released from the bondage of attachment