Handout 1: Eight Verses for Training the Mind
With the determination to accomplish
The highest welfare of all sentient* beings,
Who excel even a wish-granting jewel,
May I at all times hold them dear.
Whenever I am with others,
May I think of myself as lowest of all,
And from the depth of my heart
Hold the others supreme.
In all actions, may I search into my mind,
And as soon as delusions arise
That endanger myself or others,
May I confront them and avert them without delay.
When I see beings of wicked natures,
Oppressed by violent misdeeds and afflictions,
May I hold them dear
As if I had found a rare and precious treasure.
When others out of envy treat me badly
With slander, abuse, and the like,
May I suffer the loss and
Offer the victory to them.
When one whom I have helped
And benefited with great hope
Hurts me badly, may I consider him
With gratitude, my supreme guru.
In short, may I directly and indirectly offer
Benefit and happiness to all creatures, my mothers.
May I secretly take upon myself the harmful actions
And suffering of my mothers.
May all this remain undefiled by the stains of
Keeping in view the eight worldly principles.**
May I, by perceiving all as illusory,
Unattached, be delivered from the bondage of samsara.***
*Sentient means having the power of perception by the senses or consciousness.
**The eight worldly principles, or Eight Worldly Winds, are these four pairs: pleasure and pain, loss and gain, obscurity and fame, praise and blame. They are called "winds" because they move us about and can determine our actions if we do not cultivate consciousness and control of them.
***Samsara is the Buddhist concept of the process by which we continually build our world of suffering. When we learn to stop this process, we reach enlightenment.