Commitments   Alan Wallace

Do Not Laugh at Malicious Jokes

 
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The commentary here says more than the verse itself. Do not make bad jokes. The author is not advising us to avoid bad puns, but is referring to malicious sarcasm. Don't make fun of other people in ways that would bring pain to their hearts. The temptation is especially strong when it entails the double satisfaction of disparaging another person and exalting ourselves at the same time by showing off our cleverness. Those of us prone to this type of humor need to address this by changing the conditioning of our speech. All types of harsh speech should be abandoned to avoid harming ourselves and others as well.

Excerpted from: The Seven-Point Mind Training(first published as A Passage from Solitude : Training the Mind in a Life Embracing the World), by B. Alan Wallace. Copyright 1992 by Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, New York 14851.

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This site provides an on-line database of commentaries on the Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices of lojong (Mind Training) and tonglen.


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Written during a retreat in the high California desert by one of the foremost Buddhist intellectuals of our time. This commentary probably goes further than any other in making the Mind Training practice understandable and justifiable to a Western way of thinking. It also contains some very valuable 'lecture notes' taken by Sechibuwa, one of Chekawa's disciples who heard the teachings directly from the master.
All of us have attitudes. Some of them accord with reality and serve us well throughout the course of our lives. Others are out of alignment with reality, and cause us problems. Tibetan Buddhist practice isn't just sitting in silent meditation, it's developing fresh attitudes that align our minds with reality. Attitudes need adjusting, just like a spinal column that has been knocked out of alignment. B. Alan Wallace explains a fundamental type of Buddhist mental training called lojong, which can literally be translated as attitudinal training. It is designed to shift our attitudes so that our minds become pure well-springs of joy instead of murky pools of problems, anxieties, fleeting pleasures, hopes and frustrations.