7 Point Mind Training | Geshe Chekawa

Seven Point Mind Training
by Geshe Chekawa
(1101–1175)

(Edition Annotated by Thogme Zangpo)

Prostration to great compassion.

These instructions are the essence of the nectar.
They have been passed down from Serlingpa
(Serlingpa or Dharmakīrtiśrī – the Teacher of Atiśa in Sumatra).
They are like a diamond, the sun, and a medicinal tree.
Understand the purpose and so forth of these texts.
When the 5 degenerations are flourishing,
transform them into the path to Enlightenment.

Point 1: The Preliminaries

Train first in the preliminaries

[precious human rebirth,
death and impermanence,
behavioural cause and effect,
the disadvantages of Saṁsāra].

Point 2: The Actual Training in Bodhichitta

Training in Deepest Bodhichitta

Ponder that phenomena are like a dream.
Discern the basic nature of awareness that has no arising.
The opponent itself liberates itself in its own place.
The essential nature of the path is to settle within a state of the all-encompassing basis.
Between sessions, act like an illusory person.

Training in Conventional Bodhichitta

Train in both giving and taking in alternation, mounting those two on the breath.

(In regard to) the 3 objects

[those beings whom I find
1. attractive, 2. unattractive, or 3. neutral],

(take) the 3 poisonous attitudes

[1. longing desire, 2. repulsion, or 3. ignorance]

and (give) the 3 roots of what’s constructive

[1. detachment, 2. imperturbability, or 3. lack of ignorance]

- (while) training with words in all paths of behaviour.

As for the order of taking - start from myself.

Point 3: Transforming Adverse Circumstances
into a Path to Enlightenment

Transforming with Our Thoughts Concerning Our Behaviour

When the environment and its dwellers are full of negative forces,
transform adverse conditions into a path to Enlightenment,
by banishing one thing

[my self-cherishing attitude]

as (bearing) all blame
and meditating with great kindness toward everyone.

Transforming with Our Thoughts Concerning Our View

Voidness,
from meditating on deceptive appearances as the 4 Buddha-bodies,
is the peerless protector.

Transforming with Our Actions

The supreme method entails 4 actions to use,

[(1) building up positive force,
(2) purifying myself of negative force,
(3) making offerings to harmful spirits, and
(4) requesting the Enlightening influence of the Dharma protectors].

(So) instantly apply to meditation whatever I might happen to meet.

Point 4: Condensation of the Practice in One Lifetime

During Our Lifetime

In brief, the essence of the quintessence teachings is applying the 5 forces

[(1) intention,
(2) white seed,
(3) habituation,
(4) eliminating all at once, and
(5) prayer].

At the Time of Death

The quintessence teaching for the Mahāyāna Transference of Mind
is the 5 forces themselves,
while giving importance to my path of deportment.

Point 5: The Measure of Having Trained Our Minds

If all my Dharma practice gathers into 1 intention

[to eliminate self-cherishing]

If, from the 2 witnesses

[others and myself],

I take [myself as] the main

[to check if I’ve become
(1) a great-hearted being, thinking primarily of others,
(2) a great being trained in constructive behaviour,
(3) a great being able to endure the difficulties of overcoming my negativities,
(4) a great holder of the discipline of keeping my vows,
(5) a great yogi, yoked to the Bodhichitta aim]

If I can continually rely on my Mind being only happy

And if even distracted I’m still able

[to have no self-cherishing]

- then I’ve become trained.

Point 6: 18 Close-Bonding Practices

(1-3) Train always in the 3 general points:

[1. Don’t contradict what I’ve promised.
2. Don’t get into outrageous behaviour.
3. Don’t fall to partiality].

(4) Transform my intentions, but remain normal.
(5) Don’t speak of (others’) deficient or deteriorated sides.
(6) Don’t think anything about others’ (faults).
(7) Cleanse myself first of whichever disturbing emotion is my greatest.
(8) Rid myself of hopes for fruits.
(9) Give up poisoned food.
(10) Don’t rely (on my disturbing thoughts) as my excellent mainstay.
(11) Don’t fly off into bad play.
(12) Don’t lie in ambush.
(13) Don’t put (someone) down about a sensitive point.
(14) Don’t shift the load of a dzo to an ox.
(15) Don’t make a race.
(16) Don’t reverse the amulet.
(17) Don’t make a god fall to a demon.
(18) Don’t seek suffering (for others) as an adjunct for (my) happiness.

Point 7: 22 Points to Train In

(1) Do all Yogas with One.

[intent – to be better able to help others]

(2) Do all the quashing of what’s distorted with one.

[practice – giving and taking]

(3) At the beginning and the end, have the 2 actions.

[the intention to be better able to help others and dedication of the positive force]

(4) Whichever of the 2 occurs

[1. things going well or 2. things going poorly],

- act patiently.

(5) Safeguard the 2 at the cost of my life.

[my spiritual commitments in general,
and specifically, these practices and points to train in].

(6) Train in the 3 difficult things.

[1. being mindful of what the opponents are,
2. being mindful to apply them,
3. being mindful to maintain them].

(7) Take the 3 major causes

[for being able to practice these points –
1. meeting spiritual teachers of them,
2. applying their teachings,
3. gaining the favourable circumstances].

(8) Meditate on the 3 undeclining things

[1. confidence and appreciation of my spiritual teachers,
2. willingness to practice their teachings,
3. stability in maintaining these practices and trainings].

(9) Possess the 3 inseparables.

[my a) body, b) speech and c) mind
- being inseparable from helping others].

(10) Act purely, without partiality to objects.
(11) Cherish (applying) wide and deep training toward everything.
(12) Always meditate toward those set aside (as close).
(13) Don’t be dependent on other conditions.
(14) Practice primarily now.
(15) Don’t have reversed understandings.
(16) Don’t be intermittent.
(17) Train resolutely.
(18) Free myself through both investigation and scrutiny.
(19) Don’t meditate with a sense of a loss.
(20) Don’t restrict myself with hypersensitivity.
(21) Don’t act for merely a short while.
(22) Don’t wish for (any) thanks.

Concluding Verses

(Like this,) transform
into a path to Enlightenment this (time when) the 5 deteriorations

[of 1. lifespan, 2. disturbing emotions, 3. outlook, 4. beings and 5. times]

- are rampant.

This essence of nectar of quintessence teachings is in lineage from Serlingpa.

From the awakening
of karmic remainders from having previously trained,
my admiration (for this practice) abounded.

And due to that cause, ignoring suffering and insult,
I requested the guideline instructions to tame my self-grasping.

Now even if I die, I have no regrets.