Lojong Slogan 44 ~Train in the Three Difficulties

Camella-kleshasThis is part 44 of my series on Lojong: A Buddhist mind training techniqueThe Lojong slogans are all about getting to loving kindness in our thoughts and actions. All too often we come up against obstacles to finding that sort of calm and peace within. This slogan asks that we meet the difficulties head on as they begin rather than waiting for them to explode. The three difficulties are:

  • Obstacles arise too quickly for us to notice. It's difficult to recognize the obstacles right away. These sorts of emotional upheavals referred to as kleshas (attachments, over-identification with ego, ignorance, aversion to that which is unpleasant, and fear of death), come up all of a sudden and if we become a little quicker at recognizing them we'll be in a better position to release them.
  • It's hard to know how to handle the kleshas once they are there. If we can become less fixated on our own selves it becomes easier to shake the unwanted emotions.
  • Of course, we're all beings having a human experience and that means that the kleshas will keep resurfacing. And every time they do it's another opportunity to observe the emotion and ultimately let it go and come back to our practice of compassion and loving-kindness.

If we start getting to the root of our kleshas quickly, we will come back to our path and keep making the small shifts we are looking for. Remember that lojong is a lifetime practice, and we need to turn compassion and kindness toward ourselves too.