Pema Chödrön on the lojong slogans of Atisha

Pema Chödrön Compassion Cards

Pema Chödrön has taught many times on the lojong slogans of Atisha. Her approach to the slogans is exemplified in the way she titles her book of commentaries on the slogans and her own slogan cards — The Compassion Cards: Teachings for Awakening the Heart

Using an emphasis on compassion, for oneself and others, Ani Pema offers her uniquely accessible insights on how to make the teachings really workable in one’s life. From her book Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living (Shambhala, 1994, 2018) she offers this approach to the practice of tonglen as referenced in slogan #10:

The slogan “Begin the sequence of sending and taking with yourself” is getting at the point that compassion starts with making friends with ourselves, and particularly with our poisons – the messy areas. As we practice tonglen – taking and sending – and contemplate the lojong slogans, gradually it begins to dawn on us how totally interconnected we all are. Now people know that what we do to the rivers in South America affects the whole world. Everything is interrelated – including ourselves, so this is very important, this making friends with ourselves. It’s the key to a more sane, compassionate planet.

(Start Where You Are, pg 33)

In 2022 Ani Pema offered teachings on lojong in Yarne, the annual monastic retreat at Gampo Abbey. Her reading list for the retreat included some relatively new titles as well as Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s classic Training the Mind and Cultivating Lovingkindness originally published in 1993. Her sources included the following:

Chödrön Pema. (1994, 2018). Start where you are: a guide to compassionate living. Shambhala.

Kongtrul D. (2016). The intelligent heart : a guide to the compassionate life (First). Shambhala.

Kyabgon T. (2007). The practice of lojong : cultivating compassion through training the mind (1st ed.). Shambhala.

Trungpa Chögyam & Lief J. L. (2003, 1993). Training the mind & cultivating loving-kindness. Shambhala.

Lojong slogans surrounding the Stupa – a perfect place to contemplate and walk