11. Train in the three difficulties.
This is the first slogan in the Third Point of Mind Training, “The Heart of the Matter, Which is the Three Difficulties.” This slogan and this point are the heart of Lojong. All the other teachings and practices provide details that support us in bringing this practice to life.
The three difficulties are seeing neurosis as neurosis, trying something different and making this a way of life. “Seeing neurosis as neurosis” points to the possibility of honestly seeing all the things we do so habitually and without awareness. “Trying something different” means just what it says; when I see myself acting habitually, then I have the opportunity to do something – anything – else. Finally, “making this a way of life” is a reminder that in every situation and every moment we can act with mindfulness, awareness and care for others, rather than staying stuck in our habitual patterns.
In each of the next three sub-sections we explore the slogans related to one of the three difficulties. These are reminders supporting us in bringing this teaching to life every day.