45. This time, practice the main points.
Now is a crucial time to practice, because we have everything we need to open our hearts and to work with others in a genuine, sane manner. The main points are:
- The benefit of others is more important than the benefit of self;
- Practicing the teachings is more important than analytical study; and
- Practicing bodhicitta is more important than any other practice.
The first point is self explanatory as the practice of exchanging self for others is at the heart of the Lojong teachings and is the essence of Tonglen. Getting off the “me plan” and spending more time and effort working toward benefitting others is a recurring theme here.
The second point raises awareness that without actual practice, study and learning are a bit hollow. Whether I can recite all of the Lojong slogans or can’t think of a single one, do I practice sitting meditation and Tonglen?
The final point in this slogan is really nothing new. Remember that the Second Point of Mind Training (both in the original presentation and in this revised presentation) is The Main Practice, Which is Training in Bodhicitta. All of the teachings, all of the practices, encourage me to open my heart and awaken the essence of compassion and kindness toward myself and others.