Training in Compassion Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong by Norman Fischer


Lojong is the Tibetan Buddhist practice that involves working with short phrases (called “slogans”) as a way of generating bodhichitta, the heart and mind of enlightened compassion. Though the practice is more than a millennium old, it has become popular in the West only in the last twenty years or so—and it has become very popular indeed, because it’s a practice that one can fit very well into an ordinary life, and because it works.Through the influence of Pema Chödrön, who was one of the first American Buddhist teachers to teach it extensively, the practice has moved out of its Buddhist context to affect the lives of non-Buddhists too.

It’s in this spirit that Norman Fischer offers his commentary on the lojong slogans. He applies Zen wisdom to them, showing how well they fit in that related tradition, but he also sets the slogans in the context of resonant practices throughout the spiritual traditions. He shows lojong to be a wonderful method for everyone, including those who aren’t otherwise interested in Buddhism, who don’t have the time or inclination to meditate, or who’d just like to morph into the kind of person who’s focused rather than scattered, generous rather than stingy, and kind rather than thoughtless.

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Authors@Google: Norman Fischer

In Sailing Home, renowned Zen teacher Norman Fischer deftly incorporates Buddhist, Judaic, Christian, and popular thought, as well as his own unique and sympathetic understanding of life, in his reinterpretation of Odysseus’s familiar wanderings as lessons that everyone can use. We see how to resist the seduction of the Sirens’ song to stop sailing and give up; how to bide our time in a situation and wait for the right opportunity; and how to reassess our story and rediscover our purpose and identity if, like the Lotus-Eaters, we have forgotten the past. With meditations that yield personal revelations, illuminating anecdotes from Fischer’s and his students’ lives, and stories from many wisdom traditions, Sailing Home shows the way to greater purpose in your own life.

Norman Fischer is a poet, author, Zen priest, and abbot. Founder and teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation (www.everydayzen.org), he is one of the senior Zen teachers in America. In addition to his own retreats and events, which take place in his groups in Canada and Mexico, as well as the United States, Norman teaches at many other meditation centers around the world.
This event took place on October 7, 2008

Norman Fischer, Jack Kornfield and Sylvia Wetzel at the Garrison Institute

Buddhism’s growth in the West has spurred a rich cross-fertilization among the great traditions. In this spirit, Buddhist teachers have met in support of one another on past occasions in the US, Dharamsala and Europe. During the 2011 Buddhist Teachers Council held at the Garrison Institute in June, 2011, Jack Kornfield, Sylvia Wetzel and Norman Fischer sat down to discuss the state of Buddhism in the West today. They spoke with Robert Gabriele, Chief Operating Officer at the Garrison Institute. To find out more about the Garrison Institute:

Visit our website: https://www.garrisoninstitute.org

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