Lojong: Buddhist Teachings on Compassion and Mind Training

with Walter Parker

July 29th—August 26th

Date details +
  • $150 Program Price
  • $200 Patron Price
  • Pay what you can afford (enter amount in registration)

This class occurs annually, is very popular and will fill fast.  Register now to assure yourself a seat in the class!

This program, led by Walter Parker, focuses on Pema Chodron’s book, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living. This book presents a pragmatic, down-to-earth, contemporary version of a beloved 12th century Tibetan Buddhist teaching on making friends with ourselves and others. Called "lojong" (Tibetan) or “mind training,” the method is a combination of three basic practices—meditation, a compassion practice called “tonglen,” and contemplation of 59 slogans, grouped into “7 points of mind training.” The class consists of these three practices plus discussion and talks.

The pithy, penetrating slogans have been commented on, as Pema does here, by many great Buddhist masters. The aim of lojong is to help us unclench the heart and mind, to calm down, loosen our grip, and dare to relate to fear and suffering rather than, as usual, driving them away; to allow and receive them, along with pleasure and joy, in a way that opens our minds to enlightenment and our hearts to contentment and the richness of life.

What is Lojong?

The lojong practice was developed in the 12th century and has been called The Great Path to Awakening. It uses slogans which are grouped into the “7 Points of Lojong” to develop compassion, equanimity and joy for yourself and others. This mind training includes contemplation of the slogans, meditation and the practice of Tonglen.

What is Tonglen?

It is a Tibetan loving kindness practice that uses the principle of ‘sending and receiving’ to reduce attachment and create goodwill towards yourself and others. It is a powerful way to help others during difficult times and create peace in your own life and around you.


Prerequisite: At least some meditation experience is required.

Required book: Pema Chödrön’sStart Where You Are.

Recommended companion book: Norman Fischer’s Training in Compassion.

About the teacher:  Walter Parker has been a student of Chogyam Trungpa since 1975 and a student of Pema Chodron since the 90’s. We are fortunate to have him join us for this book reading and discussion for the wisdom he brings to the subject. He will also bring other teacher’s interpretations of Lojong into the discussions. He is a long time member of the Seattle Shambhala Center and a professor of education at the University of Washington.