In this guide, I’ll teach you everything you need to know about Lojong meditation, a Buddhist practice in which we meditate on slogans.
Many people enjoy this style of contemplative meditation, which is a core part of Tibetan Buddhism. It is said to purify the mind and correct our motivations and attitudes.
You can use various slogans. For instance, there are traditional ones that were created by Buddhist writer Chekawa Yeshe Dorje. These are used in the Sarma (“New School”) traditions. And then there are the slogans of Langri Tangpa and of the Dzogchen Nyingthig lineage.
So yes, to do Lojong meditation we focus on slogans. We use these slogans to create healthy mental habits, cultivate compassion, and relate to the world in a positive way. Indeed, Pema Chodron and the Dalai Lama say the slogans help people to be compassionate.
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How To Do Lojong Meditation
- If you are new to Buddhism, start with my guide, Buddhist Meditation for Beginners.
- Note that you can do this meditation with any of the Lojong slogans. I have selected one slogan, but you can find more options below.
- Sit with good posture. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure your spine is in proper alignment. Gently lower your chin a little to elongate your neck.
- Begin to breathe mindfully. Take a minimum of 25 mindful breaths to relax and focus your mind.
- Now think of the following sentence. The sentence is, “Maintain awareness of the preciousness of human life”. This is the slogan of Chekawa Yeshe Dorje.
- Slowly repeat this slogan in your mind. Note that the way we repeat a slogan is different to how we repeat a mantra. With mantras, we focus on the sound. With slogans, we are intellectually contemplating the meaning of the words.
- As you repeat the words in your mind, you will begin to see ideas. For instance, the first thing I saw in my mind when repeating this slogan was an image of a butterfly flying above green fields. Invite these images to your mind. This will instill the quality of the idea into your mind. For instance, when I invite my image of a butterfly into my mind, I feel a gentleness and peacefulness, and I can then allow that peacefulness to inspire me.
- Continue meditating on the slogan for ten minutes, allowing ideas to flow through your mind, such that the slogan is guiding your innermost self.
- Finish the meditation, but continue to contemplate your Lojong slogan throughout your day.
Note that Lojong is traditionally combined with Tonglen Meditation.
More Lojong Slogans
- Regard all dharmas as dreams; although experiences may seem solid, they are passing memories.
- Examine the nature of unborn awareness.
- Self-liberate even the antidote.
- Rest in the nature of alaya, the essence, the present moment.
- In postmeditation, be a child of illusion.
- Sending and taking should be practiced alternately. These two should ride the breath.
- Three objects, three poisons, three roots of virtue — The 3 objects are friends, enemies and neutrals. The 3 poisons are craving, aversion and indifference. The 3 roots of virtue are the remedies.
- In all activities, train with slogans.
- Begin the sequence of sending and taking with yourself.
For more Lojong Slogans see this Wikipedia page.
In my experience, Lojong meditation is a wonderful accompaniment to my regular meditation practice. The slogans teach us to perceive the world in a way that is positive, compassionate, and conducive to enlightenment.
One of my favorite things about Lojong is that you don’t have to do it while meditating. Oftentimes throughout my day, I’ll stop for a moment and bring to mind one of the slogans. This helps to remind me of the preciousness of life and the value of compassion.
By mixing my regular meditation practice with Lojong I have been able to cultivate a more compassionate view of life.
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations and is the author of four books on meditation. He has been featured in Psychology Today, Breathe Magazine, Healthline, Psych Central and Lion’s Roar.
Paul studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
Paul’s biggest inspirations include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jack Kornfield.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison