Eight Verses on Transforming the Mind

Geshe Langri Tangpa (1054-1123)

With a determination to achieve the highest aim For the benefit of all sentient beings, Which surpasses even the wish-fulfilling gem, May I hold them dear at all times.

Whenever I interact with someone, May I view myself as the lowest amongst all, And, from the very depths of my heart, Respectfully hold others as superior.

In all my deeds may I probe into my mind, And as soon as mental and emotional afflictions arise— As they endanger myself or others— May I strongly confront and avert them.

When I see beings of unpleasant character Oppressed by strong negativity and suffering, May I hold them dear—for they are rare to find— As if I have discovered a jewel treasure!

When others, out of jealousy, Treat me wrongly with abuse, slander, and scorn, May I take upon myself the defeat And offer to others the victory.

When someone whom I have helped, Or in whom I have placed great hopes, Mistreats me in extremely hurtful ways, May I regard him still as my precious teacher.

In brief, may I offer benefit and joy to all my mothers, both directly and indirectly, May I quietly take upon myself All hurts and pains of my mothers.

May all this remain undefiled By the stains of the eight mundane concerns; And may I, recognizing all things as illusion, Devoid of clinging, be released from bondage.

Translated by Geshe Thupten Jinpa

Bibliography prepared by Gyuto Vajrayana Center, www.gyutocenter.org

  • Tenzin Gyatso, the XIVth Dalai Lama. An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life, edited by Nicholas Vreeland. New York: Little Brown and Company, 2001. This book records the Dalai Lama’s teaching on the Eight Verses in New York’s Central Park on August 15, 1999.
  • ______ . Transforming the Mind: Teachings on Generating Compassion, trans. by Geshe Thupten Jinpa. London: Thorsons, 2003. This book records the Dalai Lama’s May 1999 teaching on the Eight Verses in London.
  • ______ . Toward a True Kinship of Faiths: How the World’s Religions Can Come Together. New York: Doubleday, 2010. The Dalai Lama writes about his own history of interfaith encounters and deep commitment to inter-religious understanding.
  • Gyeltsen, Tsultim. Keys to Great Enlightenment: Commentaries on Geshe Langri Tangpa’s Eight Verses on Thought Training and Togmey Zangpo’s The Thirty Seven Bodhisattva Practices. Thubten Dhargye Ling Publications, 2006. This book offers a verse-by-verse commentary by Geshe Gyeltsen on two key Tibetan Buddhist texts.
  • Iyer, Pico. The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. This presents a well-rounded portrait of His Holiness by a brilliant writer who has talked and traveled with him over the course of the past three decades.
  • Thurman, Robert. Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as a Solution for China, Tibet, and the World. Hillsboro, Oregon: Atria Books/Beyond Words, 2008. This book explores why His Holiness has gained the world’s admiration and closes with the author’s vision of a sustainable and peaceful future for Tibet.

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