Lojong Cards and Booklet

Lojong Cards and Booklet
This self-published deck and booklet are the intellectual property of Beverly King. Please do not copy or reproduce any photos or blog posts without permission.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Slogan Fifty-nine

Don’t expect applause.
From the Lojong for the Layperson booklet:
            Throughout lojong practice, our actions are done with the purpose of benefiting all beings. Yet we humans find it hard not to have expectations for what we do; we seek approval, thanks, recognition or some sort of repayment (your scratch my back, I'll scratch yours). If we don't receive what we expect, we get huffy and feel justified in our resentment, effectively canceling out any intrinsic good feelings. But spiritual practice is done for its own sake and should be its own reward. Instead of expecting, we can be curious or inquisitive as we watch to see what unfolds. Pema Chodron explains, "We can begin to open our hearts to others when we have no hope of getting anything back."
Photo: A stack of pyrite (fool’s gold) nuggets.

            During the first year of my marriage, I worked at a federal lab that tested peanuts for aflatoxin. It wasn’t uncommon for us to work 11 or 12 hour days, especially during harvest time. I came home tired every weekday and had little energy for domestic tasks other than cooking supper for my husband and two stepsons. What I didn’t realize before I got married was how well my husband and his boys could tolerate dirt and clutter. I’d just assumed that once it got bad enough, they would naturally want to tidy things up. That supposition didn’t materialize. Living in such disorder makes me feel stressed, so I would drag myself out of bed on the weekends and clean house. It was a wonderful feeling when I was finished, yet no one seemed to notice but me. Pema Chodron once said, “I find out a lot about myself from what insults me.” And insulted was exactly how I felt! Yet if I’m honest, I’ll admit that what I did benefited me more than them. In the same way, my spiritual practice and any kind deeds I do may be of use to others, but ultimately I am the one who profits. No praise or thanks is necessary.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Slogan Fifty-eight

Don’t be frivolous.
From the Lojong for the Layperson booklet:
            This slogan cautions us to be aware of how we spend our time and energy. We don’t have an endless supply of either, so we should make sure what we do with these resources is worthwhile. Our contemporary society has created a multitude of methods with which to distract ourselves. As an example, we may mindlessly surf the internet or flip channels on the television.  We don’t have to give up our lighthearted fun, but we do need to be paying attention. The difference between frivolity and play is how we feel afterward. Frivolity leaves us feeling restless and unsatisfied, while the result of play is a feeling of contentment.
Photo: A double-bloom daylily whose flowers only last for one day.

            I love the red clay of Georgia’s soil, except on laundry day or after a hard rain. On dirt roads and in fields, it’s easy for a vehicle to get bogged down when the ground is waterlogged. Tires will spin and spin but won’t go anywhere, and acceleration just makes it worse. The problem is traction; without friction, the tire can’t adhere to the ground and move the vehicle forward. Whether at work or play, I can spin my tires to avoid attending to what’s truly important. I might fill my day with doing good deeds, laboring to achieve a task or chasing the next pleasure. However, if the purpose underlying my busyness is distraction, then I’m doing myself a disservice. I need to wedge something beneath me for traction – hopefully a meditation cushion.