Eight Verses Pilgrimage Trail

See full text of The Eight Verses of Thought Transformation below.

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Winding through a California redwood forest, Land of Medicine Buddha’s Eight Verses Pilgrimage Trail offers people the opportunity to meditate on thought transformation in a peaceful and picturesque outdoor setting.

Several years ago, Lama Zopa Rinpoche encouraged LMB to offer visitors teachings by hanging signs with Dharma quotes on the trees. LMB has always been a popular place for Dharma students and local hikers alike, so we used our most popular loop trail for this offering of the dharma. We use the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation by Langri Tangpa to create eight beautiful signs, complete with the verse and a brief but informative commentary by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to help people understand the meaning of the verse and meditate on it properly.

Each verse is spaced throughout a 15 to 20 minute walk that begins in a beautiful, sunny meadow and meanders through the redwood forest. The verse is accompanied by a beautiful teak wood bench to sit, relax, and contemplate; the area will also be beautifully landscaped. Each verse and bench has been offered by kind sponsors who have been honored with a brass plaque attached to the specific verse or bench they have sponsored.

The Eight Verses Pilgrimage Trail has already begun to transform minds. On the first weekend the trail opened, a local resident came for a walk. She was very angry with the American government and President Bush, so angry that she had the thought “why doesn’t someone just kill him?” At that moment, she came upon Verse 3, “Vigilant, the moment a delusion appears in my mind, endangering myself and others, I shall confront it without delay.” She realized that she had been thinking harmfully and needed to transform her mind.

The Eight Verses Pilgrimage Trail is open to the public during daylight hours. Come experience the beneficial effects of these holy teachings in a beautiful natural setting.


The Eight Verses of Thought Transformation

Excerpted from the FPMT Education Dept. sadhana
THE EVERFLOWING NECTAR OF THE MAHAYANA THOUGHT TRAINING:
ANNIHILATING THE DEMON OF THE SELF-CHERISHING MIND
Tibetan Root Text by Langri Tangpa Dorje Senghe
Translation by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche

1. Determined to obtain the greatest possible benefit from all sentient beings, who are more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel, I shall hold them most dear at all times.

2. When in the company of others, I shall always consider myself the lowest of all, and from the depths of my heart hold others dear and supreme.

3. Vigilant, the moment a delusion appears in my mind, endangering myself and others, I shall confront and avert it without delay.

4. Whenever I see beings who are wicked in nature and overwhelmed by violent negative actions and suffering, I shall hold such rare ones dear, as if I had found a precious treasure.

5. When, out of envy, others mistreat me with abuse, insults, or the like, I shall accept defeat and offer the victory to others.

6. When someone whom I have benefited and in whom I have great hopes gives me terrible harm, I shall regard that person as my holy guru.

7. In short, both directly and indirectly, do I offer every happiness and benefit to all my mothers. I shall secretly take upon myself all their harmful actions and suffering.

8. Undefiled by the stains of the superstitions of the eight worldly concerns, may I, by perceiving all phenomena as illusory, be released from the bondage of attachment.