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Lojong 16) Practice the five strengths

4. Life and Death

This lojong is stated as:

16) Practice the five strenghts

a. Be egoless (through)

b. Being mindful and aware

c. With virture (by cultivating Bodhicitta)

d. Abandoning clinging

e. Through prayer for others.

Sayings like this one are not my favorite kind.  This is because I don't like such obvious prescriptions.  The Practical Dharma philosohphy does not have rules.  It only requires action that is consistent with a coherent philosophy based on mindful and value driven action.  So it may be OK to eat meat as long as I am properly respectful of the sacrifice of those sentient beings who made this possible for me (such as the animals, farmers, truck drivers, etc.) So if I am fortunate enough to eat meat, I would hope to be mindful and aware during this time by saying a "prayer" to myself recognizing the sacrifice of the many others who make my life possible.  I would not say the prayer out loud or demand others engage in it.  I don't demand that I have the meat, but I recognize it is a gift from others when I am so fortunate to consume it.

This seems consistent with b) being mindful and aware, d) abandoning clinging, and e. reminding myself with prayer.  I prefer not to strive for egolessness or demand virture - what about "26) Give up hoping for results".

I like Lojong #26 a lot (and the others that wake me up without telling me what to do).  I suppose that is why I don't like the prescriptive sayings as much.  These seem to point in the direction of hoping for results by doing the precribed action.

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