Not a typical inspiration book, this collection of slogans challenges readers to develop a more confident and positive attitude when it comes to changing their lives and achieving their goals.
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In the mahayana tradition we experience a sense of gentleness toward ourselves, and a sense of friendliness to others begins to arise. At the age of 25, Justin Herald launched Attitude Gear, a multimillion-dollar clothing company, based on these slogans. The slogans it contains are designed to awaken the heart and cultivate love and kindness toward others. They are revolutionary in that practicing them fosters abandonment of personal territory in relating to others and in understanding the world as it is. But before we actually launch into that project, we first need a lot of training.The obstacle to becoming a mahayanist is not having enough sympathy for others and for oneself-that is the basic point. The aim of this practice is to train the mind, awaken the heart, and cultivate love and kindness towards others, with emphasis on meeting everyday situations with intelligence and compassion.These 59 provocative slogans are based on traditional Kadampa mind training, or lojong, teachings and this work basically skilfully presents these teachings for a modern Western audience in a way that is hazardous to the ego. And that problem can be dealt with by practical training, which is known as lojong practice, "training the mind." That training gives us a path, a way to work with our crude and literal and raw and rugged styles, a way to become good mahayanists. Ignorant or stupid students of the mahayana sometimes think that they have to glorify themselves; they want to become leaders or guides.
Change is possible.Attitude-inize reveals ten life-changing secrets for getting to the heart of a positive attitude. Each chapter contains interactive, read-now-use-today activities, action-filled stories, bite-sized applications, questions, Scripture, and inspiring wisdom. That practice is the development of humility, which is connected with training the mind.The basic mahayana vision is to work for the benefit of others and create a situation that willbenefit others.
When you take that attitude, you begin to realize that others are more important than yourself, Because of that vision of mahayana, because you adopt that attitude, and because you actually find that others are more important-with all three of those together, you develop the mahayana practice of training the mind.Hinayana discipline is fundamentally one of taming the mind. By working with the various forms of unmindfulness, we begin to become thorough and precise, and our discipline becomes good.


When we are thoroughly tamed by the practice of shamatha discipline, or mindfulness practice, as well as trained by vipashyana, or awareness, in how to hear the teachings, we begin to develop a complete understanding of the dharma. After that, we also begin to develop a complete understanding of how, in our particular state of being tamed, we can relate with others.In the mahayana we talk more in terms oftraining the mind.
In other words, we have been able to domesticate our mind by practicing hinayana discipline according to the principles of the buddhadharma.
Having captured the wild cow, having domesticated it, you find that the cow becomes completely willing to relate with its tamers. The basic discipline of mind training or lojong is a sevenfold cleaning or processing of one's mind. This book is based on the Kadampa text, The Root Text of the Seven Points of Training the Mind, and on the commentary by Jamgon Kongtul.
For instance we would call the Tibetan government poshung-po meaning "Tibet," shung meaning a narrow administration: it takes care of the psychology of the country, the economics, politics, and domestic situations. Lam means "path." So shunglam is a general highway, so to speak, a basic process of working toward enlightenment, In other words, it is the mahayana approach. It is the highway that everybody goes on, a wide way, extraordinarily wide and extraordinarily open. The Kagyupas received these instructions on the proper practice of mahayana Buddhism through Gampopa, who studied with Milarepa as well as with Kadam teachers.
There is what is known as the contemplative Kadam school and the intellectual Kadam school. The Gelukpas specialized in dialectics and took a more philosophical approach to understanding the Kadam tradition.The word kadam has an interesting meaning for us. Or we could say "Logos," or "Word," as in the Christian tradition: "In the beginning was the Word." That kind of Word is a fundamental sacred command, the first that was uttered at all!
In this case, ka refers to a sense of absolute truth and a sense of practicality or workability from the individual's point of view.
So ka and dam mixed together means that all the ha, all the commands or messages, are regarded as practical and workable oral teachings.


They are regarded as a practical working basis for students who are involved with contemplative and meditative disciplines. That is the basic meaning of kadam.The few lists presented here are very simple ones, nothing particularly philosophical.
It is purely what one of the great Kagyu teachers regarded as a "grandmother's fingerpoint." When a grandmother says, "This is the place where I used to go and pick corn, collect wild vegetables" she usually uses her finger rather than writing on paper or using a map. So it is a grandmother's approach at this point.In my own case, having studied philosophy a lot, the first time Jamgon Kongtrul suggested that I read and study this book, Changchup Shunglam, I was relieved that Buddhism was so simple and that you could actually do something about it.
You can just follow the book and do as it says, which is extraordinarily powerful and such a relief. That is one of the characteristics of Jamgon Kongtrul-he can change his tone completely, as if he were a different author altogether. Whenever he writes on a particular subject, he changes his approach accordingly, and his basic awareness to relate with the audience becomes entirely different.Jamgon Kongtrul's commentary on the Kadampa slogans is one of the best books I studied in the early stages of my monastic kick.
I was going to study these things and become a good little Buddhist and a contemplative-type person. In spite of complications in my life and organizational problems, I still feel that I am basically a simple, romantic Buddhist who has immense feeling toward the teachers and the teaching.What has been said is a drop of golden liquid. Each time you read such a book it confirms again and again that there is something about it which makes everything very simple and direct.
There is a hard-edged quality of cutting down preconceptions and other ego battles that might be involved in presenting the teaching. But at the same time there is always a soft spot of devotion and simplicity in mahayana Buddhism which you can never forget.
But I really do feel extraordinarily positive about Jamgon Kongtrul and his approach to this teaching.



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