Thubten Chodron is a Buddhist nun and abbess of Sravasti Abbey in Newport, Washington. Her many books include Don't Believe Everything You Think and Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions with the Dalai Lama. She is profiled in S&P's Living Spiritual Teachers Project.
In this enlightening work, the author takes us on a dramatic and intimate journey through "The Wheel of Sharp Weapons" by the 9th century Indian scholar Dharmarakshita. This spiritual poem reveals the clash between the ego with its obsession for control and a selfless attitude that emphasizes liberation for all.
Using his experience and knowledge gained from more than 40 years of dharma practice, Chodron takes the 116 verses of the poem and spins out eleven chapters covering such essentials as the Bodhisattva way, the art of cultivating the wisdom to not be so attached to things, the compassionate practices that seek the welfare of others, dealing with envy and rage, overcoming spiritual obstacles and inner enemies, casting aside praise and recognition, and transforming adversity.
Chodron explains that karma is like a boomerang: "Whatever actions we do return and have a similar effect on us." She sheds light on the toxins of envy where we lament the success of others who have more and better. In Dharma circles they call this "thinking the chanting is better on the other side of the temple." These and other edifying insights into the benefits of mind-training combine to make this an outstanding resource.
Chodron ends with these words:
"May we always have a sense of gratitude for the Buddha and all these sages who learned, practiced, realized, and taught the thought-training teachings, and may we pay it forward by practicing them well and sharing them with others.
"May all the merit we created by our study and practice ripen in the long lives and good health of our Dharma teachers. May they compassionately teach and guide us until samsara ends. May the Dharma exist in pure forms forever, and may practitioners everywhere be harmonious and mutually support each other. May each sentient being attain the full awakening of a buddha."