Lojong 1: First, train in the preliminaries

The Preliminaries means shamatha meditation – basic, formless meditation.

This also includes the idea of the Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind (to the path of Enlightenment): 1. the precious opportunity of a human life; 2. impermanence and death; 3. the reality of karma (cause & effect); and 4. the suffering that is samsara – normal life.

Kongtrul, one of the early commentators on these slogans, says: “Take an attitude of devotion to the path of loving-kindness.”