Wheel of Sharp Weapons

“Wheel of Sharp Weapons,” written by one of Atisha’s teachers, Dharmarakshita, is considered a precursor of the later mind training (lojong) texts. The sharp weapons can be understood as our self-grasping and self-cherishing attitudes that come back to harm us. They can also be understood as the sharp weapons of discriminating awareness that we need to invoke to smash through this self-cherishing attitude and the false concept of a truly established, solid “me.” The text shares many aspects with the mind training teachings, particularly the practice of tonglen, giving and taking. Dharmarakshita elaborates on how our self-cherishing attitude prevents us from being able to actually take on the sufferings of others with compassion and give them happiness with love.