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Video of the The Four Thoughts Dharma Talk
This is the fourth talk of the Awakened Heart Series and this talk looks at the Four Thoughts Which Turn the Mind Toward Freedom https://zenawakened.com/awakened-heart/
The Four Thoughts Which Turn the Mind Toward Freedom
We settle ourselves into the noble and majestic meditative posture and gently rest our awareness on the tactile sensations of the breath as it flows soothingly through the body. We let thoughts and feelings pass without judgment. We calmly abide in this natural state.
Then we focus on the four basic thoughts, which turn the mind towards liberation and enlightenment:
Precious Human Birth
I recognize the preciousness of acquiring this human life and the opportunity that is now before me; that I can benefit countless beings through the methods of the Awakened Ones. Few people ever reach the teachings of the Dharma and even fewer are able to use them.
I remember the impermanence of everything composite. Nothing remains forever. Only the unlimited clear space of mind is lasting and it is uncertain how long conditions will remain for recognizing it. The days and nights are stealing away my life. Tomorrow is not promised. Death may come at any time.
I understand causality. That it is up to me what will happen. Former thoughts, words and actions became my present state and right now I am sowing the seeds for my future.
Finally, I see the reasons for working with mind. Enlightenment is timeless highest bliss, and I cannot benefit others while confused or disturbed myself. Therefore I now open up to those who can teach me.
If we appreciate the opportunities that we have now with this precious human life and if we recognize and acknowledge the fact that this life is not going to last and that we are going to die sometime, if we recognize that our behavior is going to shape our experience in this life and also after we die in future lives, and if we realize that no matter what we experience in the future, because it will arise from behaving from confusion, will have a lot of difficulties and troubles, then we will turn our minds to the Dharma. ~ Dr. Alexander Berzin on the Four Thoughts
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(Dana) Giving: The practice of giving is universally recognized as one of the most basic human virtues, a quality that testifies to the depth of one’s humanity and one’s capacity for self-transcendence. In the teaching of the Buddha, too, the practice of giving claims a place of special eminence, one which singles it out as being in a sense the foundation and seed of spiritual development.