Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pema Chodron's Commentary on The Four Reminders

The latest mailing I received from Shambhala Sun included an insert with a Commentary by Pema Chodron that offers wisdom for "present moment" living:

"The traditional four reminders are basic reminders of why one might make a continual effort to return to the present moment. In your daily life, try to:

1. Maintain an awareness of the preciousness of human life. Beginning to realize how precious life is becomes one of your most powerful tools. It's like gratitude ... once you have this feeling of gratitude for your own life and the preciousness of human birth, then it takes you into any realm.

2. Be aware of the reality that life ends; death comes for everyone. Life is very brief. If you realize that you don't have that many more years to live and if you live your life as if you actually had only a day left, then the sense of impermanence heightens that feeling of preciousness and gratitude.

3. Recall that whatever you do, whether virtuous or not, has a result; what comes around, goes around. The law of karma is that we sow the seeds and we reap the fruit. So when you find yourself in a dark place ... you can think, "Maybe it's time to get a little golden spade and dig myself out of this place."

4. Contemplate that as long as you are too focused on self-importance and too caught up in thinking about how you are good or bad, you will suffer. Obsessing about getting what you want and avoiding what you don't want does not result in happiness."

From The Compassion Box and Awakening Loving-Kindness by Pema Chodron.
Pema Chodron's Commentary on The Four RemindersSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


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willemijn said...

I would like to know what the origin is of the four reminders. (is there a sutra of the buddha on the 4 ? is it from guru rinpoche?
thanks, anne

Bluesin said...

lojong (“mind training”) teachings in The Great Path of Awakening by the nineteenth-century Tibetan teacher Jamgön Kongtrül the Great