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October 29, 2009


Recently I had the good fortune to attend a teaching on the Ngondro - a Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist meditation. The teacher spend much time on the four thoughts and recommended picking one of them each day to meditate on throughout the day. I've had a tough time settling on just one:
1. This precious human birth is rare and difficult to obtain
2. All things born are impermanent and bound to die
3. The results of virtuous and unvirtuous actions are inexorable
4. Cyclic existence has the nature of an ocean of suffering

These four thoughts have provided me much insight as I practice my purification meditations. I keep feeling haunted by how I have caused suffering in others and how others have done me wrong. However, by meditating on thought number 2 I realize I just have to let it go at a certain point. I can look at others' inappropriate actions towards me as opportunities to practice patience, clear communication, compassion, etc. And as to ways I cause suffering in others, when I can make it right I do, when I can't I can feel remorse, vow never to do it again, but then I have to let it go and accept that it will bite me eventually (thought number 3).

And that brings us to thoughts number 1 and 4. With the final of the four thoughts I can quit trying to fix everything and make it perfect - because it will never be perfect and there will always be suffering. Yet, by meditating on the first thought I am very thankful for all that I have; both the opportunities and responsibilities that come with it.