Four reminders, Six paramitas, and One universe

Suraj N. Kurapati

  1. Four reminders
    1. Life is precious
      1. Impermanence
        1. Samsara
          1. Karma
          2. Six paramitas
            1. One universe

              Charged with responsibilities, bound by commitments, and consumed by troubles, all the while racing to meet the incessant march of time, we often lose sight of what life really is and what is important within it.

              The following videos helped me see the life beyond that race. First, the four reminders taught me how to distinguish between the life and the race. Second, the six paramitas taught me how to develop the life while still staying in the race. Finally, the one universe put the life, the race, and the self into perspective on the grandest of scales.

              Thus I invite you to watch them (they are short videos: not longer than ten minutes each) at your convenience if you wish to develop yourself further while keeping the life, the race, the self, and the universe all in perspective. :-)

              Four reminders

              Reminded by Ringu Tulku:

              1. Life is precious
              2. Impermanence
              3. Samsara
              4. Karma

              Watch video on YouTube

              If we are reminded of these four things, and if we really integrate these four understandings or change our attitudes along these four ways, that alone can transform our life: we can each become a more responsible/joyful/understanding person. Therefore, these four reminders are said to be the first thing we try to reflect on, if we want to transform ourselves.

              Life is precious

              How happy/satisfied we are depends on how much we appreciate what we have. It’s not about the problems that we have, but how much we concentrate on the problems that makes us unhappy, sad, and depressed. Therefore, one of the main reminders is that we need to appreciate what we have.

              That is the first principle to transform our life. And if we really work on this, this alone can also transform our way of feeling.

              Impermanence

              Everything changes: there’s nothing that doesn’t change. Good times can change, but bad times can also change. So even when I go through the most difficult times, I need to remind myself that there’s nothing which doesn’t change.

              Everything changes: that’s the nature of the life/phenomenon. The more we see this clearly, the more we know that nothing really exists… in the same way all the time, and the more we can let things be.

              And we also understand that life is change: if there’s no change, there’s no life/development/living. Therefore, we need to let things happen: there’s no use holding on too much to either negative/bad/hurtful things that happened to us or good/positive things that might be with us sometimes.

              If we really understand this deeply (the impermanence: that everything is changing) and really integrate it with our life, this could also transform our life. That’s the second reminder.

              Samsara

              Samsara means that all of us, human beings, have weaknesses/problems and we need to understand that nobody is perfect. There’s lots of pain/suffering/problems around us in the world. When we understand that deeply, we don’t need to expect everything to be perfect.

              The more we understand that, the more we appreciate the little good things that people do for us: if we find someone being a little nicer/kinder, we can appreciate it more because we know that people can be mean, have problems, and carry lots of negative feelings. So the more we understand these weaknesses (the Samsaric state of mind: that there are the problems/pain/weaknesses in people), the more we can understand how to appreciate the positive things.

              Also, if people do negative things, we can still be compassionate/forgiving to them because of the Samsaric way of being we all have (with all the negative emotions/ignorance/selfishness). We all have greed/aggression/ignorance and that allow us to feel more compassionate to people, even those who are doing not-so-positive things.

              The more we understand Samsara, the more we feel at ease living with other people because we don’t expect too much from everybody and also because we don’t expect too much from ourselves. This is the third reminder.

              Karma

              Everything has causes/conditions and happens interdependently/relatively: what I am now is because of my past and what I will be in the future is because of my present so my future is, in a way, in my hands. Therefore, I have to take responsibility for myself and think/act in a proper/careful way because how I act with my body, speech, and mind is very important not only for my own future but also because it affects the world/people around me.

              Six paramitas

              Explained by Ringu Tulku:

              1. Giving
              2. Conduct
              3. Patience
              4. Diligence
              5. Meditation
              6. Wisdom

              Watch video on YouTube

              One universe

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