What Makes This Human Life So Precious?
So many circumstances have come together to create this wonderful opportunity to study the Dharma:
- Human intelligence & intact senses
- Access to teachings, teachers, communities of monastics, spiritual friends
- Religious freedom
- Conducive material & financial conditions
- Spiritual inclinations & yearnings
Using Our Precious Human Life to Follow the Path
We all want to be happy now.
- When we push & grasp for happiness, it evades us.
- If we're content with what we have and simultaneously prepare for the future, we'll be happier both now & in the future.
Three Ways to Progress on the Path
There are three ways to progress along the path:
- Practice moment to moment in our daily activities.
- Start each day with the motivations not to harm others and to help others.
- Start each day with the motivation to diminish limitations and develop positive qualities in order to be able to help others most effectively.
- Transform even insignificant actions into the path to enlightenment; good motivations can make us happy and our actions worthwhile.
- Reflect on our good motivation throughout the day and apply it to everything we do. Make every situation an opportunity to practice the Dharma, starting at home.
- Prepare for death & our future lives.
- To acknowledge death is not morbid; it's simply realistic.
- Prepare by avoiding destructive actions & doing constructive ones.
- Avoid the ten negative actions: killing, stealing, unwise sexual behavior; lying, divisive speech, harsh speech, idle talk; coveting, malice (ill will), & wrong views.
- Live according to ethical values.
- Cultivate loving kindness towards others, doing whatever we can to help them.
- Aim for liberation, then for full enlightenment.
- Obtain liberation from the whole cycle of rebirths by practicing the three higher trainings: ethical conduct, meditative stabilization, & wisdom.
- Attain full enlightenment (elimination of all obscurations & full development of all good qualities) by practicing the three higher trainings and the six far-reaching attitudes (generosity, ethics, patience, joyous effort, meditative stabilization & wisdom) with the altruistic intention to attain enlightenment in order to benefit all beings.