Buddhist Philosophy

~ January 25, 2016 ~

The Four Mind Changings

Buddhist Philosophy • audio

How to Really Contemplate: A Daily Practice


First, Rinpoche explains that it is very important that we feel lucky and blessed. We need to cherish what we have and appreciate the fortune we have.

Next we need to consider the notion of impermanence. We have to really examine–is it true that things really are changing? Look around and acknowledge that this is true. Then, acknowledge that nothing is steady–the only thing that is reliable is Dharma practice.

The third contemplation is karma. How do we reflect on this? We think about our own actions and their results–and remind ourselves what good and bad mean. What is our intention? Karma is the way to be mindful of our actions and mindful of the results.

The fourth contemplation is the faults of saṃsāra. What does that mean? Actually, we should understand that saṃsāra is not external–it means how we think. We need to be very familiar with the five poisons–we cannot forget these:

  1. Anger
  2. Attachment
  3. Ignorance
  4. Jealousy
  5. Pride

Three Core Poisons

Rinpoche also mentions the three poisons–sometimes we hear of five and sometimes three. The three core poisons are the first three:

  1. Anger,
  2. Attachment
  3. Ignorance or Delusion.

Jealousy is taught to be a combination of Attachment and Ignorance. Pride is taught to be a combination of Anger and Ignorance.

Realize that we have these afflictions and develop the strong wish to be free of these–these are the true defects of saṃsāra

It only takes five minutes to review these mind changings–and we need to do this every day. Rinpoche here explains several ways to practice these–first he uses a very gentle way, and then with more intensity. He suggests that we need to work with our own minds in this skillful way.

We should begin with a gentle contemplation, and then as we develop more stability and continue to practice, we should develop a greater sense of urgency and be more dramatic in our contemplation.

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