Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Correct reasons and reliable cognizers

09 Foundation of Buddhist Practice

Part of a series of teachings given during a retreat based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice given at Sravasti Abbey.

  • Three kinds of doubt
  • Prasangikas unique view of reliable cognizers
  • Knowing when we have a correct reason and a reliable cognizer

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 09: Correct reasons and reliable cognizers (download)

Contemplation points

  1. When we investigate with an ultimate cognizer, there is no object to be found (conventional or ultimate). Spend some time thinking about that. Why is that true? Why is it that a mind of ultimate analysis is not the mind that would perceive a conventional object?
  2. Why is it good that this analysis is uncomfortable? How does this help our practice?
  3. Explain how a reliable cognizer can be mistaken with respect to its appearing object but non deceptive with respect to its apprehended object. How is this Prasangika view different from other tenet systems?
  4. Spend some time thinking about how all our perceptions are mistaken. Do you find some resistance arise when you consider this? What is the reasoning behind why they are all mistaken?
  5. Being able to differentiate between reliable cognizers and wrong awarenesses in ordinary daily life is very important. What is the particular importance for being able to do this in your meditation sessions?
  6. What are Tsongkhapa’s three criteria for existent phenomena? Spend some time observing your consciousnesses. Which ones are reliable and which ones aren’t? Come up with some other examples as well as you move through the day, read the paper, etc.
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.