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Two aims and four reliances

Part of an ongoing series of teachings based on Approaching the Buddhist Path, the first book in “The Library of Wisdom and Compassion” series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Many benefits of the stages of the path
  • Importance of different teachings for subduing diverse afflictions
  • Factors aiding towards higher rebirth and highest good
  • Four reliances to develop non-dual wisdom
  • Emphasis on definitive teachings versus interpretable teachings

49 Approaching the Buddhist Path: Two Aims and Four Reliances (download)

Contemplation points

  1. What are some of the advantages of the gradual path?
  2. Explain one advantage of the gradual path in more detail. Use your own words, reflecting on it in the context of your own experience.
  3. In your own way, describe how one attains higher rebirth, and through what kind of meditation?
  4. Examine your own practice and determine if you follow the two aims. Make examples of how you are doing this.
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.