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The essence of a meaningful life

40 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice, second volume in “The Library of Wisdom and Compassion” series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Meditation on a precious human life
  • Importance of developing self-respect and self-confidence
  • Giving up attachment to pleasures of this life and developing aspiration for liberation
  • Understanding causal dependence in terms of the path to enlightenment
  • Eight unfavorable states: four non-human rebirths and four disadvantages in a human rebirth
  • Ten fortunes: five personal and five that come from the societal condition in which we live
  • Why a human life with intelligence and spiritual interest is important?

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 40: The Essence Of A Meaningful Life (download)

Contemplation points

  1. What are the main purposes of the meditation on a precious human life? Why these purposes? How do they benefit us at this particular stage on the path?
  2. Why does the meditation on a precious human life create great enthusiasm for Dharma practice?
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.