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The Four Reminders – This Precious Opportunity

Reflecting on the four reminders, or mind-turning reflections, is a great way to strengthen your regular practice. Some people like to keep a copy of them by their shrine and refer to them daily so I thought I’d look them up and post them as a series. I have taken these from Madhyamavini’s blog and if you have not come across them before then you might like to listen to the Four Mind-turning Reflections series on Free Buddhist Audio.

This Precious Opportunity

Here, now, I have a chance to make something of my life.
I have health.
I have energy.
I have the ability to think and feel freely.
I have enough food and enough money to meet my needs.
I live in a country that free of war, and many of the other difficulties people can face.
I’m not trapped in a negative state of mind like madness, craving, hatred or depression.
All of these things can change, but while I have these advantages I have a great opportunity.

I have had the great good fortune to meet the Dharma.
The Buddha taught it.
It has been practised down the generations.
Thanks to my teachers it has come to my country and into my life in a form I can understand and accept.
I’ve had the good fortune to meet an effective sangha, whose members offer me guidance and friendship.
All these conditions have made the Dharma a presence in my life, and made its practice possible for me.

Am I making use of the opportunity this offers?

How much time I waste!
How much of my life passes in unawareness!
How strongly my habits constrain me!
I would be foolish to waste this chance.
So let me commit myself to practising as fully as I can.

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