Talk 1: Introduction to the Four Marks (:79)
Pema Chodron gives a brief explanation of each of the four marks as doorways to basic goodness, the ground of all. Included is an exercise where Pema gives two questions for participants to contemplate as a process of self-inquiry and coming to know one’s habitual patterns.
Talk 2: The Mark of Impermanence (1:06)
This talk is about becoming comfortable with the inevitability of change. Impermanence and death are facts of life. It is said that the study of impermanence and death is the best antidote for grasping. Pema discusses impermanence at 2 levels, the gross and the subtle.
Talk 3: The Mark of Egolessness (:99)
Egolessness is something that we’ve all experienced, but usually in little glimpses. Those brief moments when we are completely open and listening and receptive – at that point, we tend to pull back into the ego (or self). Noticing ego can become a very powerful practice. Meditation is training in being right there.
Talk 4: Ego and the Eight Consciousnesses (1:11)
The eighth consciousness is referred to as the alaya – the storehouse consciousness, where all the karmic imprints (propensities) are stored. Everything you’ve done in your whole life creates “seeds” which are stored in the eighth consciousness
Talk 5: The Mark of Suffering (1:17)
The Buddha presented the fi rst noble truth, the truth of suffering, as a fact of life. If you avoid suffering, you’re avoiding life and path. The three kinds of suffering are the suffering of suffering, the suffering of alternation or change, and all pervasive suffering.
Talk 6: The Mark of Peace (1:08)
The fourth mark of existence is peace – “peace without fi xation.” This is also referred to as “nirvana without concepts.” The peace talked about here is the peace of being open to life, just as it presents itself, peace without shenpa.
Talk 7: Taking the Teachings to Heart (:17)
Pema gives the three-fold logic of these teachings: 1. The ground is basic goodness; 2. The path is the path of training in warriorship; 3. The fruition is giving back to society. Take these teachings to heart and work with them through the thick and thin of our lives.
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