How do we get moving on the spiritual path?  In this talk, Dharma Teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat introduce the Four Common Foundations, also known as the Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind from Samsara to Nirvana.  

These Buddhist foundations motivate and inspire us to practice the path of awakening. What are they exactly?  Watch the video below.

Enlighten-Up is a monthly livestream session with Dharma Teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat. These candid talks on spirituality and awakening are to enliven and enlighten you, as the world spins in challenging times.

What are the Four Common Foundations?

Precious Human Birth

Only the human being is able to awaken.  We are different from animals in that we can look at ourselves and have a clear understanding of our own separateness.  In other words, we are conscious.  This leads to an awareness that can support our spiritual path and lead us towards awakening which is our birthright as human beings.

Unsatisfactoriness of Samsara

Samsara refers to the empirical world: what we see, process and how function in a physical way that is driven by the ego.  In terms of our depth of our being, if you imagine an iceberg the ego is only the top 10% of the iceberg.  The other 90% or “the depth” is hidden.  The ego by nature feels insecure, alone and separate.  It is concerned about survival only.  Awakening pushes up from the depth of our being and tries to break through the surface of the ego.  In true reality, “the depth” is the master and the ego is the servant, not the other way around.  Samsara goes around and around because there is no satisfaction in a life that is driven only by ego concerns.

Law of Karma – Cause and Effect

When we speak about karma we are talking about the natural law of cause-and-effect.  What this means is that if we plant good seeds based on wholesome activities these seeds will sprout into good actions and results.  The law of karma asks us to pay attention to what seeds we are sowing and become conscious of what is wholesome or unwholesome.

Death and impermanence

As humans we understand death could come at any moment, yet we tend to forget this.  By meditating on death and the impermanence of all phenomena we turn our attention to live in each moment more fully and with awareness.  Awareness is a choice, something we chose to practice.  This leads to a richer life full of understanding.

For the full story, watch the video below:

The Diamond Sutra Online Course

If these Four Common Foundation Thoughts turned your mind from Samsara to Nirvana, we invite you to attend the four week online course on the Diamond Sutra, that starts January 6, 2020.

Enlighten-Up Live: Watch the next livestream in person.

Did you enjoy this video on the Common Foundations? Doug & Catherine Sensei will be streaming on facebook live each month on other riveting topics. Look for the livestream listing by following the Planet Dharma facebook page.

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