Do you utilize the Richnesses and the Freedoms in your life?

Start by reflecting on everything you have, your wins, possessions, belongings, etc. And continue comparing these with the most fundamental and vital prerequisite for practicing the Dharma, which is the specific richnesses and freedoms that are so hard to find. That which gives us the opportunity to practice right now.

Nothing is more valuable than the possibility to practice the Dharma, an opportunity given to us right now. 

We have been given that which is so hard to find, a precious human body. Please don’t waste it!

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In the sutra called “The White Lotus of Compassion,” (Saddharma­puṇḍarīka; sanskrit) (དམ་པའི་ཆོས་པད་མ་དཀར་པོ; Tibetan) the Buddha says: “It’s extremely hard to be born as a human being, and even harder to get the perfect richnesses and freedoms.”

It is not easy for a Buddha to manifest in the world, nor to make up one’s mind to practice the Dharma. Furthermore, obtaining and maintaining the right aspiration takes prolonged endurance and clarity. Despite all this, we have all these fortunate circumstances to come together. 

Having a precious human life means we are free from the eight bound existences.

The eight bound existences

The eight bound existences are to find ourselves where 1. terror, violence, and wickedness are constant. 2. greed is never satisfied and leaves us starving for more, 3. we have lost our capability to communicate our needs, and basic survival needs are all that we have time for. 4. a godlike existence of fame, success, and beauty where we constantly fight to stay on top and challenge our so-called competitors to show off our glory. 5. being a brutal, cruel, warlike, and insensitive person. 6. holding on to views that hinder our further development towards awakening to our full capacity. 7. living in a time where all wisdom is lost. 8. we have fixed existential limitations that diminish our capability to walk, talk and think freely.

However, we need more than being free from these unlucky states. We also need the ten richnesses—five of those come from ourselves and five from others. 

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The ten richnesses

Our own richnesses include 1. that we have a human existence, 2. with access to wisdom, 3. with the full ability to walk, talk and think freely 4. we are not making a living on something corrupt, and 5. we put our trust in the right place.

The richnesses that come from others are 1. that a fully awakened one, a Buddha, manifested, 2. that the Buddha shared his wisdom, 3. that his wisdom teachings survived, 4. that the Dharma are upheld by his followers, 5. some are willing to teach and sustain spiritual practice, such as a teacher.

When all this comes together, we can say that we have a precious human existence. 

The meaning of reflecting on all of this is to dive to the depths of our understanding and appreciation for these richnesses and freedoms so that we can decide not to waste this unique and precious opportunity. 

Everything else that we can attain in this relative world is no more than magical illusions and passing dreams. Complete liberation is the only thing that makes sense.

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Reflect upon the numbers

Now, continue with reflecting upon how hard it is to get the richnesses and the freedoms in the form of numbers.

For instance, there are millions of beings trapped in the nightmare of violence, terror, and wickedness, and greedy beings who never will have their taste for more satisfaction are more than all the snowflakes in a snowstorm, and those whose lives are in a constant survival mood and who can’t speak up for themselves are far many more than one could wish. At the same time, those who live in godlike existences fighting with their so-called competitors or not, are as rare and few as the breadcrumbs from one of your breakfast toasts.

Compared to all of these ways of living the human life where we have access to all the richnesses and the freedoms described here are very few, and if you have them you are very fortunate indeed. Please don’t waste it!

Reflect on the richnesses and the freedoms in your life this way.

Blessed be,


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Published by Lama Chimey

Buddhist Minister, Meditation & Dharma Teacher

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