The Four Thoughts - July 10 - 18

An eight-day retreat that introduces newcomers to some of the most important external preliminary contemplative practices. Students will attend intensive teaching lectures (in Tibetan with English and Chinese translation) given by highly-qualified Palyul khenpos (professors of Buddhism). Then they will have the opportunity to contemplate these teachings while conducting chanting practice with Lama Pasang Tenzin, our Ngondro class instructor. Question and answer opportunities will be provided during class and Lama Pasang is available for questions during class practice.

The introduction to the teachings will instruct students on the way to listen to Spiritual Teachings This is followed by the first section of this retreat, focusing on the Four Thoughts that turn the mind to the Dharma. These are:
- Contemplating the difficulty of obtaining the freedom and advantages that allow us to be on retreat and study and practice these teachings
- Contemplating the impermanence of life
- Contemplating the defects of cyclic existence (samsara)

This is followed by detailed teachings on Karma, the benefits of Liberation, and advice on the way to follow a spiritual friend.

This section of the retreat should be completed in full prior to advancing to the Refuge segment.