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Innate within each of us is the the ability to contribute something that is unique in the universe; we can resolve to take control of our inner self and our relationship to everything we experience. In so doing we contribute something that is so basic to the universe that it is its very raison d’être, its most basic no, original, ground of being.

This blog is about that inner world, a changing personal world that we seek to maintain some discipline over. This blog is about our increasingly urban world, this ever changing blue marble and our intimate relationship to it. This blog is about Buddhism, a twenty-five hundred year old philosophical system and the answers it provides in these modern times. And finally this blog is about rediscovering the innate (inner) skills (siddhi) that each of us can utilize to help us on the path to awakening.

How will we recognize the true path when we are on it? I propose we start by applying a simple test – does the path that presents itself make sense? Which is to say does it promote our development of wisdom (prajñā), ethical conduct (śīla), and increase our concentration (samādhi) thereby allowing us to nurture increased inner calm and collectedness.

Even in this modern world with its distractions and temptations at every moment we are offered an opportunity to, as Mahatma Gandhi said, “be the change we want to see in the world.” So where does one begin? What are the first few steps on the path?

It starts with a few realizations and perhaps you have had some of these or all of them and that is why you are on this path. The most primal of these realizations is the knowledge that there is suffering. This realization is strongest when you see beyond your personal suffering and see the truth that there is the presence of suffering and it goes hand in hand with existence. Suffering, in this sense extends far beyond our personal problems even if our suffering includes fear of loosing our most basic securities like shelter, income, health, excreta.

The Four Reminders

  1. This life you are experiencing is a precious opportunity.
  2. Impermanence is perpetual (it endures).
  3. Karma (just) happens.
  4. Samsara is futile.

So let’s start right here with this precious human life.