Quote of the Week | Precious Human Birth

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Dharma Quote of the Week
September 17, 2012


From the point of view of one who seeks enlightenment, it is far better to be a human being than to be born even in the heavens of the gods, where there is nectar to live on and all wishes are granted by the wish-fulfilling tree; where there is neither fatigue nor difficulty, neither sickness nor old age. It is as humans, possessed of the eight freedoms and the ten endowments, and not as gods, that every one of the thousand Buddhas of this age has attained, or will attain, enlightenment. This human existence, moreover, is not to be achieved by force or mere chance; it is the result of positive actions. And because it is rare for beings to accomplish positive actions, a precious human existence is indeed difficult to obtain.

Nevertheless, we have now managed to be born into such a state; we have encountered the Buddadharma, have entered the path and are now receiving teachings. But if we are unable to practise them, simply listening to the teachings will not in itself liberate us from samsara, and will be of no help to us when we are confronted by the hardships of birth, disease, old age and death. If we do not follow the doctor’s prescription when we are sick, then even if the doctor sits constantly by our side, the pain will not go away.

Of Interest to Readers

We’re pleased to announce the release of Pema Chödrön’s new book, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. It’ll be in stores on October 9, but it’s available now from Shambhala.com, and if you order from us we’ll also send a free copy of The Pocket Pema Chödrön, a treasury of 108 selections from Pema’s best-selling books.


cover image

Enlightened Courage:
An Explanation of the Seven-Point Mind Training

by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, translated by Padmakara Translation Group, pages 15–16.

$16.95 $8.47
To save 50%, use code DQ91012 at checkout through 9/24/12.

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Teachings excerpted from works published by Shambhala Publications and Snow Lion Publications.

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