37 Practices Of A Bodhisattva – Precious Human Life

Precious Human Life

Dal jor dru chen nye ka thob dü dir
Dag zhen khor wai tsho leä dral jai chir
Nyi dang tsen du yel wa me par ni
Nyen sem gom pa gyal se lag len yin

Having gained this rare ship of freedom and fortune,
Hear, think and meditate unwaveringly night and day
In order to free yourself and others
From the ocean of cyclic existence –
This is the practice of bodhisattvas.

The first bodhisattva practice counted here is this: while you are having this great, precious life, it is important, day and night to listen to dharma teachings and meditate on dharma. That is the way of the bodhisattvas.

If you look in the Lam Rim, what do you get first? After the guru devotional practice you focus on the precious human life, recognizing, appreciating and understanding how difficult to gain it is, and all of that.

Here it is the same thing. We have to understand that our life is important. We do understand, but do we appreciate it? Many times we don’t. We will really ignore our lives and sometimes we are taking our life for granted. But if your life is threatened then the fear will come. Then you realize that if you lose this life, it is terrible. But we don’t think like that when we are well and doing fine. When it’s bad and there is a threat then we begin to appreciate the value of the life. There is the fear of losing. Many of us will do it. What we really have is something more, something that we cannot buy, something so precious, so important. But we don’t know until it is threatened, honestly.

That is why people look down on themselves. That happens very often. That’s not good. Buddha asked us to appreciate our life, to recognize. It is really true that it is very important. If it is threatened we know; until then we don’t. But we have it every day. We get up with that, we go to bed with that and we go to sleep, and the next day we get up and we really do not appreciate it. So you really have to. The life that you have cannot be bought – forget about millions – even for zillions of dollars. It cannot. That is what you have to realize.

But then we don’t use it, but waste it. So recognize and realize and make the best use of it. It is the best vehicle we can have. By this vehicle we can cut across the ocean of suffering. It is our job to put our efforts in day and night continuously.

~ Gelek Rimpoche, 37 Practices Of A Bodhisattva, 2014

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