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Audio | view transcript | Other talks from Tiratanaloka

The Preciousness and Rarity of Human Life

by Dhammadinna

The second talk in a five-part series from Tiratanaloka's retreat on the 'Four Mind Turnings' of the Tibetan tradition.

What does it mean to be human? Dhammadinna's gently balanced and encouraging talk explores various perspectives on one of the fundamental questions, and clearly lays out various Buddhist approaches to the nature of our existence and consciousness, especially in relation to the other realms of the Tibetan wheel of life. Cherishing the opportunities is one of the challenges of this reflection - and this is a great way to begin.

Talk given at Tiratanaloka Retreat Centre, 2005

This talk is part of the series The Four Mind-Turning Reflections.

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. What does it mean to be human? Our choices and possibilities; the balance of karma and karma vipaka, pleasure and pain (10:26) 
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2. The human realm is central to the six realms of the Wheel of Life (4:15) 
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3. Human birth is not accidental but due to past skilful karma; affinity between ourselves and Enlightenment (5:36) 
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4. The meanings of 'precious'; what can we make of our lives in this rich consumer society? (1:34) 
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5. Eight Freedoms - from the other realms; from barbarian lands; from wrong views; from impaired senses; from a place or time without a Buddha (11:18) 
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6. Five direct or internal endowments - a human realm in a central country with senses unimpaired, no extreme karmic burden and with faith in the Buddha (7:42) 
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7. Five indirect or circumstantial endowments (1:10) 
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8. Three kinds of faith - in realities, qualities and capacities (3:21) 
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9. The rarity of human life; what does all this mean for us in the modern West? (10:11) 

Total running time: 55:33