The Four Reminders are the most fundamental daily reflections or meditation in Tibetan Buddhism. The Four Reminders are: 1) develop an awareness of the preciousness of this human life. 2) develop an awareness of the reality of the impermanence of all that exists. 3) Karma; develop an awareness of the consequences of all we do. 4) Samsara – develop an awareness of the cyclic nature of life, death and rebirth.
Meditation on these four thoughts can help us develop a more universal perspective on this life from “I, me, mine” to “we, us, ours.” All or our lives are precious, fleeting, the results on our actions and our personal suffering is not unique. The Four Reminders help us find a more lasting happiness, peace, and fulfillment.
Karma Lodrö writes, “First, we contemplate the unique occasion of having attained a precious human birth and determine to use our life meaningfully. Then we contemplate impermanence and death. As long as we have a precious human life, we shouldn’t waste it, because the time of death is uncertain and impermanence is a fact. The third practice that turns one’s mind to the Dharma is contem-plating how to really make use of the fortunate opportunity of having attained a precious human life more fully by accumulating positive karma. One understands that, due to the infallible law of cause and effect, unwholesome and unskillful activities of body, speech, and mind lead to painful results. Fourthly, one contemplates the meaningless propositions of samsara. These four contemplations inspire us to turn our attention towards liberation.”