If you decided to study Tibetan Buddhism, a teacher would start you off with the preliminaries. The preliminaries are things to ponder, to reflect on, to consider deeply. Here are some of them:
* The preciousness of your human life–Your life is rare and precious–a wonderful gift. Recognizing the value of your own precious life has implications: don’t waste it!
* The impermanence of all things–Everything changes. Material things change. We all die eventually–leaving even our valued bodies behind. Sometime we lose those near to us. Eventually, we will lose all our friendships and family. We should infinitely value each moment with those we love.
* The inevitability of suffering–Everyone suffers sometimes, in many ways.
* Every action we take, everything we say, even every thought we think, has consequences. Good actions bring sweet fruits, bad actions bring bitter fruits. This is known as the Law of Karma. The results of our actions follow us like a shadow.
* Much of what we accept as reality is illusion. We don’t understand the ultimate nature of reality. We need to dispel the delusions in our mind.
These preliminaries are points of departure for spiritual practice. A path exists to the end of suffering, but first we must understand the preliminaries.
After pondering the preliminaries, one begins practices to understand the ultimate nature of one’s mind.