The Foundation of the Path

“If we observe well we can see that most of us are like a stone in water. Maybe we talk about bodhicitta, about acting for the good of others and many other nice things, and live in a rosy atmosphere, but then we remain like a stone. Usually things that are left in water get soft, but not a stone, it always remains hard because that is its condition, it never relaxes and even after centuries it does not have the least idea of integrating with the water. Even if it stays in the water for thousands of years, if we break it open it is still dry inside. In this way our ego never integrates with the teaching, all it is capable of doing is uttering a lot of nice words, like a scholarly professor who gives a talk and everyone says, ‘Ah, how erudite he is, what a good talk.’ But really they have not integrated anything in themselves and their condition has not changed one jot. The teaching must not become like this, we must integrate it in ourselves. But in order to integrate it we must open a bit, that is, we must observe ourselves and understand our condition.”

This collection of teachings contains the foundation for observing ourselves and understanding our real condition. It introduces the Four Awarenesses, the Three Sacred Principles (refuge, bodhicitta, dedication of merit), the Three Trainings, and the Vajra State.