Four Thoughts is a page honoring the teachings and practices of Guru Rinpoche’s Nyingma Lineage of Tantric Buddhism from the authentic wisdom tradition of teachings American-born Buddhist Lama Traktung Khepa (t.k.).
Find a path you can love, a path whose tradition displays its power, grace and beauty and bind yourself to that path. Look and consider with care but then enter wholeheartedly as a warrior of compassion. This will give great meaning and joy to your life.” – t.k., Original Innocence
Our name derives from The Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind to Dharma, a central teaching of our path meant to cultivate the attitude and motivation needed to sincerely engage the radically transformative practices of Tantra and Dzogchen. The Four Thoughts are:
(1) The precious opportunity of human birth;
(2) The limited timeframe of this opportunity (death is certain, it’s time is not);
(3) The truth of karma (every moment’s action shapes the meaning of our lives);
(4) that suffering will go on endlessly unless we do something different.
Though presented at the beginning of the Tantric path, t.k. teaches that deep contemplation of the Four Thoughts is crucial for progressing along later stages, and that lack of progress on the path can often be traced to glossing over the Four Thoughts. At a relative level, contemplation of the Four Thoughts cuts through depression, despair, laziness, self-pity, and meaninglessness – freeing up energy needed to engage spiritual practice. Underscoring the importance of the Four Thoughts in dharma practice and life in general, t.k. presents contemplation of the Four Thoughts as a deeply alchemical process at the level of intellect, feeling, and being.