The Four Seals

The Four Seals

Date of Advice:
August 2018
Date Posted:
April 2024

After a teaching, Rinpoche dictated this advice about the four seals, the core tenets of Buddhism. Rinpoche asked for this advice to be given to all the students who had attended his talk.

Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Painted by Jane Seidlitz.

My dear brothers and sisters and students,
I am very sorry, when I was giving teachings in the gompa I did not explain completely the four mudras of sealed instructions [the four seals]. It is so important that I mention this. It is an excellent meditation, other than bodhicitta.

I did explain more on emptiness during my talk, but I forgot the last one of the four mudras of sealed instructions, the view. These are the four:

  1. All contaminated phenomena—mainly the aggregates—are suffering in nature.
    So, all the meditation on the suffering of samsara comes there. What is basically mentioned in the lamrim, everything comes there.
  2. All causative phenomena are in the nature of impermanence.
  3. All phenomena are empty.
    I explained this according to Madhyamika Prasangika. All phenomena are empty, no self.
  4. Nirvana, the sorrowless state, is peace, isolation from samsara.
    This is what I forgot, the fourth one. This is the result that we achieve by meditating and realizing the previous three mudras of sealed instructions, the view.

Of course, this is all based on the foundation of Buddhadharma, the Lesser Vehicle teachings. Then on that basis, we practice bodhicitta, the root of the Mahayana path to enlightenment, and then we achieve the total cessation of even the subtle obscurations and completion of realizations.

It would be very good for the people who came to the teachings that day to gather, to come and have discussions and meditation. It would be so nice and very helpful—inspiring each other, helping each other.

Even if you cannot practice, it is extremely important to explore Buddhism. In the world, so many people explore meaningless things for their whole life. So here, you explore the Omniscient One’s teachings, the path and develop yourself. You can fully develop the potential of the mind, in order to be able to perfectly benefit sentient beings.

With much love and prayers. You are most welcome not only to liberation from samsara, all the oceans of samsara suffering, but to buddhahood, the total cessation of obscurations and completion of realizations.

With much love and prayer ...