An appreciation of the perfect human rebirth is fundamental to our Dharma journey
—Lama Zopa Rinpoche
The great meditator, Lama Tsongkhapa, who formalized the whole lamrim structure, broke the lamrim up into two: appreciation of this life of freedom and richness—the perfect human rebirth—and how to make use of this precious opportunity—the rest of the lamrim topics from impermanence and death, refuge and karma up to the point where we attain full enlightenment.
The lamrim is not like a buffet, where we can pick and choose whatever we fancy. We have to eat the whole feast, otherwise we won’t get what we want, liberation or enlightenment. When we explore the lamrim we will see how each topic leads to the next and how each is therefore indispensable. The meditations on the perfect human rebirth come right at the beginning of the path, just after relying on a spiritual teacher. We need to understand karma and we need to have refuge, and to deepen our commitment we need to understand impermanence and death. But none of that will happen if we squander this precious and unique opportunity that we now have, this one time only.
Only those of us with this perfect human rebirth can become inner scientists and discover the true cause of happiness. We’re unbelievably fortunate. We have the opportunity to study, meditate and understand everything that the Buddha taught, from the simplest lamrim topic to the most advanced. We have the opportunity to develop the altruistic heart, the attitude that wishes to be fully awakened to benefit others, and to understand the reality of things and events—emptiness. There is nothing we cannot understand with this perfect human rebirth.
- The first section of the lamrim focuses on the perfect human rebirth
- Each lamrim topic is an essential step on the journey to enlightenment
- Only a perfect human rebirth gives us the opportunity to discover true happiness
The perfect human rebirth