Waking Essence: THE FOUR SEALS Intro #Enlightenment #Buddhism

The Four Seals
A Sanskrit word, literally meaning “great seal.” According to Sutra, this refers to the profound view of emptiness. Since emptiness is the nature of all phenomena, it is called a “seal,” and since a direct realization of emptiness enables us to accomplish the great purpose—complete liberation from the sufferings of samsara—it is also called “great.” According to Secret Mantra, great seal is the union of spontaneous great bliss and emptiness.

— Excerpt From: Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. “How to Transform Your Life.” iBooks.

Last month I was so fortunate to attend a Kadampa Meditation Retreat at the International Retreat Center in Arizona. The topic of the four-day retreat was the Four Seals - four important topics that come from Buddha - the four important views or spiritual rules. Buddha taught 84,000 teachings. It is said these four seals are the condensation of all Buddha Dharma - all 84,000 teachings.

Below are my very brief notes from the introductory talk on Thursday night, October 25th - a summary of the Four Seals. Further blogs with go into each Seal in details with further notes from the weekend.


The Four Seals:

All functioning things are momentary

All contaminated phenomena are the nature of suffering

Only the experience of Nirvana is pure happiness

All phenomena are selfless or empty.

In a word:

Momentary (impermanence), the First Seal

Allow your decisions to remind you of their impermanence.

Death awareness cuts through waste. Not morbid but motivating.

You are a spiritual traveler and your life is on the highway of death.

Contaminated (the problem side), the Second Seal

Everything is in the nature of suffering.

I wish to remove the delusions in my mind.

Wish for everlasting freedom.

Nirvana (the effect, solution), Third Seal

Only Nirvana is peace.


How do you attain Nirvana?

Emptiness (solution), Fourth Seal

The path to Nirvana

Develop the mind of realizing emptiness.

Meditation on the clarity of the mind:
Empty like space
No shape or color, formless
Possesses the power to perceive

The mind is the most dynamic creative force in the universe

Switch the object to emptiness. Attain enlightenment...the path to Mahanudra.

Bringing your understanding from the head to the heart. 💓 Do some change. Gain some special feeling. 

I know these notes are brief so stay tuned for more detail. This is very cool stuff.

In closing my husband asked me to summarize it in layman’s terms. I told him:

Seal #1: Everything is impermanent.
Seal #2: The nature of our existence is suffering.
Seal #3: Only Nirvana (cessation of delusions) is permanent happiness.
Seal #4: Everything is the nature of mind.

Thank you.