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Meditation/Practice Instruction

Parting from the Four Attachments
Teacher: His Holiness the Sakya Trichen (the 41st Sakya Trizin),
Venue: Nepal,
Year: 2023

His Holiness the Sakya Trichen (the 41st Sakya Trizin) bestowed this teaching on October 6, 2023, at the International Buddhist Academy in Kathmandu, Nepal. His Eminence Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and the Rangjung Yeshe Institute requested this teaching from him.

Parting from the Four Attachments is a profound Buddhist teaching originally transmitted by Mañjuśrī to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first patriarch of the Sakya school. It stands as a seminal instruction widely revered across Tibetan Buddhist schools and beyond. This pith instruction is distilled into four lines, each addressing a specific attachment and the corresponding practice to overcome it.

Due to its popularity, His Holiness has frequently delivered this teaching on numerous occasions. While previous versions have been published, this particular teaching focuses on how these four attachments can be effectively countered through seemingly basic practices, fostering a connection with our innate limitless wisdom.

This text enables individuals of any faith to discern through superficial illusions, discover inner peace, and achieve mastery over their minds, guiding a path to genuine happiness and success in life. Specifically, it guides practitioners on the path of awakening to integrate Dharma study and practice into daily life, thereby maximizing the precious human opportunity and progressing toward perfect buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Source: This teaching was obtained from the International Buddhist Academy Youtube.

The goal of all Buddha's teachings is to guide us to overcome all suffering and attain ultimate happiness, the state of buddhahood.

However, accomplishing this goal is not easy due to our attachments—to ourselves and everything else—which prolong the journey, making it more challenging and bumpier. Because of these attachments, we generate numerous afflictions, necessitating an extensive array of teachings to counteract them.

Ordinary beings are attached to this life, to saṃsāra, to personal gain, and to the belief in the inherent existence of a “self.” As a result, we not only experience various sufferings but also create more negative karma, trapping ourselves in the endless cycle of suffering—saṃsāra.

To liberate ourselves from saṃsāra, we must sever all attachments that bind us to it. Mañjuśrī condensed the key to removing attachment into four lines, which he transmitted to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first patriarch of the Sakya school. These four lines encapsulate the essence of the Mahāyāna teachings. In this text, His Holiness elaborates on how these four attachments can be effectively countered through seemingly basic practices, establishing a connection with our inherent limitless wisdom.

For those who have yet to embark on the Dharma path, in today's materialistic world, many are consumed by fame and gain, caught up in endless pursuits. The insight offered by Parting from the Four Attachments enables us to discern through these superficial illusions, uncover inner peace, and become masters of our own minds, thereby navigating life as truly happy and successful individuals.

May all attain the wisdom of Mañjuśrī, eliminating all attachments and defilements