I have always been impressed by the strong sense of purpose and urgency in which Khenpo Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche communicates the timeless wisdom of the Dharma. His lectures invariably begin with generating bodhicitta, the aspiration to attain full enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. His teachings, given directly in Chinese without any translation, are clear and substantive. Drawing on Western science and philosophy to illustrate his point, he also offers a fresh and valuable approach to explaining Buddhist doctrine. In this book, Rinpoche gives a complete overview of the Four Seals of Dharma, both in theory and practice.
The Four Seals are the fundamental viewpoint of Buddhism — the true nature of all things. The first seal states all composite phenomena are impermanent; the second, all contaminated things are unsatisfactory; the third, all phenomena lack self-existence; the fourth, nirvana is true peace. The first three seals are the practice, while the last seal is the result. The first three are the cause, the fourth its effect. By practicing the first three seals, we can attain genuine peace.
One cannot overestimate the importance of understanding and practicing the Four Dharma Seals, since they are the basis of cultivating renunciation and bodhicitta, and realizing emptiness. The concept and practice are equal in importance. Without right understanding, our practice is blind. Without practice, right understanding is useless. We can eradicate our afflictions and attain liberation only with the perfect union of the two.
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to translate this book. A special thanks to Angela Liu for her valuable comments and meticulous review of the translation, Thinley Chodron for her very helpful suggestions on the publication of the book, and May Gu for bringing us together on this project. Over the years, I have been fortunate to receive precious teachings from many Dharma masters and teachers, without which this effort would not be possible. To them, I am indebted. Finally, I would like to acknowledge and give thanks to my husband, Li-chieh Chen, whose strong and unwavering faith in the Dharma first inspired me to walk the same path.
It is my sincere hope that anyone interested in Buddhism can derive benefit from reading this English edition.
Lorraine Wu Chen