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The Four Thoughts:
Turning Our Minds To The Dharma

On-Demand Course

Available Now!

Deepen your path of practice by exploring The Four Thoughts

Turning Our Minds To The Dharma with Lama Rod Owens

Political unrest, climate instability, racism, patriarchy, the decline of capitalism …

With everything we’re facing today, it helps to incline our minds to the dharma, to reveal the truth that this reality is not our ultimate home.  It leads us to the point of realizing there is a more profound, more authentic experience of our true nature waiting for us, to which we can connect.

How do we connect to this truth? How do we deepen our practice?

The Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind to Dharma are an important set of ancient contemplations designed to help us deepen our commitment to the path of dharma practice. 

These thoughts inspire us to move into a relationship with what is lasting and, ultimately, liberating. We do so together, as a community of practitioners committed to the dharma path and the liberation we all seek.

In this illuminating and engaging course, Lama Rod Owens takes us on a deep journey into the Four Thoughts.

The invitation is to sit and contemplate one Thought each week as we explore the relationship we have with ourselves and the world around us. Lama Rod’s formal Buddhist training, combined with his willingness to be vulnerable, invites us into a shared experience, supporting us further in the journey of radical acceptance of ourselves and life as we experience it.

Turning Our Minds To The Dharma with Lama Rod Owens

In this month-long, self-paced course, you will discover

  • How to have a deeper appreciation of your own life
  • How to more fully appreciate all other living beings who share our planet
  • How to develop an understanding and relationship with death
  • How to liberate yourself from your conditioning and become who you are
  • How karma can be more nuanced in our everyday lives
  • How to gain clarity on who you really are

Module 1 - Precious Human Rebirth

We begin with this first and fundamental contemplation and set of practices, which helps us feel less isolated and strengthens a sense of deep connectedness to others. 

In this contemplation, Lama Rod introduces us to the qualities of what makes up a precious life and a precious human rebirth. 

All humans have a good rebirth. However, to have a precious human rebirth, we must not only be born human but also have an interest in practising dharma or any other liberating spiritual teaching. In addition, this practice also helps us experience a deeper appreciation for our own precious lives, the lives of other humans as well as all other living beings who share our planet.

Module 2 - Death and Impermanence

Death and Impermanence are perhaps two of the hardest thoughts to contemplate. 

Bringing into the conversation and reflecting upon our own mortality urges us to understand that death is always happening, moment-to-moment. 

It is a profound and sometimes uncomfortable insight to welcome into our practice.

This thought also helps us to connect deeply and directly to the reality of Impermanence and the constant changing and shifting of our lives, something we often miss or choose to ignore. 

This contemplation is important because it ultimately helps us to develop a friendliness with the natural process of death and dying, while also supporting us in finding a natural home in the Impermanence of all things. 

Module 3 - Karma

Karma is commonly misunderstood and misused in our society. 

Simply, karma is understood to be cause and effect: we do something, and that action has a consequence. 

But how do we understand this truth as a direct experience and as a felt insight, rather than just getting caught up and remaining in that intellectual level of understanding?

As we deeply drop into and contemplate this thought, we begin to understand a more nuanced expression of karma.

It’s this new expression of karma where we begin to see that our thoughts, speech, and actions produce energy and that energy must be reconciled through ripening

If we have produced positive karma then the ripening of that karma will be beneficial. 

If we have produced negative karma, the ripening of that energy will not be so beneficial. 

The practices and contemplations in this module help us truly understand that everything we experience is the expression of what we have thought, said, and done.

Module 4 - The Defects of Samsara

Samsara is painful. 

Samsara is our reality lived as an expression of ignorance

To be in samsara means to be confronted with suffering as we struggle to understand who and what we are, beyond our projections and conditioned selves which we developed and perform. We do this often to be loved, accepted and to feel worth. 

This thought is really about all the ways samsara as a lived experience is flawed

It’s flawed because it’s the opposite of clarity. Dharma provides this clarity. 

To contemplate this final and profound thought means that we begin to turn away from the ignorance of samsara into the wisdom of our lives, which will lead us to liberation from samsara

We do this together, using our collective wisdom to be agents of liberation both for ourselves and each other. 

On-Demand Course Details

Lama Rod Owens

4 Hours of Teachings

Filmed in high definition with only you in mind, pre-recorded video lessons from Lama Rod each week have an intimate and personal feel that will keep you engaged as your body, mind and heart tune in.

Module 2 - The Walls of the Mind

Guided Visualisation Practices

Lama Rod offers guided visualisations throughout the course to support you in integrating the teachings.

Lama Rod Owens Teaching

Pre-Recorded Q&A Sessions

Videos of recorded interactive sessions from a previous live release of this course are also included. Each recording is approx. 1 hour, and is oriented around the themes and practices covered in the week's teachings.

Total Flexibility

Complete this course independently, on your own schedule, at your ideal pace. Watch and re-watch the videos as you please.

About Lama Rod Owens

Lama Rod Owens

Lama Rod Owens is a Buddhist minister, author, activist, yoga instructor and authorized Lama, or Buddhist teacher, in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism and is considered one of the leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers. He holds a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School and is a co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation (2016). Owens is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice and study community. Has been published in Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle and The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and offers talks, retreats and workshops in more than seven countries. Click here to learn more about Lama Rod Owens.