What are the Eight Awakenings?

The eight awakenings are pithy descriptions of what bodhisattvas and other enlightened beings realize, which are chanted mainly in the Mahayana tradition.

Lion’s Roar
1 August 2018

The world is impermanent: Contemplating that everything changes, you are released from the endless cycle of birth and death.

More desire brings more suffering: Realizing that getting what you desire won’t bring happiness, you relax your clinging.

The human mind is always searching outside itself and never feels fulfilled: Liberation comes from cultivating contentment, not from more things or experiences.

Diligent effort is needed to free yourself from the prison of samsara: Unravelling your deep-seated clinging to a permanent self takes hard work and persistence.

Ignorance is the cause of the endless round of birth and death: You seek the best teaching and training to counteract your habit of ignoring reality.

Poverty creates hatred and anger: You are generous and treat all beings with equanimity.

The five categories of sensual desire—money, sex, fame, overeating, and oversleeping—lead to problems: Sensory pleasures imprison you in unwholesome ways of being.

The fire of birth and death is raging, causing endless suffering everywhere: You vow to save all sentient beings from the suffering of cyclical existence.

Lion's Roar

Lion’s Roar

Lion’s Roar is the website of Lion’s Roar magazine (formerly the Shambhala Sun) and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, with exclusive Buddhist news, teachings, art, and commentary. Sign up for the Lion’s Roar weekly newsletter and follow Lion’s Roar on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.