For all disciples of the Buddha:
morning and night, hold them in your mind,
and chant them often, these eight realizations
of great beings.
Realize that this world is impermanent, that nations are unsafe and unstable, that the four elements cause suffering and are empty, and that there is no self within the five skandhas; that all things that arise must change and decline, and that they are but false appearances without any stable essence; that mind is the source of evil, and that form is a congregation of wrongdoings. Contemplate all of this, and gradually you will disentangle yourself from the cycle of birth and death.
Realize that excessive desire causes suffering. The fatigue and troubles of the cycle of birth and death arise from greed and desire. Have few desires, be receptive, and you will be content in body and mind.
Realize that the mind is insatiable and that it constantly strives for more, thus adding to its transgressions and mistakes. The bodhisattva is not like this; he thinks often of being satisfied with what he has, and his is peaceful in poverty and upholds the Dharma. Wisdom is his only concern.
Realize that laziness leads to downfall. Be diligent and break the hold of harmful fixation. Defeat the four demons and escape the prison of this dark world.
Realize that ignorance gives rise to the cycle of birth and death. The bodhisattva studies widely listen carefully and thinks often in order to increase his wisdom and develop his talents in speaking so that hi is fit to teach and transform others, and show them the greatest joy.
Realize that poverty and suffering leads only to more of the same. A bodhisattva is generous and equal-minded towards both friend and foe. He does not dwell on old wrongs, or make new enemies.
Realize that the five desires bring nothing but trouble. Though we live in this world, we do not become stained by worldly pleasures. Instead, we think of a monk’s garb, his bowl, and his chanting instruments. Having set our minds on monastic life, we uphold the way and purify ourselves. Our morality encompasses all, our compassion includes everyone.
Realize that life and death are like flickering flames, and that suffering is endless. Take the Mahayana Vow to befriend all things. Vow to take on the illimitable suffering of sentient beings, and lead them all to ultimate bliss.