A Classic Commencement Speech: Steve Jobs (Plus, the Buddhist 4 Reminders).

Via on Feb 28, 2010

The Four Reminders are something we Buddhists repeat, and remind ourselves of, every day. But there’s nothing patently “Buddhist” about them—we’re basically just remembering that life is vulnerable, fragile, precious, and shouldn’t be wasted doing stupid, selfish, insincere stuff.

Four Reminders

Joyful to have
Such a human birth,
Difficult to find,
Free and well-favored.

But death is real,
Comes without warning.
This body
Will be a corpse.

Unalterable
Are the laws of karma;
Cause and effect
Cannot be escaped.

Samsara
Is an ocean of suffering,
Unendurable,
Unbearably intense.

Composed by the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
© 1974 by Chögyam Trungpa

steve jobs speech commencement stanford buddhist "four reminders"

I was reminded of, well, the Four Reminders by Steve Jobs’ famous 15 minute Commencement speech at Stanford a few years back. It’s hard for me to slow down enough to watch it—but I finally just did, sitting at Pekoe, watching the snow fall, thinking to myself that it’s never been my problem to walk the best of my own drummer—but rather to keep the ground of practicality beneath my feet as my head, or vision, floats inexorably into the clouds of world-domination-in-service-of-the-greater-good-and-the-present-moment.

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11 Responses to “A Classic Commencement Speech: Steve Jobs (Plus, the Buddhist 4 Reminders).”

  1. Another inspiring Commencement speech, via Paul Hawken: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/05/paul-hawke

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this inspiring video with us. I urge everyone to take the time to watch it. The fifteen minutes is well worth it.

    Like Jim, I'm happy to see this other side of the self-absorbed egotistical Mr. Jobs.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  3. janelle says:

    Thank you for sharing this! It speaks to me on so many levels as I travel along crossroads in my life…

  4. James says:

    So Jim, you were close friends with Jobs during his youth?

    This video was indeed very nice to watch. Thanks.

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  6. [...] Now, though I don’t believe in reincarnation (Buddhists aren’t theistic, we aren’t supposed to believe in anything we can’t experience, the Buddha talked about how even what he said shouldn’t be taken on faith, and that many of the Great Questions were in fact unimportant) I still say a little prayer. It helps to turn that still-disturbing moment into a moment, an occasion or opportunity for remembering the Four Reminders. [...]

  7. [...] discover and honor it. Start by finding out what moves you and how you can serve others through it. Don’t live somebody else’s life. Nothing you could ever accomplish means anything without your signature on it. 4. Be grateful, [...]

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