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

Via elephant journal
on Feb 28, 2010
get elephant's newsletter

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.

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

Is an ocean of suffering,
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.


How to Appreciate your Life, fully, Every Morning: the Buddhist Four Reminders.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


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

  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.

  5. This is a very interesting post, I was looking for this info. Just so you know I located your web page when I was browsing for blogs like mine, so please check out my site sometime and leave me a comment to let me know what you think.

  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. chiara_ghiron says:

    Bob!!! going back to our BG discussions…can you see Jobs was another Arjuna!?

  8. Yes, absolutely. And no coincidence. He was deeply absorbed all his life in Yoga and Buddhist philosophy all his life. See:

    Steve Jobs Sought Enlightenment in India After Dropping Out of College

    Bob W. Editor
    Facebook Twitter

  9. […] 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, […]