This is the third is a series of posts about memorising Dharma Lists. The first post can be found here, and the second here.

In this post we are going to look at the ‘key’ to the memorisation system, and in the next post we are actually going to use it.  The system isn’t my invention – its been around for ages and it is highly effective.

Now then, if we are going to remember a list properly, there are really THREE things we need to remember for EACH item:

  1. The list the item comes from
  2. The number of the item in the list
  3. The item itself

For example, when we commit to memory the third benefit of relying upon a qualified Spiritual Guide, we are remembering that:

  1. It comes from the list of benefits of relying upon a Spiritual Guide
  2. It is the third item on the list
  3. All the Buddhas will be delighted with us

To do this we need a key to link the item’s meaning to it’s number and its list. The way we do this is to establish a memorable mental image which links all three together.

The starting point is a root list of ten images, which we will use again and again. The root images link to the numbers as rhyming pairs as follows:

The image linked with the number ‘one’ is ‘bun’.

The image linked with the number ‘two’ is ‘shoe’.

The image linked with the number ‘three’ is ‘tree’.

The image linked with the number ‘four’ is ‘door’.

The image linked with the number ‘five’ is ‘hive’.

The image linked with the number ‘six’ is ‘sticks’.

The image linked with the number ‘seven’ is ‘heaven’.

The image linked with the number ‘eight’ is ‘gate’.

The image linked with the number ‘nine’ is ‘sign’.

The image linked with the number ‘ten’ is ‘hen’.

These images rhyme with their corresponding number and this rhyme is how you will remember that they go together.

Your homework until my next post is to commit these pairings to memory. (This is so simple you can probably already remember them.)

Stay tuned for the next post where we finally get to use the memory system for real.

Love Vide x