The first theme the Tibetan masters extracted from the ocean of themes in the Buddhist teachings is the theme of the preciousness of human life, endowed with liberty and opportunity.

Reflecting on the preciousness of our human life and its freedom and opportunity is meant to build our self-confidence.

Preciousness of human life

Buddha told a wonderful parable:

Imagine, he said, an old blind turtle who lives in the bottom of the seven oceans and who surfaces once every century for air. Floating randomly around the seas there's a golden yoke. As often as the blind turtle at the bottom of the ocean happens to raise his head through the neck hole of the yoke when he comes up for his centenary breath, that's the likelihood of being born in the human life-form.

  With such a rare opportunity, you really should appreciate what you have right now!

You should reflect how wonderful our life form is of the human embodiment, our person. How lucky we are to have it endowed liberty and opportunity.

As a human, you can pause and reflect on what your situation is and then use your intelligence to choose a path of action.

Chances are if you are taking this lesson, contemplating practicing this path, you enjoy freedoms many other humans do not.

Your precious opportunity also includes access to the teaching of freedom and enlightenment.

True freedom
In many societies there's no notion of liberation or self-illumination or education, merely training for life as a hunter or a warrior or a computer programmer. The real teaching of freedom is very rare. While materialistic cultures have ideas like the pursuit of happiness, the fight for freedom, and the land of liberty, real liberty is completely inconceivable to us.

The most important of the famous noble truths taught by the Buddha is the noble truth of freedom, which is the truth of nirvana. Contemplation of this noble truth of nirvana opens you up to the very idea that there is such a thing as freedom. Once you can imagine it, you feel a different sense about the meaning of your life. That you could be reliably, calmly, blissfully free, with absolutely nothing to compel you. No problems or suffering. This is unimaginable at first. Coming from a Protestant background if I even start to think about being free and happy, I unconsciously feel anxious, expecting someone to hit me or step on me. That's how we've been conditioned.

You are a great being

The beginning of the path is so important, because until you really treasure yourself how can you truly develop a mind that seeks freedom?