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I began the meditation by thinking about my life. It is precious because it has special qualities which make it perfect for spiritual development. I am free from serious mental and physical illness. I have come into contact with Dharma, and I have not rejected it. I have time and support for my practice. I have met a qualified spiritual guide, who can give me instructions on how to engage in and complete my spiritual path.
I only have this one life. At any time, it could end. I look at the news and I see lives ending all the time – in the most untimely and unexpected ways. I read blogs of people just like me who discover they have cancer. Many cancers show no sign until they are incurable. I read the blogs of these people, and they are just like me. Just like me. In one week’s time I could discover I have cancer, and look on the internet only to discover the appalling situation I am in. I cannot buy another life. I cannot steal one, or arrange for another. This life is my one and only opportunity.
Opportunity for what? For serious spiritual achievement. For attaining a state where suffering can no longer harm me, and from where I can help others. This life offers me that opportunity. Now that I have it, and all the conditions necessary, it would be a truly dreadful waste not to take full advantage of it.
I thought about these points, in the light of blogs from people who are suffering cancer, and I very quickly became focused on the need to use every moment of every day to develop spiritually. I also remembered my commitment to remain natural while changing my aspiration – so this determination will have to remain just below the surface, but very real.
I developed the wish to turn myself inside out. The heart that I normally keep protected – I want to bring it out and expose it to the reality of my samsara. I want to face my real predicament, rather than go on pretending that everything will always remain good and pain free. I want to stop seeing suffering in others and being able to keep myself one step removed from it. I want to feel other’s pain as keenly as my own, so I can use it to make my human life meaningful.
I kept these thoughts in my mind and let a feeling of turning inside out, of being open to the rawness of others despair and suffering, with the wish to make my life meaningful, and stayed with this for the rest of the meditation.
May all living beings realise the value of their human life, and use it to attain great Enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.
Practice in the meditation break
I will constantly recite mantras today, looking for evidence of the suffering in the world, and try to feel it as keenly as I feel my own suffering.