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I began the meditation by recognising that one of the ways of making my Refuge powerful is to contemplate the dangers of lower rebirth. The more I feel the danger of lower rebirth, the more powerful my Refuge will be.
So I began thinking about what appears to my mind at the moment, and whether I have any control over it. At the moment, objects appear to my mind and I have no control. I have no control over whether I get sick, whether my family or friends get sick, whether I will be involved in an accident today. I have no control over these things.
I remembered that my death will be another appearance to my mind, and I don’t have any choice over that either.
Then I thought about what will appear to my mind after my death. I have vast amounts of negative karma on my mental continuum and it is this karma which will probably ripen at my death. This will send me into the lower realms, where only horrible and painful things appear to my mind. My next life will be filled with pain and turmoil.
I let these thoughts roll around in my mind for a while, seeing how these appearances are beyond my control, and depend on my karma. I got the feeling of being on a slide, going down. I was sliding down towards lower rebirth, and the sides were very smooth so I could not stop myself. I felt hopelessness and fear as I slide further down into darkness. It was a dreadful feeling. I stayed with the feeling for the rest of the meditation.
May the merit I have accumulated by doing this meditation lead to my realising the dangers of lower rebirth, and also lead to the enlightenment of myself and all other living beings.
Practice in the meditation break
I will try to maintain this feeling of fear, remembering that it comes from my wisdom rather than my ignorance. It will also be my guide in avoiding non-virtuous action. I will also try to purify my negative karma by applying for four powers to all my virtuous actions – the power of regret, the power of reliance, the power of the opponent force and the power of the promise.