The purpose of this meditation is to generate a feeling of joy that we have relieved the suffering from all living beings, and that we ourselves have become free from suffering.
I began the meditation by considering my previous meditations. I recalled that all living beings have been very kind to me in the past, and I remembered my feelings of affectionate love for them. I then recalled that they are all unhappy and experiencing various degrees of suffering. I remembered my wish that they should all be free from their suffering – my Compassion.
I then turned to the matter at hand – what am I going to do about it?
I brought all living beings into my view, and I strongly imagined all their sufferings and problems rising out of them in the shape of black smoke. This smoke came over to me and I took it into my own heart. The living beings were free from their crushing suffering. They felt true relief from their suffering, and I felt it too. I focussed on the black smoke and felt it dissolving into my heart where is destroyed my self-cherishing mind: the cause of all my own suffering.
I repeated this process specifically for the beings of the realms of samsara. With each in-breath I took their suffering.
I brought out the black smoke of suffering of blazing heat from the beings in the hot hells.
I brought out the black smoke of suffering of freezing cold from the beings in the cold hells.
I brought out the black smoke of suffering of hunger and thirst from all the hungry ghosts in their wastelands.
I brought out the black smoke of suffering of fear and confusion from all animals.
I brought out the black smoke of suffering of not finding satisfaction from all human beings.
I brought out the black smoke of suffering of anger and jealousy from all demi gods.
I brought out the black smoke of suffering of not being able to find permanent peace from all gods.
I brought out the suffering of all beings in the bardo, so that their next rebirth would be in a pure land.
I brought all these sufferings out and into my heart, and understood that these beings were free from suffering. Free from their suffering now, and free from all future suffering, because the black smoke is all their current suffering and the causes of their future suffering. I took the lot. It dissolved into my heart and destroyed my self-cherishing mind.
We were all free from suffering. We were all free to stretch and flourish.
I let this knowledge grow and grow in my mind, along with my cherishing love for these beings. I felt a vast and profound joy rising in my mind, filling my mind. I stayed with this feeling for the rest of the meditation.
May all living beings engage in the practice of taking, and through their accumulation of merit come to be able to take on the actual suffering of others by achieving enlightenment quickly.
May Andrea be reborn in a pure land, and attain enlightenment quickly for the sake of all living beings.
Practice in the meditation break
I will mount taking and giving on the breath and take all the sufferings and problems of others into my heart, and destroy my self-cherishing mind.