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The purpose of this meditation is to contemplate the whole of the Lamrim meditation cycle in the context of death and impermanence.
I began by asking myself what the Lamrim means to me. For me it represents all 84,000 of Buddha’s instructions in 21 objects. It represents a practice which will last a lifetime and is the manifestation of the Dharma Jewel in my life. It is my path and the source of meaning in my life. There is nothing else in the world which can provide me with true hope and meaning.
On the basis of these thoughts I developed a deep appreciation for the Lamrim, and I meditated with this feeling for a while. Then I thought about what this means in the context of death and impermanence. I will definitely die, and when I do my link with Lamrim will be destroyed. Death destroys everything.
I found myself thinking of a golden rope ladder dangling into a sea of suffering – the ocean of samsara. The ladder represented the Lamrim, and I had hold of the lowest rung. By using this ladder I can pull myself out of the ocean of samsara, but death will destroy my contact with this ladder, and I may never have this opportunity again. It may be thousands of lifetimes before I even hear the word ‘Lamrim’ again. The thought chilled me, and I realised that I need to bring the essence of Lamrim into my life throughout the meditation break.
I came to the conclusion that I need to maintain the realisations of Bodhichitta and Emptiness in my mind constantly to make the most of my precious opportunity before death destroys my link with Lamrim. I settled on this conclusion as my object of meditation, and focused on this strong wish.
May all living beings make the most of their precious opportunity before death, and become enlightened beings for the benefit of all.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will try to maintain the wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of all (Bodhichitta) and the recognition that all things that appear to my mind lack inherent existence.