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It’s time to tell you more about the Daily Lamrim Meditation Challenge!
And here is where I tell you that you will need some specialist equipment for the Challenge! The good news is the equipment is not expensive or rare, but it will be essential.
You will need 18 pebbles, stones or other similar objects.
I use a set of semi precious stones I got from the shop at Yorvik Viking Centre in York, UK. They were actually sold as ‘rune stones’ but they are perfect for what I use them for. Before them I used some smooth black pebbles we bought to arrange tastefully around a candle on our fireplace.
Tomorrow I will tell you how we are going to use the pebbles for our Meditation Challenge, and also tell you the story of one of the most wonderful and inspiring Kadampa Geshes – a man who has been my personal hero ever since I first heard his name: Geshe Ben Gungyal.
Love Vide x
Click here for the next post in the series.
The purpose of this meditation is to develop the strong wish to rely on Buddha, Dharma and Sangha as our ultimate source of refuge, and then to think about what this means in the context of the dangers of lower rebirth.
I began the meditation by remembering that this human life is not a permanent state: it is only a temporary release from the sufferings of the lower realms. Like a prisoner who is released for a short time before being forced to continue his sentence, I am definitely going to return to the lower realms unless I take action while I have the chance.
I have met Buddha who is like a doctor who has shown me I have the mental diseases of the delusions. I have met the Dharma, Buddha’s pure cure for my diseases. And I have met the Sangha, the kind and inspiring nurses who will help me heal my mental continuum. I know that the Three Jewels can protect me – I have faith in them.
If I do nothing, it is certain I will take rebirth in the lower realms, but if I rely completely on Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, I can avoid this fate.
I remembered the cage experience from my previous meditation. I felt the fear in my stomach. I felt like someone was showing me this and saying ‘This is where you are heading, unless you take some action now’. The feeling of dread immediately made me want to take the action necessary to avoid being sealed in that cage again. I would do anything, because anything would be better than that.
Then I considered what the actions are. I would be prepared to climb mountains, clear forests, work hard doing anything to avoid the lower realms. But it turns out that the actions I need to take are all mostly internal, and frankly, easy by comparison.
The foundation of these actions is going for refuge to the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. I developed the sincere wish to rely upon the Three Jewels with all my being – I will do exactly what they say, and avoid the lower realms!
I felt joy! Like I was protected and lifted at the same time. I felt refuge flow through me, and the certainty that I will always go for Refuge, even at the cost of my life.
I then thought about what this means in the context of the sufferings of the lower realms. This was already firmly in my mind, and I tried to combine not only the feeling of being protected, but also the feeling of what I am protected from. Fear is one of the two causes of going for refuge, faith being the other. I tried to keep these two in my awareness, feeding my feeling of refuge. I stayed with this for the rest of the meditation.
May all living beings develop fear and faith, and progress to the state beyond sorrow for the benefit of all.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will put the 12 refuge vows into practice throughout the day and night.