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The Daily Lamrim Meditation Challenge in a Nutshell:
- Decide on how many consecutive days you can do a 20 minute meditation in January (minimum 5 days, but the longer the better)
- Obtain 18 pebbles or other similar objects (colour, shape irrelevant)
- Choose an object of meditation (breath is good – follow the four steps here, but any Lamrim Object is suitable)
- Before you start have a method of timing yourself at hand (watch, iphone countdown etc.), and the 18 pebbles in a pile just in front of you (within easy arms reach)
- Begin your meditation session, and every time you lose your object, remove one pebble and return your mind to the object
- Keep going until the 20 minutes are up or all the stones are gone
- If you used up all the pebbles, record how long it took
- If you still had some pebble left at the end of 20 minutes, record how many
This completes your first meditation session.
For the next session you should do the same, but try to not lose the object so often, This should mean you increase your time, or you have more pebbles left after 20 minutes. Keep a log of your progress so you can see how you are going.
I hope this is all clear, but I will be delighted to answer any queries you may have.
Love Vide x
The purpose of this meditation is to develop the strong wish to abandon our self-cherishing by contemplating its disadvantages, and then considering this wish in the light of the dangers of lower rebirth.
All the suffering in this world arises from our self-cherishing wish for happiness for ourself. I thought about all the suffering caused by my selfish actions – how much harm and upset I cause others, and how much misery I am causing for myself. I let the weight of this suffering rest on my mind for a while.
I thought about a recent post by Luna Kadampa on her blog, Kadampa Life. This wish for myself to be happy is based on my identification of objects being either ‘mine’ or ‘not mine’. I categorise the world in these terms, and I care about those things that are ‘me’ or ‘mine’, and don’t care about things that are ‘not-me’ and ‘not-mine’. This is a ridiculous way to look at the world.
I thought that if I could overcome the appearance of objects as ‘mine’ and ‘not-mine’ I would be able to overcome my self cherishing. I would be free from the suffering caused by this distorted view of the world. I would feel the chains of bondage fall away from me, and become free from this demon of self-cherishing.
I thought about how wonderful it would be if I could abandon self-cherishing and be free from the sufferings it causes. I repeated to myself ‘I want to be free from self-cherishing’ and slowly I felt a feeling of being released and becoming free. I stayed with that feeling for a while.
I then thought about what this means in the light of the sufferings of the lower realms. Self-cherishing is the direct cause of all the sufferings of the lower realms, so if I abandon self-cherishing, I will stop creating the causes for suffering in the lower realms. The feeling of being released grew in intensity with this recognition, and I tried to keep the feeling alive in my mind. Whenever it faded, I renewed it by thinking through the contemplation, and then stayed on the feeling again for as long as I could.
May all living beings recognise self-cherishing, apply the opponents to overcome it temporarily, and then finally abandon it completely, thereby becoming Buddhas for the benefit of all.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will try to stop thinking about ‘mine’ and ‘not-mine’, recognising them as constructs of my self-cherishing to be abandoned.