The purpose of this meditation is to reach a determination to abandon self-cherishing and to cherish others instead, and then to contemplate this in the light of the dangers of lower rebirth.
I began the meditation by remembering who ‘others’ actually are. They are my mothers, who are so kind in so many ways.
We were with friends this New Year’s Eve and we stayed with them for lunch on New Year’s Day. My younger son spontaneously started pointing at all the food, glasses and decorations on the table saying ‘people made that’ and ‘someone made that too’. Even he can see that everything around us is provided by others, by their kindness.
I thought about the previous meditations where I identified that self-cherishing is a dangerous fool’s errand, and cherishing others is the cause of all the happiness in the world. Then I thought of the words from the Prayer of the Stages of the Path: ‘May I … take delight in Holy Dharma’.
I let all these points take their place in my attention for a while and reached a determination to abandon any hope that self-cherishing will give me happiness, and to take delight instead in cherishing others. I focused on this determination and it seemed that my mind became very clear and pure – it was so joyful to know cherishing others is the cause of true happiness. I stayed with this joyous and clear determination for a while.
I then thought about the dangers of lower rebirth. My experiences and environments are the product of my karma, and if I cherish others sincerely and abandon self-cherishing, I will not be creating the karma to experience the lower realms. Again my mind was filled with joy – cherishing others alone is my path! I tried to stay with this wish for the rest of the meditation.
May all living beings cherish others and abandon self-cherishing, and thereby become enlightened beings for the benefit of all.
Practice in the Meditation Break
It is the season for resolutions – what better than to resolve to cherish others and abandon self-cherishing?