The purpose of this meditation is to strengthen our compassionate actions by developing the strong feeling of mentally taking the sufferings of others onto ourself, and then to contemplate this feeling in the light of actions and their effects.
I began the meditation by thinking about the sufferings of others and how I want it to stop. I imagined the sufferings of all the beings in the six realms. I imagined them all trapped in their own prisons of suffering.
I brought to mind my wish for them to be free of their suffering and made the determination that I will personally free them from their sufferings.
I reminded myself of the feeling of shaking the fence from my last meditation, and then imagined that as I shook the fence, it slowly dissolved into emptiness in my hands. All the suffering from all living beings gathered into my heart in the aspect of black smoke. It condensed and solidified, and then destroyed my self cherishing mind in my heart.
I recognised that all living beings were free from their suffering and that I was also free from my own suffering (caused by my self-cherishing). I thought ‘it’s over – all suffering is over’. I felt like all living beings were exhausted but elated, finally free from their suffering. I stayed with the feeling for a while.
I then thought about what this means in the light of actions and their effects. If I take on the sufferings of others, then they are free from suffering. They cannot benefit from their suffering, but I can. I can use the suffering to destroy my self-cherishing, so for me it is valuable. I recognised that I can take on the suffering of others without fear of harm. I returned to my feeling of having taken on the suffering of others completely for the rest of the meditation.
May all living beings learn to take on the sufferings of others and destroy their own self cherishing mind – and then become Buddhas for the benefit of all.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will look for ways to help others and relieve their suffering, and any suffering I experience in the process I will use as an opponent to my self-cherishing.