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This is the second in a series of posts about how to remember Dharma lists. The first can be found here.
There are many, many ways of remembering lists. If you google ‘how to memorise’ you will find lots of sources of information and methods of memorisation. All memorisation techniques require two things to work in the long term.
Firstly, you will need to do a little work up front to establish the list in your memory so that you can pull it back out again. Initially this may seem to be more effort than simply sitting down and learning the list parrot fashion. However, by putting in some effort at the start, you will find that you will be able to remember the list of information effortlessly, instantly and in any order you like.
Secondly, you will need to revisit the list frequently in the future until it becomes firm in your memory. If you learn the list and then neglect to review the memory, it will fade and then be lost. One way to overcome this is to have a diary where you give yourself the task of recalling the list on particular days in the future. I will return to this topic in the final post in this series.
Finally, I hope that it goes without saying that you should UNDERSTAND (at least in general terms) what each of the items on the list actually means! There is little benefit to be had in reeling off Dharma lists if we do not have at least some understanding of their meaning.
With this in mind, stay tuned for the next post where we start to get to grips with the memorisation technique itself.
Love Vide x
The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong desire to learn and practice Dharma to make our precious human life meaningful, and then to meditate on this desire in the context of equalising self and others.
I began with breathing meditation, mixing my mind with my Guru’s mind. My mind was filled with a sense of stability (like a vast immovable mountain) and tranquillity (like a vast, deep ocean).
After a while of really enjoying this feeling of stability and tranquillity I moved on to the main meditation.
I thought of how my life is like a tool. At the moment I don’t understand how to use this tool properly, but if I learn how to use it, I can make myself and others truly happy. I thought of someone else talking to me, saying:
‘To learn how to use this tool would be wonderful. You could make everyone truly happy. It will take effort but you can do it. Even if you were not interested in making others happy because of your selfish mind, you could still use it to make yourself truly happy. To not do so would be truly bizarre, don’t you think?’
It seemed to me that I must use my precious human life to learn firstly how to improve my own life, and make it happy and meaningful. Once I have that level of ability I can develop and use my human life to help every other single living being.
I imagined joyfully reading Dharma texts, learning Dharma lists and outlines, and putting it all into practice for the benefit of all living beings.
I let my mind settle on this pure wish to study and practise Dharma right now – today. I focused on this wish for a while.
I then moved on to the second stage where I looked at this wish in light of equalising self and others – the wish to cherish others as much as I cherish myself. I thought that through using my precious human life in this way, I can learn to quickly equalise myself and others. I returned to my main object with this in mind, and once again settled on the wish to learn and practise Dharma for the sake of all living beings.
It felt wonderful and meaningful. I felt completely motivated to learn and practise Dharma as if nothing else mattered in my life – which is ok because by learning and practising Dharma, I will be caring for everything and everyone that is important to me.
May all living beings recognise the precious human life they have. May they develop the wish to learn how to use their opportunity for their own and others’ benefit, and may they quickly begin and complete the path to enlightenment for the benefit of all.
Practice in the Meditation Break
Today I will try to think about Dharma, mentally recite outlines and lists, and cherish others.
Do you recognise the tool shown in the picture? Do you know what it is, or how to use it? If you don’t know what it is or how to use it, how can you possibly gain any benefit from it? This is like our precious human life. Click on the image to find out more.