The purpose of this meditation is to generate joy through the taking of others’ suffering and the destruction of our own self-cherishing, and then to meditate on this joy in light of the disadvantages of self-cherishing.
I began with breathing meditation and quickly settled into a balanced and still state of mind.
I started by remembering how all living beings are so kind to me, and have been so kind in the past. I thought about how, if someone had saved my life when I was a child, and then many years later I heard that they had died, I would remember their kindness and feel appreciation and gratitude. The amount of time since we received the kindness does not affect the kindness we received.
Since all living beings have been our kind mother in the past, I generated love and gratitude towards them all.
I then moved on to think about a good friend of mine who has severe pain in her arms and wrists. I imagined her and all other living beings who are suffering pain in their arms and wrists. I imagined what is must be like, and how it is really a resembling hell, telling us that real hell realms exist. I imagined that my friend and the others were trapped in hell, with torturers forcing their arms into crushing machines, or hitting their arms with hammers and rocks. The pain was unbearable.
I then imagined that all this pain and suffering rose up and away from them like clouds of black smoke. As it did so, the hell realms disappeared and my friend and the others were free of their suffering. They could relax and sleep in peace and comfort.
The clouds of smoke came over to me and gathered at my heart. The smoke concentrated and wrapped itself around the rotten core of my self-cherishing mind. It crushed my self-cherishing mind and destroyed it completely, so that the smoke and my self-cherishing were completely removed.
I felt completely free from all the suffering caused by my ‘self’. I was completely free and experienced and brilliant joy, knowing that my suffering has ended completely. I looked across at my friend and all other living beings, and their suffering had ended too, and this added to the feeling of complete freedom from suffering. I focused on this feeling for a while, single-pointedly.
After a while, I wondered what this means in light of the disadvantages of self-cherishing. I remembered that self-cherishing is the cause of all my suffering, and the practice of taking the suffering of others as described above is the actual method of destroying my self cherishing. I need others in order to practice taking so I can end my suffering – how kind others are!
Once again, I focused on the feeling of myself and all living beings having freedom from our suffering, and remained with this feeling for the rest of the meditation.
Through the power of my practice of willingly accepting the sufferings of myself and others, may all beings be completely free from suffering.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will mount taking on the breath as advised in Universal Compassion, and practice the precept of ‘Perform Every Suppression of Interference by One’.