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The purpose of this meditation is to generate joy and a sense of deep appreciation for the opportunity our precious human life affords us, and then to consider what this opportunity means in light of the practice of giving.
I began by dissolving my Guru into my heart and relaxing both my body and mind by focusing on his meditative equipoise, his stillness and his stability. I imagined these qualities filling my own mind, and experienced something of what it might feel like. It was wonderfully tranquil, and I remained there for a while.
I then moved on to consider my precious human life. I considered the different realms of samsara, and the conditions of the beings that inhabit those realms. The gods are so separate from suffering that they feel no need to escape from samsara. The demigods are so consumed with jealously that they cannot think of anything else but the acquisition of more resources and possessions. Most humans are distracted by worldly activities. Animals are burdened with great confusion and lack of control over their lives. Hungry ghosts and hell beings are so tortured with constant suffering that they cannot think of anything except their own plight.
As I toured the six realms, I grew to appreciate my own circumstances. I have no major external circumstances which separate me from Dharma. I have no internal obstacles which prevent me from developing faith in Dharma. I have experienced enough contact with Dharma to believe that no matter what happens in the future, I will not lose this faith. I thought about these circumstances and I developed a deep sense of joy that I have somehow managed to find such a fortunate and meaningful life, with such potential. I focused on this feeling of joy, and let it fill me. It was wonderful and inspiring.
After a while, I wondered what this meant in light of giving.
My human life is the platform for my practice of giving. My human life is the platform for all my activities, Dharma and non-Dharma alike. But with wisdom, I can transform all my activities into Dharma activities by mixing them with the six perfections, including giving. Giving love, fearlessness, material help and Dharma are only possible through the vehicle of my human life.
I thought about these points and developed a sort of ‘double joy’ – firstly that I have a human life with its freedoms and endowments, and secondly that I can use it to give so much benefit to others. I focused on this enhanced sense of joy, and stayed within it for the rest of the meditation.
May all living beings trapped in the prison of samsara quickly attain a precious human life, and through this engage in Dharma practice to quickly attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will remain mindful of my precious human life and practice giving both mentally and physically where appropriate.
The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong wish for all living beings to find true lasting happiness, and then to meditate on this feeling in light of the advantages of cherishing others.
I began with a breathing meditation, following my breath until I felt like I had settled my mind into a peaceful still place.
I then thought about wishing love. Sentient beings trapped in samsara cannot find true happiness. They search for it in illusion-like appearances, but there is no satisfaction to be found. The beings in the different levels of samsara all experience different amounts of suffering. The beings in the hell realms experience unbearable manifest suffering constantly. The beings in less horrible realms experience less suffering, but even in the god realms, where beings do not experience any manifest suffering at all, they still cannot find true lasting happiness.
I focused on all the living beings, and wished them to be able to find true happiness. I imagined a light growing in their hearts, and wished that this light become the light of true happiness. I focused on this for a while.
I then thought about what this means in light of the advantages of cherishing others.
Surely, the direct consequence of cherishing others is wishing love. If I truly cherish others, and believe that they are supremely special and precious, then I must automatically wish them to be happy. And not just temporarily happy – permanently happy. Thus, a direct advantage of cherishing love is the development of wishing love.
With this in mind, I focused my attention once more on wishing others to find true happiness, and tried to keep this wish clear in my mind for the rest of the meditation.
Through the virtues I have collected by my meditation of wishing love, may all living beings find true happiness quickly.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will secretly wish happiness to everyone I meet today, including those who cause me problems.
The purpose of this meditation is to learn how to put our wishing love into practice.
I began the meditation by remembering that all living beings are my kind mother. I briefly recalled their kindness towards me in life after life. I remembered that I had taken their suffering from them, but that they still could not find the happiness they seek. I remembered my previous meditation in which my wishing love pervaded the whole of space.
I developed the strong wish to actually give every living being pure happiness. I thought about my strong wish, and through the force of my accumulation of merit, I saw my body begin to change. It seemed like a chrysalis which maintained its outer appearance, but under the surface it changed its nature to pure light. The light became stronger and stronger until my whole body was filled with pure brilliant sparkling light. The light broke through my body’s surface and rays of light spread throughout the world. They touched all living beings and instantly they found true happiness. I saw them find happiness – I saw their faces change. They relaxed and smiled. They felt a deep sense of peace and happiness, and I felt it with them.
I then turned my attention to the other realms. The beings in the hot hells saw their environment change to a pleasant land with a cool soothing breeze. The beings in the cold hells saw their environment change to a pleasant land with warming sunshine. The beings in the land of hungry ghosts saw their environment change to a fertile countryside, and their hunger and thirst dissolved away. Animals received protection and freedom from fear. Humans were able to fulfil their wishes. The demi-gods became peaceful and contented, and the gods lost their last elements of fear. Beings in the bardo came to know that they would be reborn in a pure land.
I looked at the whole of samsara and I saw that though the force of my wishing love and my accumulated merit, all living beings were now happy and content. They felt relaxed and friendly. Everyone could relax and be content because they were all in the company of good friends who care about them. It was absolutely beautiful.
I felt this feeling deeply in my heart, such peace and contentment.
I gazed constantly at this feeling for the rest of the meditation.
May all living beings learn to put their wishing love into practice, and attain enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.
Practice in the meditation break
I will remember my wishing love, and mentally give love, peace and happiness to everyone I meet, recognising that each of them is a representative of all living beings throughout all six realms.