A nice way to settle the mind is to do the following. Stay with each stage for a few minutes before moving on, but if you feel you are ready, move on at that point:

  1. Sit comfortably and take a few deep breaths.
  2. Spend some time doing a mental ‘tour’ of your body. Imagine, as you pay attention to a particular part of your body, that any tension or discomfort simply melts away. I usually split up my body into head, neck and shoulders, arms, torso stomach and back, legs. After the tour, imagine your whole body as being relaxed and comfortable for a few minutes.
  3. Then pay attention to how your body feels. Your hands many feel colder than your back, for example. See where your body is in contact with your seat or cushion. Spend a few moments paying attention to these things.
  4. Then bring your attention to your breathing – look for physical signs of your breathing such as your shoulders rising and falling, or the rubbing of your clothing against your body. Stay with this for a while.
  5. Then bring your attention to the sensation of your breath in your body. It may be that there is a sensation of air movement at your nose or upper lip. Watch this sensation for a while.
  6. After this try to simply focus on the ‘point of balance’ between the in breath and the out breath.  Don’t worry about what this means. It will make sense when you are there.
  7. After this simply focus on the stillness of your mind: the sheer pleasure of having a still mind.

You should not feel that you are concentrating ‘harder and harder’ as you progress. You will find, if you go through these steps one at a time, that you will natually and easily enter a very focused and concentrated state without any effort.


I made the appropriate preparations for meditation and then began contemplating how I appear normally. 

It sounds an odd question but I asked – how do I exist?

My answer is that I normally seem very real – beyond question in fact! There is nothing more real than me!

I focused on my normal certainty and feeling of myself existing. How could I not!?!?

Then I thought – when a key opens a lock, it is the key that opens the lock. Quite clearly a key. And when a car parks in a space it is the car that parks. 

But when I go to the shops, where is the I that goes? The body goes… The mind goes… Where is the I that goes? 

I mentally separated the parts that go to the shops and I could find nothing that met my feeling of I. Nothing. I stayed looking at this absence of I for the rest of the meditation. 

May all living beings fail to find their I. 


I made the appropriate preparations for meditation and then went through all the meditation objects in the great scope leading to Bodhichitta. 

I quickly developed equanimity, and remembered the kindness of all mother beings. Feeling grateful, I remembered the disadvantages of self cherishing and the benefits of cherishing others. I reinforced my wish to exchange self with others. Now what? I care only about others and I see they cannot find happiness and they suffer. I instantly want to do something. I mounted taking and giving on the breath for a while and then resolved to attain the ability to actually help living beings. 

The wish need to become an enlightened being settled on me and I focused on it for the rest of my session. 

May all living beings develop the precious supreme Bodhichitta. Once developed, may it not decrease, but flourish forevermore. 

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation. I then cleared my mind using breathing meditation.

I began by reconnecting with my previous meditation on great compassion. I imagined all my friends, all my family, and all living beings of the six realms gathered in the space in front of me being crushed by the weight of their suffering.

I contemplated the kindness and the suffering and again I found the feeling difficult to bear.

I then made a firm decision that I need to do something about this. I cannot let this continue. I imagined all the pain and suffering rising out of them in the form of thick black smoke. As the suffering left them I saw them become relieved and happy. The physical suffering was gone, the mental suffering was gone, the illness was gone, their anxiety was gone. 

I drew this black smoke towards me and slowly it gather together and entered my heart and completely destroyed myself cherishing mind. Every last bit of the smoke into my heart and completely destroyed myself cherishing mind.

At the end of this process I contemplated: “all living beings are freed from the suffering. I am free from my thought that I am more important than others. ”

I left a feeling of deep peace and joy spread through my mind as I contemplate complete freedom from suffering.

May all living beings be permanently free from suffering.

I made the appropriate preparations for meditation and then cleared my mind to begin my meditation on great compassion.

I imagined my family and friends around me and I also imagined all the beings with six realms in human form surrounding me. 

I remembered that all of these beings have been my own kind mother. When they were my mother the showed me incredible kindness and even today I benefit from their actions. I developed affectionate love and cherishing love for all of these beings. 

I stayed with that feeling of love for a while and then recognised that all these precious beings are suffering constantly. I thought of my friends who are suffering physical pain and other friends who are suffering great psychological pain. It seemed to me that all my precious friends – all of these special, precious, kind beings were being crushed by the weight of the suffering in front to my very eyes. 

I imagined the pain and suffering crushing them and I developed a very very strong feeling that I can’t bear this any more. I really can’t bear their suffering any more. 

I developed a deep, deep wish that they be free from their suffering.  The wish became stronger and stronger in my mind and then I focused on that wish with single point of concentration.

May all beings be freed immediately from the suffering. 


I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation. I settled on my mind and then began contemplating  how living beings cannot find true happiness in Samsara.

Living beings try and try to be happy in Samsara and sometimes they find some limited happiness in worldly pleasures. But the truth is everybody knows is that this happiness is short lived and unsatisfactory. In fact this happiness is just another way of suffering in Samsara.

Since I cherish all living beings, when I think about how they cannot find true happiness I naturally develop the wish for them to find true happiness.

I focused on this wishing love of the rest of meditation, wishing for living beings could experience real happiness, not wildly changing suffering.

They all living beings experience true, real happiness.


I made the appropriate preparations for meditation then I started contemplating the object of today’s meditation-exchanging self with others.

When we exchange self with others it does not mean that we become the other person and the other person becomes us. When we exchange self with others it means that we abandon self cherishing and instead cherish others-we exchange the object of cherishing.

I contemplated: my self cherishing mind has caused me continual problems in life after life. Cherishing others leads to clean happiness-clean and free from self cherishing. 

I focused on the wish for clean happiness-for the mind the cherished only others. As I became absorbed into this mind I experienced a beautiful happiness which filled my consciousness. I stayed with this feeling of the rest of the meditation.

May all living beings develop clean happiness.


I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation.

After breathing out my distractions began by contemplating the benefits cherishing others. To cherish others means to believe that the happiness of others is important and the freedom from suffering  of others is important. In short cherishing others simply means wanting others to be happy.

I thought about each member of my family and imagined making them happy and seeing their face smiling back at me. I went through each member of my family and imagined their smiling face.

The strange thing was that as I saw their smiling face, I was filled with happiness. 

I focused on this feeling of happiness and joy and related it directly to my cherishing of others. It was lovely.

I focused on this feeling of joy (and it’s meaning) for the rest of the meditation. 

May all living beings make the connection. 


I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation.

I began by recalling how all my experiences are created by my actions. Good experiences are caused by good actions and bad experiences are caused by bad actions. My negative actions are always driven by negative states of mind. And behind these negative states of mind is one attitude: self cherishing.

Self cherishing is an attitude which says that I am more important than others, that my freedom from suffering and my happiness are more important than that of others. But this goes against my previous meditation in which I equalised myself and others. Also when ever I indulge in self cherishing it leads me to commit negative actions which in turn cause me suffering. 

I thought about how self cherishing causes my suffering and then I thought “what does this mean for me? “.

If there is a place which always causes me pain then I naturally avoid that place.  If there is a person who always causes me pain I avoid that person. And then I thought “self cherishing always causes me pain”. 

I reached a firm decision- “Whenever I feel self cherishing in my mind I will reject it as the cause of all my suffering. ”

I focused on this intention for the rest of the meditation.

Mail all living beings abandon self cherishing.


I made the appropriate preparations for meditation and the cleared my mind. 

I began by recollecting that everyone is my kind mother, and focusing on their kindness both now and in the past. 

I contemplated that they are suffering beings trapped in samara just like me. Not only should I feel a warmth and friendliness to them – I should feel a kinship and a sharing of our situation. I moved to feeling a deep sense of caring for them as much as I care for myself, and I focused on this shared caring for the rest of the meditation.  

May we all cherish each other as much as we cherish ourselves. 


I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation. 

I then settled down to think about how kind all my mothers have been to me. When they were my mother they cared for me and protected me. Each one of them would have put themselves in danger for me, and taken my place if they could when I was ill or in pain. They thought constantly about my welfare and although I forgot about them, they never forgot me. 

Even now they help me by providing food and shelter in this world as well as many comforts and conveniences. 

I mulled over all the kindness I have received and I felt very grateful and humble. I felt a genuine affection for all my kind mothers, which I focused on for the rest of the meditation. 

May we all remember the kindness of others and never forget them. 


Modern Buddhism

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