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The purpose of this meditation is to appreciate the preciousness of the human life we now enjoy, and then to reflect on this in the context of the dangers of lower rebirth.

I began the meditation by thinking about the difference between a human life and an animal life. Animals can find food, make shelters, find mates, have sex, have offspring, become leaders, gather resources and make their mark on the environment. Many, perhaps most humans live their lives doing things that most animals can do.

But a human life affords one opportunity of which animals cannot take advantage: the opportunity for Spiritual Development. I though about how having a human life is like having a treasure of gold – it is very rare and precious. If I recognise how rare and precious my human life is, I will use it to develop spiritually, and attain the highest goal, that of enlightenment. I focused on how special and precious my human life is, and how I must make good use of it right now. I stayed on this thought for a while.

I then considered the danger of lower rebirth. When I die I will take a rebirth, probably in the lower realms. Although I will have a life, it will probably be devoid of the opportunity to follow correct spiritual paths. The future life seemed like lead rather then gold. The object of the meditation on the dangers of lower rebirth is fear of lower rebirth. I generated a fear of experiencing a lower rebirth, coupled with a recognition of the precious of my current human life. This combination made it clear that I need to use my precious human life for spiritual activities, and not waste it on activities in which even animals can engage. I stayed with this thought for the rest of the meditation. I felt a strong wish to make the best use of my life – a need and a desire, which I cultivated and focused on.


May all living beings use their lives to achieve spiritual goals, and achieve the common and supreme attainments.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remain aware of my precious human life, and try to transform all my activities and experiences into the spiritual path to enlightenment.

Modern Buddhism

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