The purpose of this meditation is to contemplate the whole Lamrim cycle of meditations in the light of renunciation; the wish to be free from samsara.

I began the meditation by contemplating the sufferings of samsara – the continuous sufferings of birth, sickness, ageing and death as well as the frustrations everyday life. Unless I end this cycle, I will have to endure these sufferings again and again. I wished for a complete freedom, and wondered what it would be like.

As I meditated I noticed night was falling outside my window, and I noticed a star in the sky just becoming visible in the deepening blue. I thought that just as I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a star, I cannot imagine what it would be like to be completely free from suffering. Suffering pervades my whole existence – there is not one moment where there is nothing that could not be improved. Even in the most ideal circumstances suffering becomes manifest.

From downstairs the voices of my family drifted into my room. Every word they say speaks of the sufferings of samsara. They are sometimes unhappy about something – manifest suffering. At other times they are laughing about something – this just tells me that when their worldly amusements are over, they will feel loss, and suffering. It seemed to me that the entire world was made of suffering.

I sincerely wished to be free from it, like the star is free from the world, and cannot experience it. I felt like layer upon layer of suffering was being peeled away, and with each layer a new revelation of the sufferings was made apparent. Eventually I felt the removal of layers come to an end, and I felt completely free from all suffering and changing suffering – abiding in the perfection of emptiness.

I stayed with this for a while and then thought about what the Lamrim cycle means in the light of this freedom.

The Lamrim cycle is the perfect set of minds that will lead to this state – and beyond. It is completely perfect and reliable, and will lead me to freedom. The stages of the path of a person of middling scope are in the centre of the Lamrim cycle, marking the natural evolution of living beings as they follow their spiritual life.  Freedom from suffering comes part way through – a profound achievement but still not the final goal. It seemed like the middle of the Lamrim glowed with significance, and I stayed with this thought for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings become completely free from all suffering and changing suffering, and go on to become Great Beings for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will listen to the words of others, and see the truth in what they say – each word expresses their sufferings. I will pray continuously that I can complete the stages of the path of a person of middling scope, and become permanently free from samsara.