The purpose of this meditation is to generate a determination to cherish others, and then to meditate on this determination in the light of renunciation – the wish to be completely free from the sufferings of samsara.

I began by calling to mind some text in The New Meditation Handbook, the significance of which I had not previously spotted. Geshe-la says that we cherish others when we want them to be happy. It’s as simple as that. If we have the thought ‘I want you to be happy’, then we are cherishing that person. When we think that this person’s happiness and freedom are important, we are cherishing them.

I thought about all the ways in which cherishing others is the cause of happiness. My immediate problems based on selfishness will all disappear. My relationships with others will improve. The lives of others and their mental peace will improve. They will feel loved and valued. I will feel a deep sense of satisfaction and happiness knowing that my life is being used for the most beneficial purpose possible – to help others.

I thought about how all the happiness in this world comes from wanting others to be happy, and stayed with that thought for the rest of the meditation. I felt very close to others, and part of a whole – a whole of humanity.

After a while of abiding in this peaceful and delightful feeling, I moved on to think about what this means in the light of the wish to be completely free from the sufferings of samsara. At first this seemed like a non-fit. Cherishing others is about developing Bodhichitta, which is the wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all, whereas renunciation is the wish to be personally liberated from our own suffering alone. I thought about how liberation is attained, and I remembered that it is through the practice of the three higher trainings, including higher moral discipline. Cherishing others will certainly promote higher moral discipline, as we will refrain from actions which harm others. I thought about this link for a while and then returned my mind to the wish to cherish others, knowing that this wish will help me attain both liberation and enlightenment.

Dedication

May all living beings want others to be happy, and thereby progress along the supramundane path to enlightenment.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remember my mind of wanting others to be happy. Geshe-la says that if we maintain this mind, our actions will naturally be positive and helpful. I will try to faithfully fulfil his prediction.