The purpose of this meditation is to strengthen our compassionate actions by mentally taking the sufferings of others onto ourselves, and then to meditate on this feeling in the light of renunciation – the wish to be free from the sufferings of samsara.

I began by establishing a very calm and peaceful feeling through breathing meditation. I stayed there for about 8 minutes.

I then moved on to think about my compassionate wish for all living beings to be free from suffering – the feeling I established in my previous meditation. I reviewed the cherishing love I have for others and the understanding of their suffering, and let the feeling of compassion arise naturally. I focused on this feeling for a short while and then moved forward with a firm decision to take the sufferings of others away from them.

I imagined standing on a high mountain looking down over a vast plain filled with suffering living beings and declaring ‘I will take on your suffering – I will free you from your suffering’. I mentally repeated those words and tried to connect with them – tried to make every part of my attention connect with their meaning.Then through the power of my declaration, I drew the suffering of all living beings out of their bodies in the aspect of black smoke. Huge amounts of black smoke came from each one – how much suffering they all have!

I envisioned the smoke rising and gathering around me, slowly concentrating in my heart and as it did so, destroying my self-cherishing mind. I felt it go into my heart and destroy my self-cherishing completely. I felt pure and weightless, and I also saw the freedom of all other living beings – completely free from suffering. A world free from suffering. A universe free from all suffering!

I stayed with this feeling of freedom for a while.

I then moved on to see what this feeling meant in the light of renunciation – the wish to attain freedom from personal suffering. Taking results in me destroying my self-cherishing mind and undermines the basis for my own suffering. Therefore Taking moves me forward in my wish to be free from samsara and its sufferings. Although Taking is a practice of the Great Scope, it does not contradict the practice of renunciation. Again, I felt a mutually supporting synergy between the practices, and returned to my feeling of removing the sufferings of all living beings, resulting in both myself and others being free from suffering.

Dedication

May all living beings be able to take on the sufferings of others, and thereby attain liberation and enlightenment.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to unhesitatingly put myself out to help others today, and while doing so remember that my deepest wish is for all living beings to be completely free from all their sufferings and problems.