The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong belief that we have mentally given pure and lasting happiness to all living beings, and then to meditate on this belief in the light of renunciation – the wish to be personally free from all suffering.

I began the meditation by mixing my mind with my Spiritual Guide’s mind, and trying to get the strong feeling that his realisations were mixed into my mind – that I could see and experience those realisations myself in my mind. I then did some breathing meditation to create a very calm and expansive feeling at my heart. When my mind was settled and I had my Guru with me, I began to contemplate the object of meditation.

I began by calling to mind the instructions given by my teacher, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in his book The New Meditation Handbook. He says that all living beings search for true and lasting happiness but cannot find it in samsara. Whatever happiness they do attain is hollow and short lived – a mere temporary reduction in their on-going experience of suffering.

I remembered my affectionate and cherishing love for all these living beings, and also considered their lack of true happiness, and a strong wish for them to find true happiness arose in my heart. How wonderful it would be if they could all find happiness!

I stayed with this wish for a while and then decided that I would give them this happiness directly. I made this decision firmly, and then imagined that light rays emanated from my heart and spread out throughout the universe, touching all living beings. As soon as the light rays touched them, they experienced true happiness. I strongly believed that through the power of my virtuous actions and my strong wish, that this result was attained.

I let my mind sit on this feeling and tried to keep it sharp and complete in my mind. When the feeling faded I quickly reviewed my contemplation and re-established the feeling. I did this for a while until the time came to move on.

I then thought about what giving means in the light of renunciation – the wish to be personally free from all suffering. I realised after a little thought that just as I want to be happy and free from all suffering, so do all other living beings.  I can bring the power of my renunciation into my practice of giving in the sense that however powerful my own wish to be free is, I should make my practice of giving equally powerful, because the strength of others desire to be free is equal to my own. I returned to my meditation on giving for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings develop the wish to give pure happiness, and through their collection of virtuous actions and pure intention, become able to give pure happiness in future.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to imagine giving happiness to everyone I meet and think about today.