The purpose of this meditation is to go completely for refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and then to meditate on this wish in light of equalising self and others.

I began with dissolving my body and mind into the mind of my Guru.  I mixed my mind with his stability and depth and stillness, and remained there for a while. It was very peaceful and lovely.

I then moved on to my main topic. I thought about the horrors of samsara. I thought of my mother. She is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease very badly now. Both her and my father suffer enormously in different ways, and although they are together in the same house, they are completely apart. They have both lost each other.

This will be my fate, or something like it. There are no happy endings in samsara. Normally we think that death is the worst thing that can happen to us, but a long mundane life really only gives samsara the opportunity to harm us for longer. Our experience is in the nature of suffering and there is no possibility of any true happiness in worldly things. Samsara’s pleasures are deceptive: give no contentment, only torment.

I looked hard at samsara and I was repelled.

Then I eased my mental grip on samsara, and it felt like my clenched fist was opening, and the suffering I saw was becoming less and less intense, until my grip completely loosened and I let go of samsara altogether.

I then turned to the Three Jewels and rested my mental hands on them. I turn to them for refuge from the horrors of samsara. I focused on turning to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha completely. My Guru. My Dharma. My Sangha friends. I made a determination that I would spend the rest of my life working towards enlightenment thought the Three Jewels, and I stayed with this determination for the rest of the meditation.

After a while I brought in the aspect of equalising self and others. I thought that at the moment I am obsessed with myself – my happiness and my importance. To equalise myself and others means to share this obsession equally with others. I can start by being equally obsessed with Buddha and Sangha – caring for them as much as I care for myself. They are so precious and meaningful, it will be easy to cherish them. I focused on the feeling of cherishing the Three Jewels and going for refuge to them, all the while remembering the horror of samsara. It felt precarious, but very meaningful and wonderful too.

Dedication

May all living beings find true refuge from their suffering, and establish true inner peace in their minds for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remember the horrors of samsara and repeat my refuge vows throughout the day.