The purpose of this meditation is to generate a firm feeling of going for refuge to the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and then to meditate on this feeling in light of the disadvantages of self-cherishing.

I began with breathing meditation, then allowing my mind to settle in my heart. I experienced a deep relaxing feeling and a very pleasant lightness of mind, which I focused on for a while.

I then did three rounds of meditation on going for refuge, as described in Joyful Path of Good Fortune by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

I began by remembering the sufferings of the lower realms by recalling my meditation from yesterday.

After a while I moved on and imagined that the time of my death had actually come, and I had taken rebirth as a pig. I looked about me and saw that I lived in a pig sty with my pig family. My face was a pig’s face, and my feet were pig’s feet. I tried to imagine that I really was a pig. After a while we were herded into a truck and taken to an abattoir. Me and my pig family started squealing and making terrified sounds as they realised they were to be killed. One by one we were forced through a door. When my turn came I was hoisted into the air by a cord around one of my back legs and my throat was slit by a bored and compassionless man. I felt intense pain and my blood flowed over my face as I slowly lost consciousness. Immediately my body was dismembered and cut into pieces. Some were thrown away, some were fed to dogs, and some were ground up for sausages. Other parts were packed in cellophane and sent to supermarkets, where they were bought and taken home to be fried and eaten by humans.

In the last round of meditation I thought about how I can prevent this from happening. I prevent only prevent this being my fate by relying on the Three Jewels. I felt a strong wish to go for refuge to the protection of the Three Jewels, which arose spontaneously. I stayed with this feeling for a long while.

After some time, I decided to see what this means in light of the disadvantages of self-cherishing.

Self-cherishing is the cause of all my problems and the sufferings I will experience in lower realms. By contrast, taking refuge in the Three Jewels is the ultimate opponent to self-cherishing, because all the realisations of the stages of the path depend upon strong refuge in the Three Jewels. I imagined my refuge like a nuclear explosion lighting up the night of self-cherishing, blowing the darkness away and filling the world with pure light. I felt like I was at the centre of the light at the feet of the Three Jewels. I focused on that feeling for the rest of the meditation.


May all living beings find true refuge from the sufferings of samsara, and quickly attain all the stages of the path until they enter the path of no more learning, for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remember the feeling of going for refuge to the Three Jewels and how it protects me from lower rebirth, and how it dispels the darkness of my mind.