The purpose of this meditation is to generate the feeling wanting to work for the happiness of others just as much as for ourselves, and then to meditate on this feeling in light of the disadvantages of self-cherishing.

I began with breathing meditation to stop my mind from spinning, and when it was sufficiently subdued, I moved on to the main topic.

I thought of the relatively short description of this meditation given by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in his book Joyful Path of Good Fortune.

Geshe-la gives a succinct contemplation where he advises us to consider how none of us wish for even the slightest suffering, and are not content with the happiness we enjoy, and how this is equally true for everyone else. Since we all want the same thing, we should regard everyone else as we regard ourself.

Geshe-la goes on to say that our ability to reach such a determination depends upon our experience rather than logical reasoning. I took that to mean that we need to practice equalising self and others to gain confidence in it. I imagined equalising myself with others – imagined my concern for myself being equal to my concern for others. I focused on this, and it seemed like my unseen essence was merging with that of others, and although there was a superficial difference between us, in essence we were the same entity. I felt like I had dissolved into all other living beings, and that I was equally concerned for all our happiness. I focused on this feeling for a while.

I then moved on to think about what this means in light of the disadvantages of self-cherishing.

It seemed to me that with self-cherishing in my mind, it will be very difficult for me to achieve the realisation of equalising self and others, because self-cherishing holds myself to be far more important than anyone else. I imagined walking past my self-cherishing and merging with others, so that I was equalised with them. Once again I felt a submerged feeling of being part of everyone else, and I focused on this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings quickly attain the realisation of equalising self and others, and subsequently conquer their self-cherishing so that they quickly become enlightened beings for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will look at others and think ‘My concerns are the same as mine – I will work for your happiness as hard as I work for my own.’