The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong wish to abandon self-cherishing and then to meditate on this wish in light of the advantages of cherishing others.

I began with a delightful breathing meditation where my mind became steadily deeper and more tranquil until it was very calm and peaceful.

I then began the main topic by contemplating how we normally prioritise ourselves and others. Normally we view ourselves as supremely important and neglect others. It seems that this self-cherishing view is absolutely required to ensure our happiness – if we don’t look after ourselves, who will?

But if we examine the situation with wisdom and an understanding of karma, it will be clear that our selfish actions are just going to cause us similar sufferings in the future. And all our present discomfort and unhappiness was caused by our own selfish actions in the past.

I decided I wanted to stop these self-cherishing actions by abandoning self-cherishing altogether. If I could only abandon self-cherishing, I would not cause myself any more pain or suffering. I thought about animals. Even the lowest form of animal, once it identifies that something is causing it harm (and it understands the connection) will cease that action in order to prevent its own discomfort. Now that I see the truth of actions and their effects, how bizarre it would be not to abandon self-cherishing!

I thought about abandoning self-cherishing, and imagined my mind without any self-cherishing present. Slowly a feeling of freedom and blissful peace arose, and I focused on this feeling and its meaning for a while.

I then moved on to think about what this means in light of the advantages of cherishing others.

If my actions are not motivated by self-cherishing, I am free to choose the motivation I wish. I can choose to have a motivation of cherishing others for all my actions! How wonderful. With this in mind, I imagined my mind filled with the wish to cherish others (and free from self-cherishing), and rested my attention there for the rest of my session.

Dedication

May the virtues I have accumulated here ripen upon all other living beings and bring them quickly to the state beyond sorrow.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to keep an eye on my motivations, and try to subdue any self-cherishing thoughts in favour of the mind that cherishes others.