The purpose of this meditation is to recognise the preciousness of our present human life, and then to meditate on this preciousness in terms of exchanging our self-cherishing with cherishing others.

I began with some breathing meditation, imagining that my mind was becoming steadily more and more clear with each breath. I imagined it becoming like a vast clear crystal, completely pure and faultless. Once I had a good mental image of this, I let my mind fill with the feeling of becoming this crystal, and I felt a very clear, expansive feeling, which I stayed with for a while.

I then moved on to think about something I take for granted most of the time. My Spiritual Guide tells me that my life is precious, rare and meaningful. He says that my life is precious because it has all the conditions needed for spiritual growth, and none of the hindrances which would prevent this growth. It is rare because these circumstances are not shared by the majority of people. Just look at the numbers of people who attend Dharma classes compared with the number of people who are living! Finally, my life is meaningful in the sense that I have the opportunity to practise Dharma now to free myself and others from the suffering of samsara – what could be more meaningful than that?

I considered these aspects of my life, and then brought to mind my poor mother of this life. She is now suffering badly from Alzheimer’s, and all she can do now is sit in a chair in the care home and respond to very simple questions. She can’t feed or dress herself, or do any of the other basic actions we all take for granted.

What meaning does her life have? She did many wonderful things, and collected many beautiful possessions, but what lasting benefit are they to her now? She sits in her care home having forgotten just about everything of this life.

I thought about this and I decided that I really need to seize the opportunity I have in this life – I need to value the preciousness of my human life and never forget it. I focused on this idea of my precious human life, and I felt a great appreciation for it. I felt very fortunate, and I tried to focus on this feeling of appreciation for a while.

Following this, I decided to see what this meant in light of exchanging self with others.

My precious human life gives me the opportunity to exchange self with others. Without this life, I would not have learnt about this practice or be able to implement the teachings. With this recognition, I returned to my feeling of appreciation for my human life, and remained with it filling my mind for the rest of the meditation.


May all living beings recognise the preciousness, rarity and meaning of their lives, and utilise their opportunity to attain the highest achievement for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to never forget my precious opportunity, and remember how fortunate I am.