The purpose of this meditation is to generate the sincere wish to rely upon our Spiritual Guide, and then to meditate on this wish in light of the practice of exchanging self with others.

I started with some breathing meditation, relaxing the various parts of my body in turn with each breath, until my body was completely relaxed. I then focused on my mind being like an ocean of water, slowly becoming calm and clear, settled and still. I enjoyed the feeling of tranquillity for a while and then moved on to the main meditation.

I went through the benefits of relying upon a Spiritual Guide, and on reflection it seemed to me that there was a strong link between these benefits and the first benefit of Going for Refuge – we become a pure Buddhist.

In order to make my life meaningful I will rely upon the guidance and example of my Spiritual Guide.  He will lead me along the path to enlightenment and I will make my life meaningful and overcome my problems. I will draw closer to enlightenment by receiving his blessings, and I will delight all the Buddhas. He will protect me from harm from humans and non-humans, and I will find it easy to abandon delusions. My practical experience of the path will increase and I will be held back from lower rebirths. I will always meet my Spiritual Guide in future lives and all my virtuous wishes will be fulfilled.

As I thought about these benefits, it seemed to me that they all led to my becoming a pure Buddhist. This is what I want more than anything else because of the benefits it will give myself and others. I am not a pure Buddhist at the moment – far from it – but I know what I want to be, and my trying to understand my Guru’s instructions and by emulating his pure example, I will slowly become a pure Buddhist.

I focused on this idea of becoming a pure Buddhist by sincerely relying upon my Spiritual Guide, and a feeling of progress, protection and purity filled my mind. I tried to keep this special feeling with my mindfulness and attention for as long as possible.

After a while I decided to think about what this means in light of the practice of exchanging self and others. To become a pure Buddhist means to  practice all the stages of the path appropriate to our capacity, with the aspiration to become more qualified as time goes by. Through the practice of exchanging self with others we will exchange our self-cherishing for the cherishing of our Spiritual Guide, and instead of relying upon our pathetic, deluded mind, we will instead rely upon his stainless omniscient mind of wisdom and compassion. Through his great kindness and example, we will enter, progress along and complete the spiritual path.

With this link in mind, I returned to my wish to become a Pure Buddhist by relying upon my Spiritual Guide, who is so kind.


Through the virtues I have collected by meditating on reliance upon the Spiritual Guide, may all living beings have the great good fortune to find a qualified Spiritual Guide who can lead them along the path to enlightenment, for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to keep my Spiritual Friend in mind all day, and rely upon him by following his practical example and by putting his instructions into practice.