The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong desire to abandon attachment to worldly distractions so that we can achieve our full spiritual potential; and then to see what this means in the context of great compassion.

I began by mixing my mind with Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka, letting their special qualities fill my mind. As I contemplated, I felt stability, virtue, completeness, emptiness and bliss, all at the same time. Towards the end I realised that I was still thinking about this from the point of view of a perceiver, and so I finally abandoned the idea that there was a ‘me’ perceiving this feeling. I felt an all encompassing bliss and emptiness, which was lovely, and I stayed with it for a while.

I then began thinking about death and the abandonment of attachment to worldly distractions. Everyone must die. I have created the causes to be born as a human being, and part of the karma of being born as a human being is that I will have to die. There is nothing I can do about this because the karma for my death was activated when I was born as a human. I must die.

I imagined my own death. Would I be surrounded by my family, or die alone? I thought about the last line of Training the Mind in Seven Points by Geshe Chekhawa: ‘Now, if I die, I have no regrets’. I wondered what it means to die without regrets. Surely even the purest practitioner will have regrets about something they said when they were young, or something they did out of ignorance?

I thought again about my death. Whether I am surrounded by family or strangers, to some extent it will make little difference because these people are all the same in the sense that they are all my mothers. Even if I die alone, I still know the relationship I have with all living beings.

I imagined dying. My mind will become increasingly subtle as it dissolves into more and more subtle levels. I imagined being aware of these dissolutions, and, when the time was right, willing my mind to move to a pure land. Instantly, from the darkness I moved into pure light – empty and blissful. I had achieved a pure land, with pure body, enjoyments and activities. All I perceived was emptiness, including that of myself. I was permanently free from all suffering. I was also capable of helping all other living beings attain the same state.

Now I understood what Geshe Chekhawa meant. If I die, I can control what happens and I can definitely attain a pure land and be able to help all other living beings. This means I have used my human life for its ultimate purpose. Despite any unskillfull actions I have committed in the past, I must have purified them in order to do what I can do. Furthermore, I can only do this by abandoning attachment to worldly concerns. It seemed to me that attachment to worldly concerns and distractions were like hooks which held me back and stopped me making the transition into the pure land at death. I need to unhook all  my attachments, because even just one will prevent me attaining a pure land when I die.

I focused on the need to abandon attachment to worldly distractions and move forward to a pure land at death, and I felt like I was rising freely away from suffering on a wave of blessings, until I reached a pure land of bliss. I focused on this feeling and recognition for a long time…

After this, I wondered what this meant in light of great compassion. Compassion is the mother of all the Buddhas. I cannot achieve a pure land without the realisation of compassion. It seemed to me that compassion was like a piece of a jig-saw that fitted into my mind, and with that in place, the continuum of attainment was complete. I also realised that the motivation for entering the pure land and controlling the process of death was compassion – compassion for all living beings – to free them from their suffering. The element of compassion was crucial, and with this in mind, I returned to my feeling of rising on a wave of blessings to attain the pure land.

A very beautiful experience.

Dedication

Through the virtues I have gathered in this meditation, may I and others achieve the ability to control the death experience and attain the pure land for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will bear my death karma in mind today, and try to separate my mind from attachment to worldly concerns.