The purpose of this meditation is to generate the belief that we have taken all the suffering of all living beings and by doing so, completely destroyed our self-cherishing, and then to consider what this means in light of wishing love.

I began by bringing my mind into my heart and mixing it with my Guru’s stillness and stability, focusing on the feeling of clarity at my heart. The feeling was of being completely still and centred – completely at peace.

After a while I moved on to the main meditation. I started by remembering that my intention is to cherish all living beings, and these special, precious beings are all in a state of suffering. I identified with them completely, and I felt their pain as if it were my pain. I imagined how I feel when I am in pain – I want it to stop immediately. I focused on feeling the same way about all others’ suffering. Once again I felt a deep urge to remove the suffering from all living beings.

I then imagined that I was at the centre of my heart with all other living beings around me. I imagined their suffering like black smoke and I drew it out of them and into my body, into my heart. As the smoke came into my heart it reduced and destroyed my self-cherishing.

How much self-cherishing have I got?

Imagine all the suffering … of all living beings … in the whole of samsara. It takes all of that to counterbalance my self-cherishing. That’s alot of self-cherishing.

I imagined that my self-cherishing was almost completely destroyed, and that one tiny whiff of smoke came to me from a suffering being, finally destroying my self-cherishing completely. At that moment I allowed myself to experience joy – joy that my self-cherishing had been destroyed and joy that all living beings had been freed from their sufferings. I stayed with the feeling of freedom from suffering for all living beings, and focused on the feeling of elation and peace.

After a while I thought about what this means in light of wishing love.

Now that I have completely destroyed my self-cherishing, there is nothing to prevent me giving pure love and happiness to all other living beings. They are also in the perfect state to enjoy pure happiness because they have no suffering. With this beautiful recognition, I returned to my meditation on joyful freedom from suffering. Lovely.

Dedication

May all living beings destroy their true enemy – self-cherishing – and become conqueror Buddhas for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to take the sufferings of others, imagining black smoke being drawn out of them by my in-breath, leaving them completely free from suffering.