The purpose of this meditation is to generate a strong wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of all living beings, and then to contemplate the meaning of this wish in light of the practice of giving.

I began with some breathing meditation, watching my breath enter and leave my body. I imagined my breath coming in through my heart and being purified, and then leaving through my mouth. I let my mind follow the breath out of my body, imagining the whole universe being filled with my breath, and it becoming purified, still and calm. I then brought my mind back to my heart and imagined that this was the very centre of a universe of calmness and clarity, and I imagined that my Guru’s mind was also there. I mixed my mind with his mind, and existed as calmness and clarity for a while.

I then moved on to the main meditation, which concerned the wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of all. I thought about how it is possible to become a Buddha.

How can a caterpillar become a butterfly? The two animals are SO different. If I did not know that caterpillars can become butterflies, I would find it impossible to believe.

So how can something become something else so different. We need to think about exactly how they are different. They are very different in appearance, but all the parts of the butterfly are present in the caterpillar – in a different form. The wings of the butterfly do not magically appear – they are formed from parts of the caterpillar. In other words, despite their very different characteristics, the caterpillar and the butterfly are different moments in the same continuum.

I then thought about how this applies to ‘me’ becoming a Buddha. The fact is that my body cannot become a Buddha. My body is flesh and blood, and is different from a Buddha’s body, which is made of thoughts. My mind, however, has all the things needed to become a Buddha. My current mind, and a Buddha are two moments in the same continuum. I arrived at the conclusion that my mind can transform into a Buddha’s omniscient mind in the same way that a caterpillar can transform into a butterfly. Once my mind is a Buddha’s mind, I will be able to help all living beings perfectly.

I settled on this wish that my mind should transform into a Buddha’s mind, for the benefit of all living beings.

I then thought about what this means in terms of the practice of giving.

To be a Buddha means that we are actually able to give anything helpful to any living being at any time. To become a Buddha is the perfection of our practice of giving. With this additional encouragement in mind, I refocused on the wish to become an Buddha for the benefit of all. When I forgot my wish, I brought my mind back to it, and tried to maintain a good focus on it for as long as I could.

Dedication

May all living beings realise that their mind can become a Buddha provided the correct causes and conditions are created, and through this understanding, may we all enter, progress through and complete all the stages of the path to enlightenment.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to bear in mind that my practices of patience etc. are the actual causes for my mind to transform from my current caterpillar into the magnificent mind of a butterfly-like Buddha.