The purpose of this meditation is to generate a strong wish to equalise our self-cherishing with our self-cherishing, and then to think about what this means in terms of Bodhichitta.

I began by making a determination to meditate on equalising self and others because this is part of the path to enlightenment and will free me from the sufferings of samsara. Samsara is the nature of suffering, and I must be free!

I then turned my mind to breathing meditation. I settled my mind down by watching my breath and by bringing my attention into my heart. After a while I moved on.

I started by thinking about my warm and friendly approach to others, and how kind they have been to me – in general and also when they were my mother. From here I thought about how I need to work for their happiness to repay their kindness. At the moment I work exclusively for my own happiness and I do not think about others. I hardly think about their wishes or needs – I only think of my own.  If I ever to think about the needs of others, it is only in relation to my own needs and wants. It is never wholly and exclusively for their benefit. I thought about how selfish and unbalanced which is given how kind and generous others have been to me.

Considering this, I decided that I should always give others equal attention and consideration, and that all my actions can act as a reminder to do this. When I want a cup of tea, it can be my reminder that others might want a cup of tea. I will offer to others what I want myself. In this way, my whole day will be filled with equalising self and others.

I made the determination to think about others every time I think of what I want, and I tried to keep my mind fixed on this thought for a while.

After that, I decided to look at what this means in terms of Bodhichitta, the wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of all. It seemed to me that equalising self and others is the beginning of the change we need to make which culminates in our completely forgetting our ‘self’ and working constantly for the benefit of others. As such, it is the first step on the path to practical Bodhichitta. With this in mind, I brought myself back to the thought that I need to watch for my self-cherishing wishes, and when they arise, to offer to others, either the Three Jewels or to others around me (or to both of course.)

Dedication

May all living beings come to equalise self and others, and quickly complete the path to enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Mediation Break

When I make a cup of tea for myself, I will offer to make tea for others, and if I have a wish for something, I will offer it to others. Thereby I will use my own selfish wishes as the prompt to equalise my cherishing of myself with my cherishing of others.