The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong wish to practice Dharma all day, every day.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation, and then brought back the conclusions from my previous meditations on death. Firstly, that I will definitely die. I imagined everyone around me will die, and then I focused on the fact that I, too will die. Once again I remembered that all the trappings of this life will leave me, and that they were never really ‘mine’ in the first place. I felt liberated.

I then thought about the fact that I have no idea when I will die – could be tomorrow, could be today. People are dying from completely unexpected causes every day.

all dayThis brought me to my third point of contemplation – what happens after I die? Death is not obliteration. If the world and myself were inherently existent and separate entities (as they appear to be, superficially) then death would certainly be the complete end of everything. But the world and myself do not actually exist in this way. In fact, the world and myself are mere appearances to consciousness. All my experiences are like projections which I mistakenly believe are real and separate from my consciousness. Death is simply another appearance, and following death more appearances will follow.

What causes these appearances? Karmic potentialities within my mind which ripen moment by moment, cause these appearances. Positive karmic seeds cause pleasant appearances, and negative karmic seeds cause unpleasant experiences. When I die I will be at the mercy of these appearances.

I asked myself what I am going to do about this?

The answer is that I need to use my current opportunity to purify as much of my negative karma as possible, and I need to generate as much positive karma as possible. Ideally, I need to attain liberation and enlightenment before I die. To do all these things, I need to practice Dharma. I need to practice Dharma now, purely, and constantly. I need to practice Dharma all day, every day.

This was a good firm conclusion, and I focused on it for the rest of the meditation. When my mind became distracted, I brought my attention back to the object by quickly reviewing the contemplation, and once I had re-established the object, I focused on it once more. I felt at first like I would have an extra ‘layer’ of spiritual activity on top of my daily activities, but this slowly became and understanding that my spiritual activities and my worldly activities should not be thought of as being separate. The worldly activities should be transformed into spiritual activities by having the motivation of Bodhichitta and the appreciation of the emptiness of all phenomena.

Dedication

May all living beings use their lives to attain liberation and enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to sustain this wish to transform all my worldly activities into the spiritual path, all day, every day.