The purpose of this meditation is to see clearly the disadvantages of self-cherishing.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation, and then settled down to my practice.

I began by remembering that self-cherishing is a completely self-centred attitude. We think that we are the most important, and that our happiness is the most important.

Pensive+womanI thought about my personal situation at the moment. I find myself dwelling on when things have gone wrong in the past, and I have made mistakes and let people down. I also find myself looking to the future and worrying about my job and whether I am making the most of my life. If I let my mind keep thinking about these things, I feel pretty unhappy. I am upset and disappointed with myself about my actions in the past, and I am anxious about all the bad things that could happen in the future.

But when I think about the self-cherishing that is operating in my mind, I can see clearly that it’s all ‘me, me, me’. The bad, useless me from my past. The unskillful and hopeless me who won’t be able to provide for his family or manage in the future. I ignore my good achievements and my skills and good qualities, and I fall into a small, trapped and helpless state of mind.

I looked at self-cherishing and I saw clearly how it makes me unhappy. Because I grasp so tightly onto a solid, independent, inherently existent self, I only want the best for it. If things aren’t absolutely the best, then I have let this ‘self’ down. My self-cherishing makes me depressed about the past and anxious about the future, but does not give me any way of transforming myself in the present.

I looked at this self-cherishing, and its effects, and I developed the simple wish to abandon it. It is completely unhelpful. It has no good qualities. It isolates me and makes me feel small and impotent. It is a suitable object to be abandoned.

I focused on this wish to abandon my self-cherishing for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings recognise the disadvantages of self-cherishing, and strive to abandon it, and become enlightened beings as quickly as possible.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to recognise when self-cherishing is most active in my mind, and simply make the determination to abandon it so that I can be free from its harm.