The purpose of this meditation is to generate a strong feeling of great compassion.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation and recalled the sufferings that all living beings have to endure. All these very kind and precious living beings try so hard to be happy, but endure such suffering. Even when they experience happiness, it is short lived and unsatisfying. Fundamentally, because of our grasping at the true existence of all things, we generate delusions which create the causes of future suffering.

34937_482026429656_272366049656_6321962_866469_nLiving beings have to experience the suffering of birth. This painful and frightening experience must be undergone alone and without understanding. I thought – how wonderful it would be if no-one had to experience this suffering.

Living beings have to experience the suffering of sickness. They feel pain and discomfort, and mental suffering from the knowledge that they cannot do what they want to do, or perhaps that the sickness will only get worse until it eventually kills them. There may be no prospect of ever being well again. I thought – how wonderful it would be if no-one had to experience this suffering.

Living beings have to experience the suffering of aging. We all suffer when we realise that we are losing our looks, our fitness or our mental faculties. Looking in the mirror every morning reminds us of our aging, and our lost youth. I thought – how wonderful it would be if no-one had to experience this suffering.

Living beings have to experience the suffering of death. Our lives will be torn from our bodies in the end – there is no prospect of escaping this denouement.  When it comes, many people experience intense suffering at being separated from their possessions and family – such intense suffering! I thought – how wonderful it would be if no-one had to experience this suffering.

Living beings have to experience separation from what they love – so many people have families, but spend weeks, months or years away from them at work. Our lives are so short! We should not have to spend so much of them separated from what we love! I thought – how wonderful it would be if no-one had to experience this suffering.

Living beings have to experience contact with what they do not like. Every day we experience the misery of commuting, of people we dislike, situations we dislike, jobs we dislike, chores we dislike, obligations we dislike, weather we dislike, food we dislike. We should not have to experience so much we dislike! I thought – how wonderful it would be if no-one had to experience this suffering.

Living beings constantly have their dreams frustrated. We all have our ‘maybe someday’ dreams. Will we realise them one day, or will we reach an age when it suddenly dawns on us that we will never achieve our life long dream. We will be crushed, and know our life has not achieved what we always clung to as our aim. I thought – how wonderful it would be if no-one had to experience this suffering.

I thought of all these sufferings, and wished wholeheartedly that all living beings could be freed from these sufferings. They are so precious, so kind. They work so hard to be happy, yet they do not understand the causes of their suffering, and instead of creating the causes of happiness, they destroy it.

I wished that all living beings could be free from their suffering. I focused on this wish and kept my attention on it for the rest of the meditation. I felt a deep sense of wishing them to be free – to be able to enjoy every moment of their days. It was very peaceful and meaningful.

Dedication

May all living beings be free from their sufferings, and quickly attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will hold compassion in my heart and wish everyone I meet – be free from your suffering!