The purpose of this meditation is to feel that our Spiritual Guide has made a commitment to us to be with us until we achieve enlightenment, and that we have made a commitment to our Spiritual Guide that we will follow his instructions and never abandon our path.

atisha-1I made the appropriate preparations for meditation, and then began by imagining my Spiritual Guide in front of me. Atisha says in his Advice that the Spiritual Guide is indispensable, and we should rely upon him until we attain enlightenment. When we imagine the Buddhas in front of us, we imagine them smiling with delight. They are delighted to be here with us, and all they want to do is help us attain enlightenment.

I thought about this visualisations and although I regard my Spiritual Guide with the deepest respect and faith, I also regard him as my closest friend. He is delighted to be with me and wants me to succeed in my practice.

Then I thought of going to him for protection from samsara. When I was a child, I would go to my mother or father for protection. I would run to them and put my arms around them. I would rest my head against their stomach or chest, close my eyes and feel their arms around me. I would know that I was protected. I focused on that feeling of being protected for a while.

Now I am a grown man and a father, it is not suitable for me to run up to people and hug them when I am afraid or upset. I cannot experience this feeling of being held by someone much bigger than myself, someone who can protect me. In my family, this is my role.

But I can still do this in my imagination. I can go to my Spiritual Guide and remembering the fears of samsara, I can go for refuge to him, and he will protect me. I thought of saying to him ‘Please protect me’ and him nodding and saying ‘I will protect you’. The unspoken deal is that he will protect me from the fears of samsara, and I will follow his instructions. On this basis, we have a deal.

I focused on this agreement – this blissful deal. I felt like a child protected by a loving parent. It was lovely, and I was happy to commit to following his instructions for the rest of my life until I attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

I focused on this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings find their Spiritual Guide, and commit to their path, and may they be protected from the fears of samsara until they attain perfect and complete enlightenment.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will put my Spiritual Guide’s instructions into practice.