My meditation today was done in our Foundation Programme class.

We engaged in the appropriate preparations for meditation, and then my teacher gave a short contemplation, followed by a lovely long silence for us to get to grips with the object and settle on our conclusions.

The topic came from the book ‘Eight Steps to Happiness’ by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. In the section we are studying, Geshe-la says that all living beings are equally precious, and that we cannot know if the people we see are simply like us or if they are actually emanations of Buddha. It may seem improbable, especially if we have known a person for a long time, and seen them engaging in deluded actions. But the fact is that they may well be emanations of Buddha, placed in our life as an object of love or patience.

I let my attention rest on the fact that we do not know. We do not know, for sure, who is an emanation and who is not. Thinking that a person may be an emanation of Buddha is almost the same as thinking that they are an emanation.

What is the consequence of thinking that someone is an emanation of Buddha?

We would naturally be respectful towards the person, and we would avoid all negative actions and thoughts towards them. If we see them acting in deluded ways we think ‘what are they teaching me?’ We can regard them as giving us an example of how not-to behave. We can try to help them, and if we are skillful they will accept our help, and give us confidence that we can help others.

Our pride will diminish as we are filled with humility.

In the presence of Buddha, we will be mindful of our actions. We will be virtuous and patient. We will also remember the illusory nature of our surroundings, and become ever-mindful of emptiness.

There are so many benefits to regarding others as emanations of Buddha, that we should hold this view without hesitation.

Thus convinced, I focused on the people in my life and told myself ‘This person is a Buddha, this other person is a Buddha, I am surrounded by Buddhas.’

I was filled with respect for all the people appearing in my life, and I thought how each and every one of them is capable of teaching me and increasing my practical understanding of the path to enlightenment. I focused on this belief, and settled on it as the object of my placement meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings view themselves as the lowest of all, and with a perfect intention, cherish others as supreme.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will cherish others as supreme.