The purpose of this meditation is to develop a sincere resentment towards self-cherishing.

Self cherishing is rather different from selfishness. Selfishness is generally simply a wish to have our own way. Self-cherishing is a specific attitude towards a specific object. The specific object of self-cherishing is our inherently existent self – a self that appears to us to be completely independent from all other phenomena – even our body and mind! This self appears very naturally to us normally, and we see it clearly. However when we come to try to find this self-we-normally-see we cannot seem to find it. Nevertheless it is this independent self that is the object of self-cherishing. The specific attitude we generate towards our self is that it is the most important thing, and its happiness and freedom from suffering are the most important considerations in the universe.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation and then started by remembering that self-cherishing causes me problems and suffering both now and in the future. By cherishing myself I distort and inflate my own importance. With this attitude, as soon as I meet unpleasant circumstances I am filled with unhappiness, because if I were so important I should not have to put up with such pain.  To avoid my immediate unhappiness I engage in non-virtuous actions such as physical acts like harming others, verbal acts such as abusing others, or mental acts such as developing malice. These actions, or karma, lay the foundations for future suffering for myself. Therefore, self-cherishing harms me twice – both now and in the future.

I called to mind my previous meditation on cherishing others as much as I cherish myself. Although this is a wonderful and essential position to adopt, by tolerating the continued presence of my own self-cherishing, my cherishing of others will be inhibited. No matter how I try to help others, my actions will not be pure because my self-cherishing is working in the background, manipulating my actions for my own advantage.

No – the only solution is to resent my self-cherishing as the basis for all my problems, and strive to eliminate it.

I contemplated:

Self-cherishing harms me both now and in the future. It manipulates my attempts to help others and poisons my spiritual aspirations. It is the cause of all my problems.

I focused on this thought, and developed a resentment towards my self-cherishing, and a wish to destroy it. I kept this thought for the rest of the session.

Dedication

May all living beings resent their self-cherishing as the cause of all their problems.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to observe how self-cherishing causes my suffering.