Hello reader. Normally after completing my Lamrim cycle of 21 meditations, I return to meditation number 1, and start again.

tentAt the recent Kadampa Festival in Portugal I decided that I wanted to have the opportunity to focus on particular subjects for several days at a time, rather like earlier this year when I did a one-meditation-object-per-week series of meditations. Therefore, I have decided to do my Lamrim meditations from the first of the month to the 21st, and then to do a particular meditation for the rest of the month, so I can really focus on a particular topic.

This month, it’s going to be cherishing others, because in our FP class we are doing the magnificent ‘Eight Steps to Happiness’, which deals extensively with cherishing others and abandoning self-cherishing.

So the purpose of this meditation was to develop my wish to cherish others.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation and then brought to mind the fact that if we were to be given the choice between a bone and a diamond, we would choose the diamond because it is more useful to us. The value we give to objects is proportional to how useful they are to us.

Living beings are useful to us because by interacting with them, we can progress along the path to enlightenment. By meeting angry people we can develop our patience. By meeting needy people we can practice giving. By meeting suffering people we can develop compassion. How could we learn to love with no-one to love? All the good qualities which lead to everlasting happiness can be cultivated only by being with others. Therefore other living beings are the most useful things we could possibly encounter. Therefore, they are also the most important and precious objects in the universe.

I imagined finding a diamond on the ground and what that would mean to me. I thought ‘by selling this diamond I will have enough money to pay off all my debts, and to live in comfort, and to give things to others, and to do whatever I want – I will be free’.

I tried to get the feeling of knowing that I will be free of all the troubles I have in my life. It felt light and wonderful.

Then I thought

living beings are more useful than a universe filled with jewels because through them I can develop the precious mind of Bodhichitta, and become an enlightened being, completely free from all samsara’s sufferings.

I focused on this contemplation and the feeling I had before multiplied many times over. I focused on the feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings recognise the importance of other living beings, and cherish them like a mother cherishes her only child.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will see others as supremely precious.