The purpose of this meditation was to contemplate the fact that everything we see and experience is a product of our karma, including our death and our future lives.

I made the appropriate preparations for meditation and then started by reminding myself that although everything around me looks solid, real and independent from myself, nothing could be further from the truth. Despite appearances, everything that appears to me depends upon my mind and my karma.

When I experience a pleasant situation, I am actually experiencing the ripening of positive karmic imprints.

When I experience an unpleasant situation, I am actually experiencing the ripening of negative karmic imprints.

hearbeatI may feel I have control over these situations to some extent, but in reality, its all down to karma. If things works the way I think they should, then my actions would always produce the same results. If I normally enjoy a cup of coffee, then the actions of making a cup of coffee should always produce precisely the same amount of satisfaction and happiness when I drink it. But what actually happens is sometimes the coffee tastes wonderful and sometimes it tastes ordinary. This is impossible if things worked in a purely external way.

My experiences are dependent upon my karma, and I am making imprints every moment of the day.

It is a fact that the majority of my life has been spent not creating virtuous karmic imprints. Alot of it has been spent producing negative actions. These imprints are still there in my mental continuum, waiting for activation. Not to mention the imprints from my previous lives. Heaven only knows what I did thoughout them – probably mostly bad too. So what happens when I die?

I will experience another set of karmic appearances, like when I go to sleep and experience dream appearances.

What will these appearances be like? That depends upon my karma. The odds are, they will not be as good as they are now. At the moment I have a nice house, nice job, nice family in a nice country with nice healthcare and a nice Dharma Centre in my little town and the Mother Centre just up the road. Things don’t get much better than this.

But they can get alot worse.

I dwelt on how – in just a heartbeat’s time – I could take rebirth in the lower realms of unceasing suffering, and lose my precious opportunity forever. Rather than consider how I should be making the most of my life, I stayed with the idea of how bad my future lives could be, and felt most uncomfortable. That was the object of my meditation today.

Dedication

May all living beings recognise the nature of phenomena and understand the relationship between actions and effects.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to always remember how close I am to the end, and what it could be like in a heartbeat’s time.