The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong feeling of needing to become an object of refuge for others.
I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation and then called to mind my own personal journey. My spiritual guide has revealed a path to me and I am following it. He has shown me that human life is meaningless without the application of Dharma. I can avoid lower rebirth by going for refuge sincerely to the Three Jewels and by acting in virtuous ways. He has shown me that I can attain complete liberation from suffering by practising perfect moral discipline, concentration and wisdom. He has shown me that just like myself, all living being wish for happiness and freedom from suffering, and that I can free them by perfecting my actions of giving, patience and effort.
I can free myself but this has little meaning if I leave all other living beings behind in the prison of samsara.
For this reason, I need to recognise that I must become an object of refuge myself. Without any trace of pride or arrogance I must become a person whom others are drawn to – who they naturally respect and wish to emulate. Someone who embodies all that is good and virtuous. I thought about this and it seemed almost outrageously proud and self-centred. Any yet to declare that one wishes to become a Buddha is to say such things. The difference between mere hubris and genuine Bodhichitta is our lack of wishing to benefit outself. I do not wish to become an object of refuge for my own sake (to be honest, I would rather simply be invisible) but I need to be there for others, and to help them. To be a Buddha means to be visible and to be aspirational.
How I can I make this work in reality? To do this I need to know that I have perfect moral discipline, so I am not a hypocrite. I need to have perfected giving, patience and effort, for my own benefit and for the sake of giving a perfect example. I need to have mastered the practical skill of concentration by using the techniques revealed to me by my spiritual guide, and I need to perfectly understand the nature of phenomena. In short, I need to practice and complete my training in the six perfections of Giving, Moral Discipline, Patience, Effort, Mental Stabilisation and Wisdom.
As I thought about this, I thought about how I could become the six – I was the six – I embody the six. My aspiration was to complete my training in the six perfections.
I thought of ‘the Prisoner’, the fictional character from an ancient TV series of the same name. In the village to which he was abducted, no-one had names. They had numbers, and he was given the number 6. His cry was:
I am not a number: I am a free man! I will not make any deals with you. I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. I resign.
Yes: in the end he did this, but to do this, he had to become Number 6. So will I. I will become six, and then I will resign – from samsara. It is not samsara’s choice to keep me. It is my choice to leave. And so I will – for the benefit of all living beings.
May all living beings resign from samsara – and be free!
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will be No6 – and resign from samsara!