The purpose of this meditation is to generate fear of lower rebirth.

In general fear is meaningless. However fear generated thought contemplating rebirth in the lower realms has immense meaning because it comes from our wisdom.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation, and then started by recollecting the fact that I have a precious human life, and that it will definitely end. Once I had this clearly in my mind, I recalled the fact that although my gross body and mind will end at my death, my very subtle mind will continue and become associated with another body in my next life. Just like now, what appears to my mind depends upon my accumulated karma. However, at this moment in time, because I have taken rebirth in a western country, there are limits to what can happen to me. Some of the most negative karma is prevented from ripening because of my human life. But when this life is over, those restrictions are lifted, and everything is reset. My world will be different, my environment will be different, my body will be different and my mental capacity will be different.

Whatever appears to my mind will depend upon my karma, and I have generated alot of negative karma in this life and in my past lives. My next life will almost certainly not be as favourable as this one.

I thought about what it would be like to be reborn as an animal – the food of humans. I would be treated badly; forcefed unnatural foods; kept in unnatural conditions and slaughtered well before my normal lifespan had ended. But most importantly, I would have no opportunity to study and practice Dharma. I would begin a slow, painful downward spiral into the lower realms, life after life. It is said that it is easier for a human to attain enlightenment than it is for an animal to attain a human rebirth. How many aeons would I have to wait until I was reborn once more as a human?

I contemplated these points and I developed a fear of lower rebirth. This fear signified the danger, fear and suffering that I would experience as an animal, and the loss of opportunity to practice Dharma. The consequences of the fear are that I should seek protection from this fate, but for this meditation, the point is to dwell on the fear, and make it firm. I tried to keep focused on this fear for the rest of the meditation.


May all humans develop the wisdom of fear of lower rebirth.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remember my fear of lower rebirth.