The purpose of this meditation is to understand how we can make use of our precious human life.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation and then started by reviewing the past few meditation objects. I have a precious human life and I have met Buddha’s teachings. This is such a precious opportunity that I should not waste. I will die soon and when I die, my precious opportunity will be over. Given that my time is limited, what shall I do with the time I have?

buddha from belowI focused on the feeling of knowing I will die, and when I die, it will probably be the end of my spiritual path. Once I had consolidated a feeling of knowing what this means, I moved on to think about the best action to take.

I need to enter Buddhism, and once within Buddhism, I need to stay there. It is only by remaining within Buddhism that I can protect myself from future suffering. In this context, entering Buddhism means to go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

In our normal experience, when we have a problem we seek help and protection from another source. If we have a problem where we are physically in danger, we would seek help or refuge from the police. If we have a medical problem we seek help or protection from a medical professional. But who can help us with the main problem we face – that we will die and lose our precious human life. Neither the police nor medical professionals can help us with this problem.

Instead, I turn to Buddha – the source of all the instructions and bestower of blessings which will make my practice successful. Buddha is an object of refuge because he can directly help me resolve my human problems. This is why Buddha is an object of refuge.

I also turn the Dharma – the teachings of Buddha. These instructions are the actual methods for protecting myself from future suffering. I need to rely upon them and trust them, and they will protect me. This is why Dharma is an object of refuge.

I finally turn to Sangha – the spiritual friends and teachers who can give me the Dharma and help me understand how to use the instructions in my everyday life. These spiritual friends will be my companions and inspiration helping me implement the instructions, which is why they are an object of refuge.

Together, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are known as the Three Jewels, because, like jewels, they are very precious.

Understanding the special qualities of each of the Three Jewels, I developed a calm, peaceful mind, and said the following prayer:

Fearing the sufferings of this and future lives, I turn to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the only sources of refuge. From now until enlightenment I go for refuge to the Three Precious Jewels.

By saying these words t the visualised Buddha, I became a Buddhist many years ago, and by repeating these words today, I remained within Buddhism. I focused on the security of being within Buddhism, and of being under the protection of the Three Precious Jewels.

Dedication

May all living beings enter and remain within Buddhism until they attain perfect enlightenment.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remember my refuge, and keep it in my heart all day.