The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong determination to rejoice in virtuous actions and our ability to control our mind.

I began with the appropriate preparations for meditation and then started by recalling Geshe-la’s words in How to Understand the Mind:

We should judge whether or not we believe that the main cause of our suffering is our non-virtuous actions and the main cause of our happiness is our virtuous actions.

I asked myself – do I really believe that my actions cause my experiences? I thought about this and decided that I know in my heart that the causes of my experiences are very difficult to see from a worldly point of view. I work hard for some objectives and yet they are never realised. And other things arise with no effort on my part at all. Furthermore the experiences which should cause the most pleasure to me often lack any satisfaction. The experiences themselves are more than just the material components.

I know that there is a connection between my actions and their effects in general terms. If I prepare a meal I know that edible food will appear on the table. I know if I compliment my wife she will smile. But I can also see that there must be more going on in this process. Sometimes food is delicious – sometimes not. Sometimes my wife smiles with happiness, sometimes with sadness (like when she believes me to be simply being kind, rather than genuine).

The cause of my full experience cannot be explained by material operations alone. Buddha says that karma is responsible.

If I believe this, then I need to only create positive virtuous actions. Imagine we understood all our negative actions caused suffering for ourselves, in the same way as hitting our finger with a hammer causes immediate pain. Often the separation between our action and the experience means that we fail to recognise the connection at all, and are left puzzled by the actual cause of our suffering. But if we understood – really understood moment by moment – that our actions create our experiences, we would have no difficulty at all in choosing to act virtuously.

Rule Book Or Policy Guide ManualI thought about how normally I am so concerned with being right and winning arguments that I forget if I am being virtuous or not. I forget if I am cherishing others or simply cherishing myself. The pleasure I get from ‘being right’ is hollow and bitter, but the pleasure I get from rising above such nonsense and acting in virtuous ways is sweet and fulfilling. It creates happiness immediately and in the future. I felt like I need to remember that I want to abandon samsara and its samsaric rules of self cherishing. I want to obey the rules of virtue and karma, and find dependable happiness in acts of virtue and the knowledge that I can control my mind and my choices.

I thought about this and developed the thought:

I play a different game, with different rules. I will rejoice in the happiness of virtue and the control of my mind.

That was such a wonderful feeling that I focused on it for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings find happiness in rejoicing in virtue and in the control of choice of mind.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try very hard today to play by different rules, and find my happiness from a different source from samsara.