Welcome to the third week of our Meditation Project, where examine the object from different angles to improve our understanding. Towards the end of the week we bring all our thoughts together in two qualified meditations. The anticipated format is one meditation per day Monday to Friday, and then the same meditation on Saturday and Sunday, bringing all our understanding together. [These meditations are taken from the Book – How to Transform Your Life, available from Tharpa.com]
Our meditation topic for Week 3 is Rebirth.
Week 3 Object: A heartfelt wish to prepare for our countless future lives, and to apply effort to attaining permanent liberation from suffering putting spiritual teachings into practice.
Day 1 Contemplation
We should know that our sleeping is like death, our dreaming is like the intermediate state between death and rebirth, and out waking state is like rebirth. The cycle of these three shows the existence of future rebirth, through which we can understand the existence of our countless future lives.
Day 2 Contemplation
Our body and mind are separate entities, and so even through the body disintegrates at death the continuum of the mind remains unbroken. Instead of ceasing, the mind simply leaves the present body and goes to the next life. For ordinary beings, therefore, rather than releasing us from suffering, death only brings new sufferings.
Day 3 Contemplation
When we die our inner winds dissolve inwards and our mind becomes progressively more and more subtle until the very subtle mind of clear light of death becomes manifest. After the clear light of death has ceased, we experience the intermediate state which is a dream like state. After this we experience rebirth. Just as when we wake from sleep, the dream world disappears and we perceive the world of the waking state, so, when we take rebirth, the appearances of the intermediate state cease and we perceive the world of the next life.
Day 4 Contemplation
Once we have generated an appropriate fear of dying unprepared, we should search for something that will offer real protection. The paths of future lives are very long and unfamiliar. We have to experience one life after another and we cannot be sure where we will take rebirth.
Day 5 Contemplation
Therefore we need to find something that will show us a safe way to future lives, something that will direct us along correct paths and away from wrong paths. Since only spiritual teachings reveal a flawless path that will help and protect us in the future, we must make effort with our body, speech and mind to put spiritual teachings such as those presented in this book into practice.
After becoming familiar with our meditation object through the previous five meditations, we can now try to bring all our understanding together in one object of placement meditation, arrived at through the following contemplation:
Since future lives will certainly come, I must prepare for them now while I have the opportunity. I will apply effort in putting spiritual teachings into practice in my life now, while I have the chance.