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I made the appropriate preparations for meditation and then cleared my mind to begin my meditation on great compassion.

I imagined my family and friends around me and I also imagined all the beings with six realms in human form surrounding me. 

I remembered that all of these beings have been my own kind mother. When they were my mother the showed me incredible kindness and even today I benefit from their actions. I developed affectionate love and cherishing love for all of these beings. 

I stayed with that feeling of love for a while and then recognised that all these precious beings are suffering constantly. I thought of my friends who are suffering physical pain and other friends who are suffering great psychological pain. It seemed to me that all my precious friends – all of these special, precious, kind beings were being crushed by the weight of the suffering in front to my very eyes. 

I imagined the pain and suffering crushing them and I developed a very very strong feeling that I can’t bear this any more. I really can’t bear their suffering any more. 

I developed a deep, deep wish that they be free from their suffering.  The wish became stronger and stronger in my mind and then I focused on that wish with single point of concentration.

May all beings be freed immediately from the suffering. 

VK

I was in an office today and there is some refurbishment work going on. The contractor has put what looks like cling film down in the floor to protect it from dusty and dirty shoes. 

  
That reminded me in a way of how Shantideva discusses the way we can protect our mind from the sufferings of samsara. 

In Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life he says that if we need to walk on thorny ground, we can protect our feet by covering the whole ground with leather. But this is not very practical and we generally solve this problem by protecting our feet – with shoes. 

This teaches us that we can try to overcome or remove every external cause of suffering, but this is not a very practical approach, because Samsara’s sufferings are endless. Instead we can learn to protect our mind by practicing equanimity, love and compassion. If we have these thoughts in our mind all the time, we will be protected from the suffering of delusions because they will not arise. 

May we all practice equanimity, love and compassion, and find freedom from suffering. 

The purpose of this meditation is to generate a string feeling of compassion towards all other living beings.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation and then focused on my father. He has been very kind to me and my family over the years. I am so grateful for how he looked after me when I was young and showed me a good example of how to behave. I developed a good feeling of gratitude towards him and developed the feeling of him being important to me – that his happiness and freedom mattered to me.

Then I thought about his loneliness. Since my mother died he has lived alone in a large house. His friends are close by but none are a ‘special’ friend to him. He feels lonely and isolated. I felt his loneliness.

From these two feelings – cherishing and feeling his suffering – I developed a wish for him to be free from his suffering. I focused on this feeling of compassion for a while. I the broadened it out to all living beings. All living beings suffer in one way or another. They all feel sad and unfulfilled. I developed the wish for then all to be free of their suffering.

I focused on this feeling as the object of my meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings be free from their suffering and attain everlasting happiness and joy.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to keep a mind of compassion.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate an instinctive desire for all living beings to be free from suffering.

I made the appropriate preparations for meditation and then reminded myself of the way living beings are very kind to me, and how my main wish is to cherish them. They are kind, they want happiness as badly as I do, and there are countless of them.

I am staying with my in-laws at the moment and their daughter, a brilliant 19 year old university student was looking through the Sunday papers yesterday. She found a section on world travel and talked of taking a long haul flight across the world. She talked about glacier hiking, beaches and excitement.

Although I envy her the opportunity she has (these are no idle dreams for her – she will do something like this for sure) I wondered why she wanted to go. No doubt the experience itself is the answer and the maturing effect it will have. But underneath that is a recognition that what she wants can’t be got here at home.

What is it she wants – what we all want: happiness, contentment, fulfilment. Can these be found in New Zealand or Lima? No. They place these things live is in our mind.

People work so hard to find happiness, but they are looking in the wrong place.

I thought of all the other kind living beings searching – searching for happiness in the wrong place.

I pondered this and developed a strong feeling of wishing them to be free from their suffering. When it was tangible, filling my awareness, I focused on it and tried my best to keep it as my object of meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings find freedom from suffering.

Practice in the meditation break

I will build on yesterday’s practice and not only ask myself ‘how can I help this person’, but also ‘may this person be freed from their discontent and suffering’

Thanks for reading.

The purpose of yesterday’s meditation was to transform my self-cherishing completely into a feeling of cherishing others.

I began with the appropriate preparations for meditation and then thought about how I spend so much time cherishing myself and all it brings me is pain. I need to completely abandon self-cherishing and cherish only others. I imagined my self cherishing as energy directed towards myself, and my self disappearing so that this energy passed through the place where I was and sent out in all directions towards others.

The purpose of today’s meditation was to develop great compassion for all living beings. I started my remembering my decision to cherish them completely and love them unconditionally. I then turned my mind to their suffering. All living beings around me are suffering. They are falling ill and are in pain. They are losing loved ones and having to live out their days alone. They are having their loved ones injured and killed in wars, or by cruel regimes. They are constantly having their wishes frustrated, and slowly realising that they are working harder and harder for less and less. All my colleages at work complain that they work so hard – years go by and they find that they have had so few experiences which are memorably happy. It is as if they are waiting for happiness, but happiness will not come.

I thought about their suffering, and naturally I developed the wish that they be free from their suffering. How wonderful it would be if they could experience genuine peace and happiness every day! I focused on this wish.

Dedication

May all living beings be free from suffering.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remember my determination to cherish others and remember their suffering, and I will try to feel genuine compassion for all.

Todays meditation was all about compassion.

I made the appropriate preparations for meditation and then thought about the roots of compassion. The stronger we can make our cherishing of others, the stronger our compassion will be. I focused on my wish to cherish others, and then thought about how they have to suffer the pain and tragedy of samsara. If it were for just one life this would not be so bad. But living beings have to live life after life, suffering throughout each one. It seemed to me like a treasured child being tortured before our eyes again and again. We would find such a situation completely unbearable. This is how we should feel when we feel compassion for suffering beings trapped in the prison of samsara.

I contemplated:

I cannot bear the suffering of mother beings, tortured by the sufferings of samsara again and again in life after life.

I focused on the feeling of wishing them to be free from their suffering.

Dedication

May all living beings be freed from their suffering.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will see the suffering of others, and wish them sincerely to be free – thinking especially of those people and animals in the Philippines and the moment.

The purpose of this meditation is to once again focus our mind in the meditation break on the wish to become enlightened though our intended actions.

pain 2I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation, and then brought to mind all the suffering in the world. On YouTube I see videos of people abusing animals and other humans. What have these creatures done to deserve such treatment? And what is going on in the minds of those who are abusing them?

It is their karma that presents them with such situations, and it is delusions which makes them perform actions and suffer.

I will suffer too, much more than I do at the moment, and because of that I want to be free. I can see others suffering, and this is a sign that soon, I will suffer too. I wish to become free from samsara because I wish to be free from suffering.

But the suffering on myself is insignificant when compared to the suffering of all other living beings. I am only one person, whereas others are countless. Therefore not only must I attain freedom for myself – I must attain enlightenment so that I can free all living beings from their suffering permanently.

With this motivation, I focused on the wish to become an enlightened being for the benefit of all.

Dedication

May all living beings find the wish to become enlightened for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to be mindful of my Bodhichitta throughout all my actions today,

This mornings meditation was about taking.

Following the appropriate preparations, I began the meditation by calling to mind my friend from Canada. I developed affectionate love then cherishing love for him, then contemplated how he must be feeling. I felt great sorrow and a strong sense of wishing him to be free.

I imagined his suffering rising out of him like black smoke and gathering in my heart. It destroyed my self cherishing, and I felt that we were both free of suffering. In fact I felt I was free of my sense of self altogether. After all, it is only my self cherishing that makes my self seem so solid and important.

I rested my mind on the idea of no self for the rest of the meditation. It felt wonderfully light and blissfully peaceful.

Dedication

May all living beings be free from suffering.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will continue to imagine taking the suffering of others.

The purpose of this meditation is to develop compassion for living beings while remembering that they are empty of inherent existence.

I began by making the appropriate preparations and then started thinking of all the sufferings of sentient beings. There are no inherently existent sentient beings, but there are merely imputed suffering sentient beings. Knowing that they suffer terribly, and that all that is required is that they change their view, I meditated on wishing them to be free from suffering and its causes.

Dedication

May all living beings be freed from suffering and its causes.

Practice in the meditation Break

I will try to maintain my compassion for empty living beings.

Today I had a blissful train journey down to London. While everyone else was flicking through heaps of papers or busily texting their friends, I just sat quietly in my seat for the whole journey.

I began by meditating on the emptiness of the train. I tried to find the train that I had just boarded and sat down in. At the station I had seen the train arrive. Before I started meditating I was in the train. But now I look for the train I cannot find it. There is no train, only seats and windows and passengers. For a while, I focused on the mere appearance of the train. And then I focused on the emptiness of the train and was filled with the feeling of peace. (I also thought about no travelling, no moving, no coming, no going, no meeting and no parting).

After a while my mind had calmed down and I decided to try and make sense of the recent events in my life. My kind teacher has moved on and I don’t think we will be together again. What will I do without my teacher?

Then I thought of Atisha’s advice to always rely on a happy mind alone.

What is this happy mind? It is surely an mind filled with love; love for all living beings. I love all living beings and I want them to be happy and free from suffering. In order to achieve this I must become a Buddha.

I decided that a happy mind this a mind which has Bodhichitta and is not deceived by false appearances.

I focused my attention on the wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of all and the emptiness of all phenomena. It was very joyful and very peaceful. It was definitely a mind to rely upon and take refuge in.

Before long we arrived in London and I spent the rest of my journey (on escalators and in tube trains) looking at other people and generating love and remembering their emptiness. I loved every minute.

Dedication

May all beings generate minds of bliss and emptiness, and quickly gain freedom, for the benefit of all.

Practice in the meditation break

I will continue to generate Bodhichitta throughout the day, and remember the emptiness of all phenomena.

Modern Buddhism

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